Rita Ting-Hopper
5 min readMay 3, 2021


How Festi Defines The Passion Economy

The Passion Economy And The Future Of Work” is the title of the article by Li Jin, the founder of Atelier Ventures, published on “a16Z” (Andreessen Horowitz), which captivated the trend of e-commerce expanding to services and activities. Airbnb started “sharing experiences”, and Li Jin coined the term “the passion economy”.

In the last decade, Uber and Airbnb expanded the sharing economy by creating ways for people to make money on their own schedule. Aside from driving and offering a room, people are getting creative in finding new ways to make money and technology is catching up to provide new platforms.

Li explains, “But though these platforms provided a path to self-employment for millions of people, they also homogenized the variety between service workers, prioritizing consistency and efficiency. While the promise was “Be your own boss,” the work was often one-dimensional.”

Festi agrees. Prior to developing the app, we spoke to providers on other gig economy platforms such as EatWith and Houdini, and some were stifled by the platform’s requirements. The protocols and guidelines left little room for individuality and even less room for creativity. To truly “be your own boss”, controlling when to work should be one factor but, not the only one. In the last decade with the rise of the sharing economy, the word “economy” took center stage. As we move into the new era of passion economy, we’re trying to highlight “passion” over “economy”.

We built a booking platform enabling people to earn money by sharing any activity or service within a network of friends and the local community. How it works: anyone can post anything at any time for others to signup. The platform handles all payments at booking (and all refunds if someone cancels).

Festi wants to:

1) prioritize “individuality” so every user is the star, not the platform;

2) fill the gap between Venmo and Eventbrite by supporting both private and public activities including last-minute plans;

3) be a marketplace for activity sharers (host providers) and activity seekers (guest users);

4) help open doors to different revenue stream through sharing a talent, skill, or experience; and

5) break down technological barriers for the untechy people.

Festi is accessible to individuals and businesses- especially individuals who want to be in business

The rise of the influencer industry on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram allowed people to generate revenue by posting pictures and videos. We now expanded revenue streams by providing a platform to share activities. People who are good at cooking can share a meal. Fitness instructors can share workouts. Friends can share dinner, happy hour, coaching sessions, or performances. Individual talent is the single most valuable marketing asset for users on the platform.

We see special meals and deals offered by chefs. Exercise fanatics book fitness classes directly with their favorite instructors instead of gyms or ClassPass like platforms. People sign up to attend a virtual music performance (and trivia night) with local musicians instead of buying tickets on Eventbrite.

Previously, only established businesses could afford their own app or website for people to order or book with the ease of messaging customers. Now anyone has access to Festi: a platform to monetize any idea or offer in minutes. Festi is helping everyday people to launch and grow everyday activities into businesses.

Festi curates a niche audience of followers looking to transact in a very specific way. People follow Gboss to attend her Sensazao dance class. Foodies follow Chef Roberto Donna to see his weekly menu to pick up. Deal seekers follow Chef Leo to get access to his pop-up meals which are usually limited to the first 10 bookings. Chef Leo explains “Festi provides my restaurant business with an additional source of revenue. It’s easy and does a lot of the marketing for you since it automatically notifies my followers.”

It’s a place where users have complete control and can get creative. While Chef Leo typically offers 3- course pick-up meals, on a rare occasion he offered “a cleansing de-tox drink package for 2 days” at $100 per person. The description included the chef’s personal experience and passion for losing weight and being healthy. This chef received over $600 worth of orders for veggie drinks which was a stark deviation from his rich pasta meals ending with a decadent dessert. Since this chef had over 80 followers, it was easy for him to capture his usual foodie customers with his one-time detox offer. Chefs can be passionate about both food and detox regimens and found a way to make money from 2 very different offers on the same platform.

The network is what keeps people on Festi. While Instagram followers are interested in your pictures, Festi followers are ready to signup, order, or attend pop-up activities. By narrowing down your targeted audience to a subset of people willing to pay you, you only need 100 followers (not 10,000) to create a meaningful network (and make money). Some chefs received more than $1,500 worth of orders within 24hrs posting a menu. Fitness instructors can get away with posting a class just 3 hours before it starts and still manage to get 30 people to attend last minute.

For the untechy people

You no longer have to spend time or money to create a website and figure out a payment system to start a business, gig, or side hustle. You can be in business in literally minutes. You can even leverage social media accounts by embedding your Festi profile link with Instagram.

Festi opens doors to new ways to connect through sharing experiences.

Festi empowers entrepreneurs to monetize individuality and creativity. Our goal is to provide the fastest and easiest platform to help people connect through meaningful transactions in real life.



Rita Ting-Hopper

Ex-litigator turned Entrepreneur. Tamed tiger mom. Wanna-be-snow boarder. Founder of Festi Festionline.com