up one level


For a Web Developer Creating Value and Not Being a Fixed-value Undervalued Commodity

For a Web Developer, how can one think in terms of how to create value, and how to not be a fixed-value and/or undervalued commodity?

This was covered by this podcast: Carrie Dils Officehours.fm podcast "Positioning Your Business, Episode 96" ( http://officehours.fm/podcast/96-2/ ), with guest Philip Morgan.

In the episode, at about 12min. 50sec. in, the guest expresses that he thought of himself as a writer... Gave him a feeling of flexibility and job security. But goes on to say he had a misconception of how value is created.

Then, at about ~14min. 45sec. He says what this actually did was made him a commodity, and he (Philip Morgan) explains that this put a fixed limit on the value of his services.

So what are my own take-aways from having listened to this podcast episode?

A take away is that this can also apply to a Web Developer who labels themselves as such. (who labels themself as a Web Developer)

So just as the podcast guest and host were discussing, now I'm also thinknig that to realize higher earnings, a Web Developer may think outside the label of their job title, and may learn how value is created, and proceed in a way to create that value, and then the ultimate reward is to share in the results, for example share in the money earned.

For example if I think of myself as a Web Developer, then I might think my job is to go to work at 9, do the tasks my manager tells for me to do, do only web development tasks, leave work at 5, make sure to not take any days off, and don't question whether these tasks are helping the company. For this I am rewarded with the industry standard salary, or maybe a bit less.

Whereas if I think of myself first and foremost as a problem solver who understands the "why" of my company and department, and think my job is to solve those problems ongoing, then I might wake up in the morning, eager to go to work early, solve a part of a difficult problem before lunch, communicate with colleagues after lunch about what problems the department is working on and how, and then leave a bit early after having been productive. I might take a few hours off here and there each month, and might work late for a few hours here and there each month, in order to do what needs to be done in my personal life and in my work, respectively. For this I am rewarded with a fair share of the company's high profits. (high because we are paid well to solve difficult problems). Or if I'm a contractor owning my own company, I can set my fees high according to the difficult problems that I am solving.

In summary, as the podcast participants discussed, there are ways for a professional to create value by thinking in terms of how to create value. Furthermore they discussed avoiding thinking of oneself as a fixed-value commodity, as a way to avoid becoming a fixed-value commodity. My take-away from this discussion is that I say these apply to a Web Developer. A Web Developer can use such a value-creation mindset to create value for their company and for themself.

Tags: #working

Note: This post was pre-published in November 2016.

[2019 edit: Moved to: https://investorworker.com/2016/... .html.]