Paul Durov is someone I greatly admire. He is the founder of Telegram, and in him or in the Telegram app, you can feel a strong sense of idealism. This is an article he posted in the channel, and I agree with many of the points. For example, the idea of creating instead of consuming, luxury goods do not bring happiness, and creation is the true source of joy. Based on this, I decided to translate and record it.
Big companies use marketing tactics to deceive us, making us believe that the solution to all our problems lies in buying more of their products.
But the real solution is often the opposite: consuming less, not more. In most cases, our problem is overconsumption.
For example, if you are overweight, you will be bombarded with advertisements for gyms or food supplements. But the key to losing weight is eating less, not buying new shoes for exercise or protein powder.
Or if you are struggling with headaches and stress, they will try to sell you headache pills and antidepressants. But to truly reduce stress, you should start sleeping more and walking, not consuming entertainment products and browsing social media late at night. Medications are never a permanent solution: they lose their effectiveness over time and come with side effects, which in turn require more medications. Once you embark on an endless journey of consumption, you fall into a trap designed to make you miserable and the companies happy.
In the process of evolution, nature has equipped us to deal effectively with resource scarcity, but it never prepared us for the relatively abundant life we have now. Today, more people die from obesity than from hunger, and more people suffer from anxiety caused by information overload than from a lack of news.
Our hardware - human DNA - is outdated. It stopped evolving when we still lived in small hunting and gathering communities. Back then, every bite of food and every piece of information was extremely valuable. Now, we live in big cities surrounded by tons of cheap sugar, but our DNA doesn't know that. Our bodies still accumulate excess fat, preparing for a harsh winter of famine that will never come. Our minds hold on to every unsettling piece of news, telling us about threats that will never materialize.
The economic system that emphasizes GDP growth and maximization of corporate profits exacerbates this biological paradox. Governments and corporations encourage people to increase consumption. It is no coincidence that the United States, a country with remarkable economic growth in the 20th century, is also the most obese developed country in the world. Their market-driven society has become too efficient for its own good.
This system is not only harmful to humans, but also unsustainable in the long run. Unlike the insatiable appetite of corporations, the resources of our planet are limited. We have become extremely efficient in manufacturing and selling things we don't need, but the Earth is paying the price. Our bodies still expect us to live in the primitive environment of 10,000-20,000 years ago, filled with green forests and clean lakes. As we continue to destroy our habitats for the sake of economic growth, the number of diseases caused by pollution continues to rise.
I am fortunate to have become wealthy early in my life. By the age of 22, I had a million dollars in my bank account; by 25, it turned into tens of millions; by 28, it became hundreds of millions. However, this was never the source of my happiness.
I am fortunate to have realized early on that the most valuable profession is creating things, not consuming them. So instead of buying yachts, planes, and expensive real estate, I focused on what I loved most - creating a social platform that I hoped would benefit humanity. I spent most of my personal funds on Telegram, providing people with a free service that strives for perfection.
I believe that the ability to create things for others is my most valuable and rewarding asset. I guess one of the reasons I became wealthy was because I was doing what I loved, as money was never my primary goal.
When I was a student, I enjoyed making games and websites. At that time, it was considered a nerdy profession. Students who wanted a bright future pursued careers in law or solving business cases. But I never really cared about how others defined success. For me, success was being able to spend time creating things I loved.
I have no regrets about not buying expensive things that rich people like. My only regret is not having more time to build things.
We live in an era where human potential for creation is limitless. One person can invent robots, edit genes, design virtual worlds... There are so many exciting unknown fields to explore. I hope more people will discover the joy of creating things for others. I hope that one day, as a species, we will break free from the endless path of self-destruction and embark on a fulfilling journey of creating a better world for ourselves and those around us.
In addition, I found another article on the theme of "Consume Less, Create More" that is also well written. I recommend reading: Consume less, create more
The author wrote it during his commute, finishing it on the bus. He tells us that even though it may be difficult to create something valuable at first, if you persist, there will always be progress. It's like the funnel we are familiar with - as a salesperson, out of 500 calls, maybe only 5% give you the opportunity to showcase your product, and maybe only 20% of those who listen are interested, and out of those interested, only 60% sign the contract. This means it may take 500 calls to complete 3 deals.
The same goes for creation. Out of 100 articles, maybe only 3 are presentable, and out of 50 ideas, maybe only 1 is a good one. So don't feel inferior, and don't worry. Even if it's garbage, it's your garbage. As the article says:
My essay was garbage. But it was my garbage.
Go create, start now!
Original title: Consume Less. Create More. It’s More Fun.
Author: Pavel Durov