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In the Fountainhead, "The Banner" was a newspaper with flashy tabloids that sold very well because it targeted the lowest common denominator of people.

Say I want to start a business with the primary goal of making lots of money and gaining financial independence. Shouldn't I sell a product that appeals to the majority ?

Let's take a product as example, a "3 nights vacation package" in vegas. There is nothing original about it, but for me to sell it at sufficient quantity, I would need to put lots of ads. As a result of such practices the internet is saturated with these kind of boring ads you don't want to look at.

Even if you look around at the majority of advertising posters around the subway and bus stations, newspapers and magazines -- the products are dull (a new cellphone plan), and the only thing impressive about them is the graphic design work that went into creating the posters.

Now, suppose I am not starting my own company, but working for a company with a dull product like that. My job, as a graphic artist is quite interesting, because I have to make a very appealing poster that makes the dull content stand out and look more than it is. I exercise my professional skills well -- but should I be happy about working in this company ? Am I making a difference, am I expressing my philosophy when I do this work ? Is this a moral issue, or a subjective issue of taste ? Should I quit and work for a company that makes a more meaningful product, like the first Segway ?

asked Mar 13 '13 at 11:45

Bop's gravatar image


edited Mar 13 '13 at 14:58

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

Forget what the "right" answer is.

Wouldn't you be happier if you were working for a company who sells a product that you believe in?

Now, you may think and rightly so "It's very difficult to get that kind of job unless I learn XYZ..." Well, go learn XYZ. :)

(Mar 13 '13 at 17:47) Humbug Humbug's gravatar image

This sounds like a question I would ask! From what I've learned since reading both Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead is that we all have every moral right to sell what we want to those who are willing to pay. The Fountainhead isn't primarily about the issue of what you should sell. The novel is more about being original and following your own path. Is it moral to sell news like the Banner? Yes. But if you want to sell something original and daring, do what you want to do.

(Mar 13 '13 at 20:58) Collin1 Collin1's gravatar image

I don't see anything necessarily immoral about working for a company with a dull product, but there do seem to be a lot of questionable assumptions you are making.

I'd especially question the premise of having "making lots of money" as part of your primary goal, especially as your professional skills seem to have very little to do with money. (If you were a stock trader rather than graphic artist "making lots of money" might dovetail more easily with your interests and skills.)

Ayn Rand on "purpose": http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/purpose.html

(Mar 13 '13 at 22:28) anthony anthony's gravatar image

Of course, it depends in part on what you mean by "lots of money", and there might be other factors. If you've got 28 baby-mamas hounding you for child support making lots of money might really be necessary to have financial independence.

(Mar 13 '13 at 22:31) anthony anthony's gravatar image
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Asked: Mar 13 '13 at 11:45

Seen: 477 times

Last updated: Mar 13 '13 at 22:35