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Business As Art

By Bill Hunting

Even Leonardo had to make a living. When an entrepreneur gets an idea off the ground, she quickly discovers the impact that running a business can have in peoples lives.

A business owner in the operational sense isn't the same as being a "funding winner". How that business conducts itself, its policies and activities, are a direct reflection of the business owner and her team. If favourable, then expect better contract terms and interesting opportunities.

However, should failure or dishonest practices dominate a business narrative...

In the social media landscape it's easier to come back from failure. People respect perseverance, but find it difficult to trust once burned. Dishonest partners tend to stay that way. Sadly, the Canadian IT industry is rife with the ruins of "projects that never should have been". I think it's the responsibility of every programmer to help elevate the state of our digital economy beyond this recklessness.

The relationships a business forms with its customers, suppliers, consultants, programs, machines and networks, etc. are more manageable now. Thanks to effective cloud tools a business can scale without major disruptions to the organic culture. An operating team might even include several founding members or their hand picked proteges and legacy matters to an audience.

Business is about people, Ryan. And people will never go out of business. - Michael Scott, Office Manager, Dunder Mifflin

This means in a modern business there is a greater expectation of accountability between what the business actually does, the person making those decisions, and her ability to maintain the internal culture that works for her. Stability is attractive to investors, customers, and developers alike.

Yet, as a business reflects on the owner so also does the business more powerfully reflects the owner's personal vision. This is where I see the business as art concept coming forward. Several technology titans have shown it's possible to be successful going to market with a unique vision. By getting others to share it rather than building by market sampling; running the company on autopilot via middle management. The best innovate through a sophisticated cultural vision.

So long as there is basic operational integrity a business owner should feel free to run things as she sees fit. If she wants to walk away from some kinds of be it. If she wants to focus on certain types of projects though her skills are arguably more valuable elsewhere, then that is the privilege of ownership. If wielded appropriately, it will inspire others and set the foundation for even greater accomplishments in a long and satisfying career.

There is an esoteric wonder created within the zeitgeist of art that can apply to a business as well. It's a more personal and involved engagement. Arcane secrets are shared every time a group of collaborators meet. A project becomes the center of a mysterious ritual, forging the solutions of tomorrow. Those who engage in this process can not only gain insight into themselves but also the needs of our evolving society.

A business, when elevated to art, becomes a personal framework for realizing our dreams. Go start a business and realize yours!

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Bill Hunting
Bill writes a lot about pioneering and production. A strong advocate of ones independent means of production.

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