Hi @SamuelCalifornia! Thanks for sharing your opinion.
I think you are looking at the “personal brand” phrase and choosing to go with the “celebrity / over-the-top-marketing / fake-it-till-you-make-it” meaning that many people think about. I did mention that authenticity is a critical ingredient.
I did this article as an introduction piece and, inevitably, I had to touch on a lot of points. I think I was clear enough about the accomplishments of the people I mentioned. They are very well known and respected in the developer community and their work is online available for all to see.
Each of the three paths are general directions one can take and use as a pillar to build their own personal brand around that idea. For the purpose of this article I just wanted to highlight these approaches and give some examples of people who succeeded doing that. I am planing to go in more details, with more actionable content, either here, on SitePoint, or on other places.
Everyone in the public space has a personal brand, whether they choose to call it such or not. We used to refer to it by many other names, like “authority”, “public image”, or other similar phrases. I think that acknowledging the term “personal brand” makes you more aware of the echo your actions have. When you acknowledge that anything you do has an impact in the way other people see you, it makes you choose your actions more carefully.
But again, doing this is not for everyone. Most people won’t even start doing anything like this. We all gorge on tutorials, articles and motivational content, but we don’t action on everything, if at all. But the few who decide to do it and stick to the process will have one extra tool in their inventory.