Have No Profit Motive
November 2, 2022•403 words
Make things that are good in themselves. Stories that move the reader. Software that is immediately useful. Songs that are loved.
Don't have a revenue model. For money, get a job.
Make open source that is 100% open. Be an absolutist for value. Hold nothing back.
Don't identify a scalable opportunity. The world doesn't need another Facebook / Apple / Amazon / Google / Microsoft. They are bad enough.
Don't even think about raising money. You don't want this. Everything venture capital touches dies. Fund your expressive creations by working. Make things that are cashflow positive from the beginning. Avoid creative projects that cost a lot of money.
Don't make a startup. It is a waste of your precious time on earth to invent projected revenue and expenses. If you are going to stay up until midnight, don't be working on a cap table. Write fiction, not fictions.
Startups are not the way forward. They are a solution to a very small and limited set of problems. Cramming otherwise good ideas into the startup mold will almost always break them. Startups were a fresh framework during the golden age of tech utopianism, when 22-year-olds dreamed of making new social networking sites instead of cool bands. Those days are over. Nobody wants you to find competitive advantage, build a moat around your company, identify a defensible niche. Those things might be good for you, but everybody else would be worse off.
Make wonderful things for their own sake. Put your whole self into that one goal. Do not be distracted.
When a woman makes an altar cloth, so far as she is able, she makes every flower as lovely as the graceful flowers of the field, as far as she is able, every star as sparkling as the glistening stars of the night. She withholds nothing, but uses the most precious things she possesses. She sells off every other claim upon her life that she may purchase the most uninterrupted and favorable time of the day and night for her one and only, for her beloved work. But when the cloth is finished and put to its sacred use: then she is deeply distressed if someone should make the mistake of looking at her art, instead of at the meaning of the cloth; or make the mistake of looking at a defect, instead of at the meaning of the cloth.