Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Sometimes I am surprised at the presence of the profound within the mundane. Today I was talking to a guy about a civil works project, and he said this:
"That's the thing I'm trying to make clear to my staff. This facility was built at the turn of the century, it was an outpost--the frontier." This is where his thing gets interesting. "At the frontier the economics are different. On the frontier people are cheap and equipment is expensive." The conversation moved back to water after that, but I learned a lot from that little snapshot.

Everything grows on the frontier. The frontier is the edge of everything exciting. People who read the books I read say things like, "There is nothing more valuable that the people on your team," and "People are our value." That's nice, and I would lay down in traffic for my team, but in some ways the people who are trying to challenge and innovate and grow know that at that time they are cheap and the creation is valuable. You push the limits because you don't like what's inside of them. You push the limits because creation is good. You push the limits because you want to make something of yourself; or lose something of yourself. You push the limits because you read a book about a rich guy who did. If its worth it, you probably push the limits because you want to make a better kind of something as you extend the frontier.
Creation is never comfortable.
During the heavy lifting of creating anything you need to be o.k. with the fact that you are worth less than the thing you're building; or at least that the time on the frontier will be worth it once someone puts up some condos.
That means a lot of things, not the least of which is you don't want to invest yourself in something stupid.
If you're interested in civil works projects I'll write about the rest.


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