Selling personal websites
Personal projects are often the hardest to let go of. The websites we create for our own ideas require a lot of time and energy, which creates an emotional investment. Websites require a long-term development and if we don't consider that fact from the start, we aren't likely to develop them into something that has clear contours. Our project has to grow too to be able to self-sustain its own future, or it will only falter with time. It must even possibly grow faster than similar projects simply in order to reduce the threat of being acquired by them at a certain point. Acquisitions happen on a daily basis and usually they are one of the most discouraging things that can happen to a founder. Yes, he gets some money, but he loses his motivation knowing that his efforts will be capped, that he can't break through the dependency ceiling that others so carefully tend to build. That's devastating to the human spirit. A founder became a founder because he believed there were no limits to the possible. So he has to find a way to break the ceilings much faster than they get built; they shouldn't even find a way to slow him down. This means that the broken pieces must be small too, otherwise the ceiling could be quickly rebuild and still be effective. Such ceilings are built by monopolies that protect their position instead of innovating and creating value for everyone. But Captain Planet goes even through the toughest walls.
All this means that our project plans have to extend well beyond our initial intentions. We need to forecast potential difficulties before they happen; to think through stumbling situations and have a flexible answer to them that doesn't necessarily require a radical change in our trajectory, that raises more questions than can possibly give answers. On our way up, we need to be flexible, but not allow this flexibility to overshadow our initial goal. At any point in time we need to be clear why we do it in the first place.
Some site owners have recently sold their projects for what they could get, which provoked me to write this. I don't blame anyone for their decisions; on the opposite, noone knows better than themselves how to handle a particular situation. Being fully aware how hard this decision might be, I'm just against underselling our dreams. I still remember the wise words “The crisis will force you to take the wrong decisions” which I still think is true. Sometimes we behave irrationally in a need to satisfy our short-term needs. But spontaneous choices very often cost our future. We can even measure ourselves by how strongly we are able to keep course or adhere to ideals. If everyone would stop working on a cathedral simply because they wouldn't be able to see their creation in its majestic entirety during their lives, we wouldn't have as many cathedrals today. A creation always has a value long after the death of its creator, provided he was able to stick working on it until that value crystallizes in a diamond, ready to be polished by the next generation. Even if hard to see, it's through the idea of paying it forward that we are able to live halfway decent today. If we decide that our (constantly growing) needs (with age, due to the commonly spread stereotypes of how things should be) have higher priority than our own creations, then we subject our work to the laws of the majority, losing our voice in other people's needs. We have to strive some more than that.
A crisis is a test of mental strength. Not only this crisis, but the next and the next too. Who knows if they would be easier to go through? If we get discouraged too easily, we would never be able to create something of lasting value, we'll be just the next society ant among billions. Moreover, future crisis will hit us even harder, making external forces and factors fully dictate our life to the extent we become incapable of doing anything by ourselves. Is this what we want? We have to believe more in our projects and our own ideas, maybe even unrealistically and unconditionally, to develop them not only for the quick buck or the bitcoin, but for the meaning (according to our definition) they create. Money constantly changes hands, but great creations live forever. Maybe we need to stop selling the now and start working on the forever.