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The PKM Niche is Crowded

To be successful in the PKM niche, I argue that counterintuitively PKM should be used as a tool to become big in another realm of idea space.

To be a successful small business marketer you need laser-like focus on a narrow target market, sometimes called a niche. (Location 471)
if the ad just rolls out a broad laundry list of services, then it’s not speaking to either prospect, therefore it’s not relevant, and it will likely be ignored by both market segments. (Location 493)
Targeting a tight niche allows you to become a big fish in a small pond. It allows you to dominate a category or geography in a way that is impossible by being general. The type of niches that you want to go after are “an inch wide and a mile deep.” An inch wide meaning it is a very highly targeted subsection of a category. A mile deep meaning there’s a lot of people looking for a solution to that specific problem. Once you dominate one niche, you can expand your business by finding another profitable and highly targeted niche, then dominate that one also. (Location 497)
How did price suddenly become irrelevant? That is the beauty of serving a niche. Whether you do heart surgery or offer cellulite treatment, you can now charge far more for your services than by being a generalist. You’re perceived differently by your prospects and customers. A specialist is sought after rather than shopped on price. A specialist is much more highly respected than a jack-of-all-trades. A specialist is paid handsomely to solve a specific problem for their target market. (Location 506)

The PKM niche has become insanely busy lately. I've noticed a few things about this:

  • devs are doing great work to move things forward, driven by "thorns in their side (check out the dev section in the weekly Obsidian Roundup, the use cases are so broad reaching)"
  • PKM is kind of "all or nothing", meaning most outsiders don't get involved because the buy-in is so steep
    • conversely, there is an massive amount of groupthink as info gets passed around between heavy PKM users, and very little disseminated to non PKM users
  • content is getting repetitive as multiple apps that do basically the same thing in a different coat of paint or minor ideology tweak cause fanatics to drop everything and start from scratch every n months[1]

Avoid Meta-Speak

As a very astute HN commenter put on BHOV-2023:

Hypothesis: people who use these “second brain” knowledge systems spend more time writing about using them, then actually using them.

Meta-PKM is the act of using PKM systems to think only about epistemology. This is a trap. It becomes too easy to spend time uncritically, and not testing if the tenants of PKM fit the broader idea-verse. Putting other fields of study through the PKM filter helps improve PKM.

knowledge held immune from criticism never can be improved! (Location 4052)

It's becoming more and more difficult to be a "big fish" in the PKM market, but I've noticed that few people are doing a simple, powerful tactic: take the tenants of PKM back to your target market. In other words, use PKM as a shortcut to become big in another realm of idea space.

Similar: The Zero Sum Game of Niches - 202301051903

Clever: Windfalls Aren't Always a Blessing - 202301110058

Chaotic: (Processing) New Rules of Posture and Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 202301110221

  1. this happens in the web dev space as well: jquery > angular > react > vue > nextjs > svelte > on and on until the heat death of the universe …