I’ll admit that I too suffer from the unhealthy (stressful?!) habit of trying to quantify success. In a materialistic society, success is frequently quantified by the kind of stuff we use to make statements about our success such as big houses and big cars.

A less direct but equally important means of determining success is how much money is being made. This is often not a very adequate means of measuring but it is often the only one. It is one of the reasons that I will be selling my book rather than giving it away. It would be interesting to know what the demand curve looked like. For example, I can determine what the demand would be it the price was $0. This would likely correspond to exactly how many people could be made aware of its existence since the cost of clicking to download would be zero. However, I bet that charging even $1 would substantially change that number. If not, yeah, getting 50,000 people to pay $1 each would not be bad at all ;-D .

It is the same with blogging. I am offering the content for free. Here the $0 demand corresponds to 20 people reading the blog as their full time job, kinda akin to having a reading room populated by 20 people at all time/weekdays between 9 and 5. That’s quite impressive to me. I calculate it using 1300 average visits per day spending an average of 5:25 minutes and dividing this by a 40 hour work week. Of course if I started charging that number would drop substantially and so I wouldn’t really know. Still, 5:25 is definitely in the high end (and the 20 workweeks is also quite high, actually, even compared to the A-list bloggers) and as such I would quantifiable call it a success.

Time is a quantifiable measure of influence which is also a form of success although not as highly regarded as money is. It is interesting to note that in feudal Japan, the merchant class was regarded the lowest of the four classes (samurai, farmers, artisans, and merchants) because they did not directly produce anything but only profited indirectly from the work of others. This was despite the merchant class having some of the richest members of society. Of course in American society, the merchant class is the most prestigious class.

Daily Yakezie Short Carnival: Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) @ Canadian Finance Blog, Take Your Personal Finances To The Next Level @ 20s Money, & Finding Happiness: How You Can Own More by Owning Less @ Redeeming Riches

Originally posted 2010-04-21 04:29:49.