Sunday, December 14, 2008

Evaluating Value

"Create value!"

"All you need is value!"

"Make something people want!"

I hear this stuff being thrown about a lot, and it's fine advice. However, it's not complete advice. Knowing that you have to make something people want is only the first step. Or the first half step. The real questions are:

  • "what is value?"

  • "how do I create value, and how do I create it on a consistent basis?”

What is Value?

The first question isn't so hard. Something valuable is simply something beautiful. I never saw something authentically valuable which wasn't also beautiful. Money isn't beautiful, but then again ,it's not authentically valuable. If you're making something beautiful you're on the right track

What is beauty?

Paul Graham talks about beauty in art a lot better than I can.

Good art is not subjective.

There is good art...

And there is bad art.

To say it's subjective insults our creative efforts, and the creative efforts of all who came before us, not only in art but in science as well.

Me saying it's insulting shouldn't convince you I'm correct. That's why I'm pointing you to Graham's essay, so I don't have to redo all of his good work.

How to Create Value on a Consistent Basis

This is about creativity and routine.

This is about leading a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity, emotional health, eat, drink, create.

Creativity and routine sound like opposites to you? Your most creative successes will come out of routine.

You have to record all of your ideas somehow, no matter how badly they suck, or how irrelevant they are to what you're trying to accomplish. Always be ready for the next idea.

Most of all, discover what works for you. There is a lot of information out there. Find it.

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