At RISE Conf in Hong Kong, Gary Vaynerchuk was asked:

How do I make a living off my passion?

The answer from the marketing mogul was straightforward and brilliant:

Put it in a box and sell it.

That is it. Everyone’s got knowledge, or a passion. You can share it or sell it.

All you need to do is package it.

Toolbox are the way to package your knowledge and sell it.

Below is a snap of why you would want to put together a toolbox.

Firstly — what’s a Toolbox?

And secondly — what’s in it for you?

In other words, why should you spend a sheer amount of time putting together a valuable set of information and/or tools for free to be shared.

What is a toolbox?

If you type “toolbox” into DuckDuckGo (yeah, I care about privacy) you get this definition from Wikipedia:

A toolbox (also called toolkit, tool chest or workbox) is a box to organize, carry, and protect the owner’s tools. They could be used for trade, a hobby or DIY, and their content vary with the craft of the owner.

Er, kind of— at least we have some interesting keywords here: organize, tools, use for trade (I like that one), DIY (sounds right), and craft of the owner.

That kind of make senses but it is not quite what a startup toolbox is

So far, we’ve seen two kinds of toolbox in the startup space:

  • Informational toolbox
  • Product & service toolbox

Informational toolbox:

Those ones are covering startups ecosystems, like Singapore or Hong Kong, and about 50 other ecosystems. You can find resources such as macro data, influencers, investors, majors events and startups — useful to promote an ecosystems and its main players.

There are also the ones for you to get into a new field — such as crypto.

The definition could be something along these lines:

A set of information and resources to help your audience understand the environment and opportunities.

Product — or computing — toolbox:

Those are the coder’s toolbox type aggregating apps, Saas or commands for you to build your own products or learn a few javascript quick-to-write algorithms.

And that is definition from Oxford dictionary:

A set of software tools

Thanks for that, but what’s in it for me?

Below is what’s in it for you if you spend time putting together a toolbox:

  • Build up your credibility in that field — ecosystem expert, UX expert, etc.
  • Become an influencer in that field — speak on panels, prepare a keynote based on your toolbox.
  • Become the point of contact — Arnaud Bonzom with his Singapore’s ecosystem toolbox got over 150,000 views (V1&2) . If someone wants to know something about Singapore ecosystem, he will be the first person they think of. Fun fact: you might also become a toolbox influencer, 6 other decks have used Arnaud Bonzom’s framework to publish their toolbox.
  • Generate leads (collect email addresses, and get direct inquiries) — you can have people to download your toolbox freely if you wish, you can also collect their email address for each download.
  • Build your brand awareness — remember — Singapore’s ecosystem toolbox: over 150,000 views of Arnaud Bonzom’s face and name.
  • Build a community around you, get people to engage conversation with you, build your business, leverage on that toolbox.

Thanks for reading. I write about community, growth, online privacy and other topics related to my time spent in Asia’s startup ecosystems.