Recently I had an interesting conversation with someone who took the stance that, making money was the only sign that you are creating any value in the world. From his perspective making something that had perceived monetary value meant that you had created something worth while. On a very superficial level, I believe this argument has some basis, however, it has some very serious flaws. While I agree that making money does prove that your work has some value and the amounts of monetary exchange is an indicator of this, I do believe that this line of thought is extremely myopic and is a blinkered reflection of the workings in the industrial era where you did a certain job solely for and in exchange for compensation.
My main is concern is that when you lead life thinking you need to make $X, you limit your self severely from actually creating value that has any meaningful impact. This line of thinking is completely missing from visionaries who set out to create, be it a flying machine, motorized vehicles, putting a computer in every household or creating a communication platform for the internet world. Rather than solely taking a stance of making $X we need to start thinking about how we can build value to impact a million or billion people on our planet. While it may seem altruistic on the surface, by creating a vision that transcends ourself, we open ourselves to achieving successes that can create value that will continue to grow long after we have left this world.
What I hope to see in 2013 is people breaking away from traditional molds and taking on some of the larger challenges that we face collectively. Making money should not be the end goal, it should be the result of our work, keeping in mind the larger picture with a vision where you can make a lot of money when you hit scale.