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Adam Davidson

The Passion Economy

The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century

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ISBN: 978-1-5247-1167-2
Verlag: Penguin Random House, Knopf
Format: Flexibler Einband
336 Seiten; 236 mm x 145 mm, 2020


"Adam Davidson is a master storyteller. . . An engaging mix of Michael Lewis-style reporting and a Shark Tank-like focus on how to succeed in business, [The Passion Economy is] an upbeat spin on what's ahead for us in the new, gig-and-hustle environment."-Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader

"Exuberant. . . With his distinctive voice Davidson winningly blends case studies of fervent, enthusiastic believers - creators of amazing ice cream, expensive pencils, menswear - with a set of counterintuitive rules so that work lives and our deepest passions can merge to make people better off financially, and personally."-National Book Review
"Davidson's case studies are excellent, but the heart of the book is a set of rules worthy of committing to memory. . . Fine inspiration for entrepreneurs that should be required reading in any business school curriculum."-Kirkus (starred review)

"[Davidson's] anecdotes are captivating with shrewd lessons on management, marketing, and strategy. . . Readers with a start-up yen will find useful and inspiring insights here."-Publishers Weekly

"The Passion Economy is exactly what everyone needs today: examples of how to thrive in an economy that can seem overwhelming, and crystal-clear explanations of how to succeed. The book is an enormously fun, exciting adventure story that takes us from the wineries of Napa to the laboratories of Google to far-off chocolate makers. This is the book about how to live (and work) a more passionate life."-Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better

"Adam Davidson is one of America's most accomplished business journalists - and this book reminds us why. With a reporter's eye and a storyteller's grace, he has traveled the country to find regular people who have cracked the code of the modern economy. Reading their stories will reveal the secrets of successful careers. It might even restore your faith in the American Dream."-Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive

"Move over Malcolm Gladwell. In The Passion Economy Adam Davidson upends the conventional thinking about how to succeed in our topsy-turvy, seemingly unforgiving post-industrial economy by sharing the stories of regular people who followed their dreams. You won't soon forget the wisdom Davidson conveys in these pages."-William D. Cohan, author of House of Cards

"I love Adam Davidson's book. This is the golden moment for the marriage of passion and excellence, a time for optimism, not pessimism. The opportunity to create great businesses you love and which your customers come to love lies around every corner. The heart of every economy is small enterprise, not large. We have waited a long time for this book, and brother does it deliver. Bravo!" -Tom Peters, author of The Excellence Dividend


When I think about the change in the economy, the change that has shifted the United States and most of the rest of the world from one sort of economic system to an entirely different one, I think about my dad and my grandfather and how hard it was for them to understand each other.

My father's father, Stanley, was born in 1917 and died a century later, still a tall, proud man with a thick head of hair that was naturally black until his last decade. Stanley looked to me like Superman: strong chin, chest pushed forward, posture erect. He didn't have time for frivolity. He was a serious man who did serious work. With his young grandchildren, he had a routine: a firm handshake followed by a gift of a twenty-dollar bill and some vague homily about doing good work, after which we were dismissed. I cannot remember ever speaking to him when I was young; I only recall smiling, shaking hands, and rushing off. When I became an adult and, to his surprise and mine, a reporter covering economics, I was able to talk with him about the one topic he truly loved: business.

My dad (also named Stanley, though he has always gone by his middle name, Jack) could not be more different. He is an actor who, for as long as I can remember, has told me that the most wonderful part of his profession is that you remain child- like your entire life. As I write this, my dad is eighty-three and has maintained an imaginative, exuberant view of the world. He is riveted by children and loves to hear every word my young son says, after which he calls out, "Did you hear that? He made up an amazing story!" My dad has always been fascinated by pretty much everything-science, the news, art, history, sports. There is only one subject he has always found unbearably boring, perhaps a bit evil, and entirely unworthy of discussion: business.

In a sense, this book is a reconciliation of the conflict between these two Stanleys, these two men who lived in the same country at the same time but might as well have been on entirely different planets. For most of the twentieth century, the overwhelming majority of men and women were forced to make a choice when it came to work: follow the money or follow their passion; become like my grandfather or become like my dad. But now, more than ever before, business and art, profit and passion, are linked. They have come together in a way that would have made no sense to either of the Stanleys in the past.

To illuminate the transition, I describe and celebrate in this book, let me tell you more about my grandfather, since he is a pretty representative stand-in for the entire twentieth- century economy. Stanley Jacob Davidson, Sr., was born in New England to young parents who were cut off from their own families. His father was a Jewish immigrant whose parents had disowned him-even practiced mourning rituals as if he had died-when he impregnated and then married a Christian dance-hall girl. The dance-hall girl was, herself, alienated from her family-a rough clan barely eking out a living in a remote corner of Maine. The new broke and broken family in Worcester, Massachusetts, faced unending crises, culminating in Stanley's father's death of tuberculosis when my grandfather was only five. His mother, overwhelmed, put Stanley and his brother in an orphanage for much of a year before taking them out again with the provision that, even as grade schoolers, they would need to work and bring money to the family. Decades later, Stanley was still prouder of his childhood business (he bought hens, built an incubator, and sold eggs to neighbors) than of anything else he would go on to accomplish in his life.

Before he was twenty, while the Great Depression was ravaging the country's economy, Stanley was married with a young son (my dad), soon to be followed by three more children. He was lucky to get a factory job that paid sixteen dollars a week. The factory made external grinders: large machines th


The brilliant creator of NPR's Planet Money podcast and award-winning New Yorker staff writer explains our current economy: laying out its internal logic and revealing the transformative hope it offers for millions of people to thrive as they never have before.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the middle class is not dying and robots are not stealing our jobs. In fact, writes Adam Davidson--one of our leading public voices on economic issues-- the twenty-first-century economic paradigm offers new ways of making money, fresh paths toward professional fulfillment, and unprecedented opportunities for curious, ambitious individuals to combine the things they love with their careers. Drawing on the stories of average people doing exactly this--a dissatisfied accountant overturning his industry, a zealous father creating a better chocolate bar for his children, a family of craftsmen meeting the technological needs of Amish farmers--as well as the latest academic research, Davidson demonstrates how the twentieth-century economy of scale has given way in this century to an economy of passion. He makes clear, too, that though the adjustment has brought measures of dislocation, confusion, and even panic, these are most often the result of a lack of understanding. In The Passion Economy, he delineates the ground rules of the new economy, and armed with these, we begin to see how we can succeed in it according to its own terms--intimacy, insight, attention, automation, and, of course, passion. An indispensable road map and a refreshingly optimistic take on our economic future.

Biografische Anmerkung zu den Verfassern

ADAM DAVIDSON is the cofounder of NPR's Planet Money podcast and a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he covers economics and business. Previously he was an economics writer for The New York Times Magazine. He has won many of journalism's most prestigious awards, including a Peabody for his coverage of the financial crisis.