One thousand true fans can make content creators rich: fact or fiction?

Does this concept truly unlock opportunities and value for creators?

Shawn Seah
4 min readJun 29, 2023


Author speaking with people at Punggol Regional Library, Singapore.

As a content creator, I have been fascinated by the “one thousand true fans” theory. In general terms, Kevin Kelly wrote an essay that essentially argued that if you have one thousand true fans who buy everything you create, you can sustainably make a living from your creative work.

According to this principle, you don’t really need a massive crowd or mainstream appeal to be successful; you really just need one thousand true fans.

Sounds enticing, right? I’ve thought about it and these are some of my reflections on the “one thousand true fans” theory. In my story, I am talking about the idea and not specifically about one thousand fans per se.

Direct Connection

One of the biggest advantages of having one thousand true fans is the opportunity to establish a direct relationship with your audience.

In traditional media, content creators rely on intermediaries like publishers, agents, or record labels.



Shawn Seah

Singaporean writer and public speaker, passionate about education, social issues, and local history and community stories.