Questions of Value

“How much value does this have?” is a tricky question to answer, as you first have to answer a few other questions.

To whom is evaluating it? Me? You? A person stranded in the desert? A billionaire environmentalist? Value is in the eye of the beholder and just because you think something is valuable, that doesn’t mean someone else does. 

In what context are you measuring it? Am I desperate? Do I have power or leverage in the situation? Am I looking at a team project and evaluating whether someone else should get a raise? Am I looking at the same team project and evaluating whether or not I should get a raise? Context matters.

In relation to what? Money? A bag of soil? A painting by Picasso? Bitcoin? Value is relational, and you can’t talk about value without comparing it to something else, even if it’s money, which is the very reason money was invented in the first place.

If you’re not going to answer these three questions, you’re not going to get a good answer for the first one.

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