Secrets of the Niche


I’ve been SCUBA certified for 21 years and it’s safe to say that I love the Ocean. (Yes there are SCUBA divers in Colorado and as a matter of fact Colorado used to have the 3rd highest certification rate in the United States. Not sure if that’s still true.) Divers are an interesting breed. I’ve been fortunate enough to have traveled to many different places and dove in many great spots. When I meet someone of similar interests I try to figure out what type of diver they are. Are they spear fishing? Are they heavy drinkers? How often do they dive? This is not a “I’m better than them” thing. This is like any other situation to see how much I have in common with them. And its indicative of what I will share with them.

For instance I was on a plane and started a conversation with a guy in the Navy. He told me he had recently come back from a stint off of Palau Micronesia. We were talking about some smaller islands and he started to tell me that those islands did not have any good dives. I looked at him and figured out he was trying to shut me down. I stopped the conversation and said; “Look. I’m a conscientious diver; I don’t take anything out of the ocean and I don’t touch any coral, etc. He smiled just a little and then said; “Okay . . . these are the best islands to go to (pointing on a map) and you can see . . . “.

Within a niche there are strata of trust. Even though we all have a shared interest, we may be willing to share valuable information (amazing dive sites) with a select few. If we think of this with a social network in mind, it’s easy to imagine another level (or levels) accessible by invitation only and/or something networks charge for. (A section for members with shared values.) Of course there would be self-policing so that if a user ends up not being what they have proclaimed to be, they could be removed. Remember, we’re going for niche; not clique. Curious to see if niche social networks create something like this . . .

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I'm currently the Academic Director of the Denver MBA at the Daniels College of Business. I manage the student experience and enjoy helping our students acquire the leadership skills they need for the next phase of their professional journey.

I'm also an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. Since 2010, I've developed the 2nd most collegiate-level, digital marketing courses in the United States. I teach across a wide array of programs including Executive MBA, MBA@Denver, MS Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

I'm professionally passionate about digital culture, artificial intelligence and cognitive neuroscience. I'm married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf.