Great philosophical post from tech manual mogul Tim O’Reilly where he considers how to get meaning from business. Called Work on Stuff that Matters he comes up with three principles:
1. Work on something that matters to you more than money:
Whatever you do, think about what you really value. If you’re an entrepreneur, the time you spend thinking about your values will help you build a better company. If you’re going to work for someone else, the time you spend understanding your values will help you find the right kind of company or institution to work for, and when you find it, to do a better job.
2. Create more value than you capture. Microsoft started out doing this – its goal was a personal computer on every desk – but ended up taking more value than it created. Google is creating more value than it is capturing with its goal of organising the world’s information. The test, says O’Reilly, will be whether it managed to continue focussed on the bigger goal.
3. Take the long view.
It’s hard to see beyond the “small here” and the “short now,” especially if you live in a favored place and time. That’s why so many of the really important things do end up on the plates of non-profits.
That’s why a time like this, when the bubble is bursting, is a great time to see how important it is to think about the big picture, and what matters not just to us, but to building a sustainable economy in a sustainable world.