If you create an application that streamlines a regular hour-long operation in a two-minutes one, you might have a successful company on your hands. You’ve created value by saving time (and therefore money) to a business, and your client thanks you by giving you a share of the savings.

This simple exchange feels fair, intuitive, and natural. We do it all the time when creating businesses, but we also have the instinct of doing it in our daily lives. It is the source of tremendous wealth creation, as well as blog articles (like this one?), YouTube videos, and books.

Some of us even do it for the sake of it. We’re optimizing tasks and moments of our lives that don’t need to be. If you’re into Home Automation, you’ve maybe spent a day automating a 5 seconds task that you perform twice a week. You’ll never see a return on that investment but don’t care as it was fun in itself.

Getting more productive and sharing this gain with our community is a core principle of the success of the human species. The ability to find productive gains and perpetuate them over time effectively seems unique to humans. (Some animals, such as chimpanzees, do seem to be able to pass knowledge down generations, but only in limited ways [study] (a). So let’s enjoy wanting to improve applications, processes, objects, cities, democraties — everything! It’s this instinct that got us this far, will solve our challenges and make our experience on earth continually better.