The colorful wolf

June 13, 2009

Money

Filed under: Thoughts — randy @ 19:57

Everybody works for money. Well, not everybody, but I’m sure that the majority of all people in this world only do their job because they need the money. This may sound like a very aggressive statement, so I will elaborate a bit. I take myself as an example. I like programming. I really like it. I like it so much that I would do it for free if I didn’t need the money to buy things and do things that I like. But if I did do it for free, I sure as hell wouldn’t be working 40 hours a week on programming tasks that other people assign to me. In ‘the perfect world’ we could all do the things we like most without having to worry about making a living.

When thinking of software development in particular, when people create a successful product and publish it online, there comes a point in time where they start thinking about how to best make money from it. For web pages this is usually by means of ads or paid subscriptions. I think at that exact point the developer no longer starts to think about what is best for the user or the product, but he starts to think about what is best for himself. He sees the opportunity to quit his day job and spend more of his time on doing the things that he likes. It sounds good in theory, but in practice it usually doesn’t go that way. Power corrupts, they say, and money is surely one of the most common examples of power. Once you get used to making a bit of money, you want to make more of it, sometimes at the cost of everything else. And before you know it you will be the one employing other people who are just doing their job because they need the money, and not because they like it.

Then again, money is also the driving force of everything in modern society. Without money people are not motivated, and not many great projects would be finished that way. Knowing that you can buy a nicer boat or a bigger house is enough motivation for people to do whatever they don’t like and become a cog in the big company machine. And the end result is beautiful: everybody has a mobile phone, we have a million different tv channels, the internet is mankind’s best invention yet (discuss! :P), and all because of money (and in these particular examples, the porn industry deserves an honorable mention as well >_<).

So what am I trying to say? That money is bad or good? Neither, I guess. I think what’s important is motivation. When our entire culture is focused on imprinting on little children that our lives will be better if we have a bigger car and a bigger penis then it’s obvious that everything revolves around money. But if people could just motivate themselves by something other than money, then this world might be a better place.

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