Webzine by Aaron Peta


What Type of Value Do You Want To Create?

When thinking about what kind of content anyone can make I have identified two types of value. They are extrinsic value and intrinsic value. Extrinsic value is content that is generally thought of as self help or teaching content. It can be anything from Neville Goddard to Alex Hormozi and every other possible scheme or plan on you see on youtube. Think: nutrition advice, how to make money online, investing advice, music lessons, manifestation techniques and so on. The value comes from something you hope to achieve by consuming the media not directly from the media itself.

If Hormozi, or insert your favorite guru, suddenly stopped talking about how to make you rich, or if your favorite medical doctors health techniques didn’t work, you’d completely stop watching their content. There’s no intrinsic value in it. It’s all based on the promise of some future successful outcome. Still love these guys, nothing against teachers personally.

Whereas with intrinsic value, the content itself is consumed directly for its value and no future gain is hoped for. The gain happens through the consumption. When you groove out to a Taylor Swift album you don’t hope you’re going to get rich later from listening to it. When you watch Game of Thrones, you don’t think it’s going to help you get six pack abs, unless maybe you reenact the battle of the bastards in your living room. When you laugh your ass off at Louis CK telling jokes you don’t hope it’s going to increase your stock portfolio. You consume that media because it directly improves your life in some way. That’s intrinsic value. Some people may just refer to it as arts and entertainment vs learning and education.

My belief is that anyone with moderate cognitive abilities can provide information in an organized and educating fashion, and sell it as a package, course or YouTube channel, but very few can provide great original creations. It wouldn’t be that hard to create a good health and nutrition channel or a good financial advice channel. But it’s extremely difficult to create an album of great songs, an hour of hilarious standup, or write a fantastic novel.

Extending this to commerce it seems to hold up. Imagine how much less of an impact Elon Musk would have if he was just an influencer selling courses on how to make money instead of running and developing three or four massive companies that are changing the world?

In the end, teaching and education can be thought as a pyramid scheme. The teacher is getting paid, in whatever context or capacity, to tell the student what he knows so he can try to use it to improve himself. If the student just ends up getting paid to tell the next person, who becomes his student, how to do this skill or discipline it’s just a pyramid scheme.

It’s much more important for Beethoven to have written symphonies than to have taught students to write symphonies. But I suppose it was also important that Haydn taught him, or we maybe wouldn’t have those symphonies.

So a higher objective seems to be like Taylor Swift, Beethoven, Louis CK, Elon Musk, and many other great creators, to create intrinsic value. However, the lure of providing how to and self help information is magnetic and maybe there is some intrinsic value in it as well, due to the fact that topics of learning can just be so interesting and entertaining themselves.

What kind of value do you think is better? I guess both are essential. But which one seems to you more of a worthwhile pursuit for your endeavors? Intrinsic value where the consumer reaps the benefits of your product directly? Or extrinsic value where he hopes to find some future gain from it?

So how do you want to contribute? Do you want to be thought of as a teacher or as a creator? I suppose if you’re really ambitious and energetic you could do both. Which if you can swing is probably the best contribution.

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