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Juggling Bears

There's a Naval PandoMonthly from back in the day where he talks about why people find him interesting. I can't remember where it is and am too lazy to find, but the quote goes something like:

If you go to a circus and you see a bear, it's ok but not that interesting. If you see someone juggling it's also ok but not that interesting either. But if you see a bear that's juggling, then that's interesting. When you combine things you're not supposed to combine, people get interested.

I love this idea that the most interesting and popular things come from combining things that typically don't go together. One reason is that when you combine things that haven't been combined, the result is unique. But another underrated aspect is that when you combine two things, you double the market size. Fans on both sides come together for the new combined thing. I call these juggling bears.

An obvious example is Lil Nas X. Gay country rapper. Those things had not really been combined before but Nas combined all those things into an incredible package. The gay community, country fans, and rap fans could all come together to appreciate him and his music. Through this he transcended a single market and became a symbol and unifying force between multiple markets. Nas is definitely a juggling bear.

The greats are often juggling bears. Drake was one of the first artists who did rap and R&B at the same time well. Taylor Swift was an early country & pop crossover. Apple was one of the first to bring technology & design together. Filtering by juggling bears is a useful way forecast greatness. The more markets they are bringing together at once, the better.