There are many senses of the word “wealth,” not all of them material. I’m not trying to make a deep philosophical point here about which is the true kind. I’m writing about one specific, rather technical sense of the word “wealth.” What people will give you money for. This is an interesting sort of wealth to study, because it is the kind that prevents you from starving. And what people will give you money for depends on them, not you. When you’re starting a business, it’s easy to slide into thinking that customers want what you do. During the Internet Bubble I talked to a woman who, because she liked the outdoors, was starting an “outdoor portal.” You know what kind of business you should start if you like the outdoors? One to recover data from crashed hard disks. What’s the connection? None at all. Which is precisely my point. If you want to create wealth (in the narrow technical sense of not starving) then you should be especially skeptical about any plan that centers on things you like doing.
by Maria Popova
Debunking the pie fallacy, or why there’s more to success than giving people what they want.
As John Green put it, it’s about making gifts for people and putting them into the world, from same article: hoping those gifts might bring them joy and eventually bring us some form of “wealth,” but not putting them into the world because they will bring us wealth and with the primary aim that they do so.