Fill a Void

Dear friend,

A practical entrepreneurial idea for you: fill a void.

Democritus and Leucippus atomic theory on “the void”

DOWNLOAD PDF: Fill a Void


I was studying atomic theory from the pre-socratic philosophers (philosophers that came BEFORE Socrates): Democritus and Leucippus. Their ‘atomic theory’ was pretty epic — they theorized and understood that atoms existed around 2,000+ years ago (without having ‘proof’ for it).

Anyways, one of the theories they had was on the “void” and on atoms/matter. They theorized that things were created because atoms would spin around and rotate– and perhaps were somehow compelled to move to a spot with a void.


This theory is fascinating to me, because it makes sense.

Generally in physics, “displacement” is a principle which moves matter. And also from a practical perspective– as humans we like to fill voids (empty spaces).

For example:

  1. If you have an empty (open) schedule, you will generally fill your Google calendar with activities.
  2. If you have a void in your home (empty space), somehow you will accumulate crap and furniture to fill it up.
  3. It doesn’t matter how big or small your backpack is, you will somehow find a way to fill it up.
  4. When we are hungry (have a void in our stomach), we have an impetus to move, to hunt, and to fill the void in our stomach. After we fill our stomachs, our hormones tell us “Great job! Now you can take a nap or go to sleep!”

Fill a void in your field

In entrepreneurship — I think it is better to dominate a small niche, instead of being a “moderately famous” person within a big category/genre.

For example, it has benefitted me to be #1 on Google for ‘street photography’, instead of being “top 50” for ‘photography’. I think if you really want to thrive in your field, you must be #1 in your field (it doesn’t really matter how big the field is; often being #1 in a very small niche is very beneficial).

For example, it is better for you to be #1 on Google for ‘Toronto Hipster Street Style Wedding’ than to be #10 on Google for ‘Toronto Wedding Photography’. Unfortunately 90% of people click on the #1 search result on Google, and perhaps the next 5% go to the #2, and after that — nothing else really gets clicked on.

And the way I see it– Google has a virtual monopoly on information discovery on the web. Thus, if you want to succeed as an internet entrepreneur, you MUST have your own website/blog that dominates a small niche, or a search phrase on Google.


Unlimited options!

A practical tip:

Fill a void.

No, not everything has been done already. There are infinite opportunities for you as a photography/internet entrepreneur! In 2010, there was very little practical information on the internet on how to shoot street photography. From 2010-2018, I have filled that void by devoting myself to creating information on ‘street photography’.

But now, I don’t really see a void in street photography. There are lots of other great street photography blogs and sources on the web to learn from! I’m grateful — that means I don’t need to really worry about filling this void of information in street photography.

This means for myself (and for you) — we must search untapped potential, and untapped voids of knowledge and information.

For example, I don’t really see much on the web on ‘photography entrepreneurship’. Therefore, I am filling that void, by writing and blogging on information and theory about photography entrepreneurship. And it is my personal ambition to become #1 on Google for ‘photography entrepreneurship’, and for me in the near future to start doing more workshops on photography entrepreneurship, and to also come up with more economic theories on photography, information, and visual art.


How to discover a void to fill

Singapore selfie

Ask yourself:

“What am I passionate about, which I cannot find much information about on Google or the internet?”

Or even if a niche is dominated by someone else, ask yourself:

“How can I attack or approach this niche from a different angle– which is unique, different, and meaningful?”

In other words, how can you “meaningfully differentiate” yourself from others?


Be a big fish in a small pond

A practical idea:

Start off by being a big fish in a small pond, then when you outgrow your pond, move to a bigger pond (and continue this cycle).

For example, my small pond was ‘street photography’. Now that I’ve out-grown this pond, I am going to ‘photography entrepreneurship’. And within the next decade, I want to be king of ‘photography’ on the internet.


Go more specific/more niche

I wrote this idea on ‘Create Your Own Niche‘ — the idea that if a niche doesn’t exist (yet)– you should make it yourself!

And if a niche already exists, go even MORE NICHE!

For example, ‘film photography’ is a niche pretty much dominated by my friend Bellamy Hunt (Japan Camera Hunter) and my other friend Vishal (Camera Film Photo).

But– you can go MORE NICHE!

For example, try to become #1 on Google for:

“Digital film photography” (perhaps you can focus on blogging on how to be BOTH a digital and film photographer in today’s world!)

Or perhaps,

“Film wedding photography”

Or perhaps,

“Film black and white street style photography”

Essentially, just go more specific, and it will be easier for you to climb the ranks of google to become #1 in your given niche or interest/passion!


Ideas on niches to fill in photography

Things not really covered on photography websites/blogs yet:

  1. Virtual reality/360 photography
  2. Video street photography (imagine shooting street photography, but 1-minute clips of certain scenes, shot on 4k)
  3. On being a modern photographer: How to incorporate film, phone, and digital photography all in one!
  4. Photography marketing strategies (it’s all this silly Instagram ghetto for photographers– there needs to be more information how to blog/create content in photography)
  5. Shooting street photography (or general photography) with cheaper non-iPhone phone cameras (for example, OnePlus, Huawei, etc).
  6. Digital Medium Format photography: Cameras are still expensive– but they will go mainstream eventually!

JUST DO IT.

Of course, just because others have already filled a certain void, it doesn’t mean you cannot contribute to it! I think if you attempt anything in life, you will always do it differently and from your own angle. Thus, if you are passionate enough about something, it is worth doing!

But at the same time, if you want to become more ‘famous’ or perhaps make a living from your photography– it is better to be #1 in your small photographic niche than to be be #10 in a more popular category.

Go small, but THINK BIG!

BE BRAZEN,
ERIC


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