Passion and Best Practices

I saw a great tweet earlier this week from Feedback Agency sharing a blog post from Jonathan Betz: a discussion of what he calls the Passion Gap. Here’s how he defines it:

“This, to me, is the difference between a product built by someone who is deeply invested in the in the underlying product idea, as compared to a product built by someone who is just trying to check off a set of feature boxes. This is what I think of as the Passion Gap.”

You can read the entire post here, but Jonathan felt some of Foursquare’s ongoing success in spite of Facebook Places’ introduction last year was founder Dennis Crowley. He’s so deeply invested in not just Foursquare, but the success of location-based marketing that he lives it and breathes it.

I thought that was a great observation.

In this day and age when so many companies spend so much effort analyzing others’ best practices in an effort to replicate success, there’s a key ingredient of the success they’ll never be able to capture.

The journey to a best practice is littered with experiments, ideas and results that never see daylight. There’s a level of immersion that adds depth to the work at hand. The journey can also include a “Dennis Crowley” who drives and pushes a “good” practice to the point where it evolves into a “best” practice.

All the information in the world is no substitute for passion. Today’s engaged consumers and clients can see and feel the Passion Gap so do what you can to close it. Or even better, make sure it never exists in the first place.