There was a time, oh, maybe 20 years ago or so, when I really wanted to write the next great thing. A new drafting tool, maybe, or a new software tool for managing software versions, or something… Partially I wanted to come up with something because it was intellectually challenging, and partially so I could make enough money to be comfortable.
Today, I still would love to sit down and come up with some software product to build; something which would challenge my programming skills. Maybe a spreadsheet in Java, or a drafting tool or something–something which would intellectually stimulate me. But I find myself wishing I had more and more time to build cabinets or boxes from scratch.
I think it has something to do with the fact that I find that I love the process of creating–and perhaps because there are very few problems that I see which challenge me that wouldn’t require me going back to school and getting a Ph.D.
And money wise, I’m comfortable. Not rich, which I would define as having enough money to allow me to maintain my standard of living without ever having to work again. But I’m definitely comfortable: I have most of what I want, and the things I don’t have–well, it’s either something that would require a major lifestyle change (such as a cabin in the woods), or it’s something that honestly would be more trouble than its worth.
So I find myself not really wanting the time to go off and start the next great Internet “thing”–because I’m comfortable. (Which, on a side note, explains why the next great thing generally is built by the young: they have less to lose and much more to win than someone who already has a wife, a nice car, and a nice house in Los Angeles.) Perhaps I will figure out the next cool thing and go off and start a new company–but because it’s an extension of my career path, not because I have this burning urge to ‘make my mark.’
Really, though, I want to just have a week or two where I can build a set of home-made cabinets and book cases. Something with flowers carved into the stiles, maybe.