If you buy an old painting at a garage sale for $1,000 and then sell it for $25,000, was the change in value due to a change in the magic involved in the creation of the painting, or is it because the market now recognizes the painting for what it is (and was all along)?

When Alta Vista refused to pay a million dollars to buy Google, was the problem in the value of what Google had, or in Alta Vista’s recognition of that value?

There’s often a significant lag between the creation of something useful and when the market recognizes it.

That’s an opportunity for speculators and investors, who can buy before the recognition happens.

And it’s an opportunity or a trap for creators, who might get disheartened about the lack of applause and upside immediately after they’ve created something.

When we look to the outside world for valuation and recognition, we might be confused about the intrinsic value of what we just created. Over time, those things may come into alignment, but that’s rare indeed.

Creation plus persistence can lead to recognition. But creation without recognition is still a worthwhile endeavor.

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