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From around the world #3 - Making Art

This is the third in the series of posts on things I think about when I think of the places I have been to and the places I wish to go.
"How to start a startup is just a subset of a bigger problem you're trying to solve: how to have a good life."
- Paul Graham

 When I was in Venice, I decided to walk from one end of town to the other, stopping by all the interesting places on the way and soaking in the atmosphere of the famous town of canals. At just about ten kilometres, on a late summer day, it was a very pleasant walk indeed. 

I ended at the St Mark's Basilica and the Campanile di San Marco (the bell tower). While the whole town is easily the most beautiful I have seen, the view from the top of the bell tower is simply breath-taking. Nearly the whole of Venice is visible from up the tower and the little time I spent up there is one of my most beautiful moments. 

While traveling to places that evoke such feelings in you is one way of experiencing beautiful moments, there are definitely plenty of others. I picked the quote from Paul Graham to start this post for that very reason. Art is beautiful, art is subjective and while life is about experiencing art, startups are about (or at least must be about) shipping art.

The idea that Paul Graham tries to convey (this was part of his lecture in Sam Altman's How to Start A Startup class at Stanford in October last year) is to optimize your actions and decisions for a good life. While he means this in the sense of not starting a startup for the sake of it or because it's the cool thing to do, it is applicable in a much wider sense. 

Most of what we do is done for the sake of it or because it's perceived as the cool thing to do, but rarely because we believe we are making and shipping art. 

Are you creating and shipping your art? If you set out to make art, you will end up experiencing, admiring and being inspired by art that is already out there.

You can read the other posts from the series here:

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