Supply and Demand is Quite Sad.

I've come to realize that something I really love to do is enable other people to pursue their own passions. I've spent quite a lot of time tutoring people and organizing programs to teach people new skills because all of these activities either clear a roadblock to pursuing one's passion or help one discover a passion. It's just so exciting to see happiness, focus, and motivation through one's body language, actions, and words when he or she is pursuing what he or she loves to do. This passion is contagious and inspires other people to pursue their own passions too.

I've been taking some time off recently, trying to work on my own projects. Naturally, as a software developer, I've been thinking of some sort of technological solution to help people discover their passion or pursue it further because I do believe that a better technological solution has yet to be made. The internet provides a great platform to share and access information. You can pretty much get a world class education for free, thanks to Khan Academy, Coursera, or edX. You can share what you love to do with the world, thanks to YouTube and social media. However, all of these sites require "intent". You need to know what you're looking for, so if you don't know what your passion is or if you've hit a roadblock or lost motivation, you're pretty much on your own.

I don't have a great solution to this yet, so I'm thinking more about it. But the more I think about it, the more I question if it's even possible for everyone to sustain themselves while doing the things they love. What's the problem?

Supply and Demand.

Supply and Demand

It doesn't take an economist (Disclaimer: I'm not an economist) to understand the basics of supply and demand. There's essentially a push-pull relationship between supply and demand, and this relationship is reflected in the price of a good or service. If there is huge demand for something, the price of it will increase because people will compete for it. If there is a huge supply of something, the price of it will decrease because people don't seem to value it as much [1].

As things get more and more accessible, the value of them decreases, thanks to the "supply" of Supply and Demand. We're already pretty experienced with this phenomenon. Most people subscribe or listen to musicians in a heartbeat but rarely buy their music. Information, at no cost, is so easy to find nowadays that paying for it sounds absurd. Much of the software you use is probably free because who pays for software nowadays right?

It seems to me that the more easily accessible something is (the supply of something is enormous), the more devalued something gets. Therefore, as a producer of that easily-accessible item, you're going to have a more difficult time sustaining yourself.

I wish everyone in the near future will be able to sustain themselves doing the things they love, but it doesn't really seem plausible... yet.

Maybe it'll take an innovative, technological solution. Maybe it'll take a shift in mindset. I'm not sure, but I'm hopeful, and I'll continue thinking of a solution.

Any ideas?


[1] This is a crude explanation of Supply and Demand, but it's enough to explain myself.