Can we create perennial products, art, or businesses that last for generations?
Baruch Spinoza, the 17th Century Rationalist philosopher, said you must look at things in the aspect of eternity. Spinoza actually said, “Sub specie aeternitatis,” which translates to “under the aspect of eternity,” or “from the perspective of the eternal.”
The Latin phrase “Sub specie aeternitatis” really struck a chord about how we should live our lives and do our businesses. We must build things under the perspective of eternity and want nothing other than creating external value.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, in Notebooks 1914-1916, wrote ”The work of art is the object seen sub specie aeternitatis; and the good life is the world seen sub specie aeternitatis. This is the connection between art and ethics.”
There are many businesses and Creators who just followed trends and tried to capitalize on them, completely missing the focus on the long term. If you though some made some money betting on what’s hot, but one always can’t keep on hopping on trends (luck & other factors are involved).
If we want to be successful in Business or Be a successful creator, one should aim to create work that will last for generations and create a legacy.
Peter Thiel, Founder of Paypal and Serial Investor said:
“If you focus on near-term growth above everything else..you miss the most important question you should be asking: Will this business still be around a decade from now?”
More like multiple decades transcending generations.
So where can we focus on?
We can focus on studying the crore of our shared humanity. Things that are true to all humanity over the centuries.
We can focus on problems that are perennial and essential part of humanity.
We should aim to study timeless works of art and study human's interaction with its environment