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Create something of lasting value  

Wil Shipley, creator of Delicious Library, in this excellent article:

The people who really change the world are farmers. Steve Jobs works constantly on his products, every waking minute of every day. He lives and sleeps and breathes them. He's obsessive and crazy and kind of scary — but he's trying to build something. He didn't just say, "Here's my idea: smart phone! BAM! Go make it happen. Ima jump in the sauna." That simply doesn't work. God is in the details. In the implementation.


The secret of success turns out to be so incredibly simple: Work your ass off. Really care about what you're creating, not the fame or fortune you'll get. You'll succeed.

Paradoxically, creating something that has lasting value is the best way to create something that someone will actually want to buy off your hands. Will you be willing to sell? Most people have a price tag.

Wil clearly blames the very system of capitalism and stock market investment for the fact that it encourages short-term thinking. That's a fair criticism (and hardly new or limited to startups), but the usual response applies:

The stock market is the worst system of allocating capital across business ventures - except for all the other ones that have been tried.

More from the library:
Cyclical tools
Building a great design and throwing it away
Three traffic triage questions