Alex Brooks reflecting on the growth of his site, World of Apple:
Success brings many things and greed is certainly one of them and being young certainly makes it worse.
The best way to know how much money a website is making is to watch the stats and watch them like a hawk I did…. I never realised though, I just loved the high and relished the attention. Problem is, the highest high never comes again and day after day I began seeking the same feeling, only it was duller every time. So the tactics got worse.
It takes some real guts to admit this.
The content began slowing up before October but the death of Steve Jobs helped put it all in perspective…. The coverage of Steve’s death was often moving and many reflected on his genius, his vision and other talents related to Apple and technology. I noted that he had another talent, one often overlooked, the talent of thought. The best example of such is his Stanford commencement speech that he made in 2005. There are some fantastic points to relish in those 15 minutes but here’s one of my favourite takeaways and something I now subject myself to:
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
…. World of Apple is a brand but more succinctly an extension of me, my thoughts and my opinions. These words are my voice, these pages are my work. And my happiness isn’t about the money, the traffic or even the trips around the world and playing with Apple’s latest and greatest. The happiness is in hitting the publish button on 1,000 words of my branded content. The feeling of producing and watching others enjoy quality, original thought is one of the greatest I could ever experience. Engaging in conversation with those who agree or disagree, exploring individual ideas and producing original content is what makes me look into the mirror and make me want to do it all.
This is just awesome, and I think the same can be said for any art form: do it because you love it, not because it sells.
Another piece of Steve Jobs’ address that’s particularly relevant here:
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.