They don’t allow permalinks to comments, but allow me to quote “disqusplaya” via The Atlantic:
…who cares if you can “only” bring in a couple hundred K a year. It keeps you and your 4 friends out of a “real job”, thrills 10s of millions of customers… not a bad gig.
The scale doesn’t really matter – it doesn’t have to be 10s of millions of people. I’m thrilled just to write to you readers, my mere 10s of thousands. It’s a non-money payment: delight. I get paid in the cool comments I get to read of yours and the conversations we have.
I’ve had the thought myself: why not start companies with the express goal of simply breaking even and just doing it because your idea is awesome or because you want to make cool stuff for others? Of course, there’s time and effort involved but if you truly love your product you’d probably already be working on it anyway and entirely willing and happy to share it. I would, anyway. I do, in a sense. It’s a bizarre thing I never would have guessed or planned to happen, but somehow there are people directly and indirectly giving me money for things I made one evening just for fun. You could look at it as loss if you assign a numeric value for my time spent as dollars per hour but if I did it for myself anyway, it’s sort of literally free money.
So we stand way back and think larger: what’s the point of existence? How do we live? Is this whole bitter 9-5 job economy actually the only way?
And we see people who argue for the collection of things. Massive tangible riches via long hours and hard work. That’s “success” – the American Dream.
Maybe I’m just more of the altruist artist than I’d like to admit, but I look at that and wonder why? As long as I have enough to live, why wouldn’t I start collecting in the currency of delight?
But it works in both directions (and this is more of a change in me personally) – paying for delight. I’m famously frugal because I measure things in purely time terms. $50 concert? That’s way too much. I could see a $14 movie for those same two hours. Or, I could get a $5 game and play it for 50 hours. I’ve written about this before. Something that needs to be learned is that $50 for a 30 second bungee jump can be worth it based on the experience itself, not the time taken to experience it. The delight currency, coming full circle.
Let’s face it, hard work =/= money. If that were true there’s a lot of single mothers working two jobs who want their cheques, please. But even without money we can make their lives better. It’s not about the rich or poor, though, if I started a t-shirt line I don’t really care who buys or wears them; I just want to know that whoever does enjoys what I’ve created. It’s a selfish act with a selfless result, I suppose, but I’m still not sure how I feel about Ayn Rand.
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