Are you a consumer or a creator222

Posted on Friday, 15th January 2016

35 A few years ago I had a change of mindset after reading an interesting short book (that has long since vanished from my memory) regarding consuming versus creating. Whilst I can no longer recall the discussion in its entirety, it raised an interesting point regarding whether you consider one’s own actions to be of a consumer nature, or a creators.

The book wasn’t referring directly to whether you’re just a consumer or things, or a creator of others - but more subtley teased a thought into the readers’ mind about the way they approached something. What, as a human or a developer, can I do in this instance to make something more useful to myself and others. With this slight shift of mindset you start to see new opportunities arising that you may have not seen before.

With this change of mindset I found myself asking why I wasn’t a member of Stack Overflow. As I searched and browsed Stack Overflow day by day I was in a pure consumer mode. I wasn’t giving anything back or making anything better as I took what others had spent time writing, without giving anything of value in return. When you ask someone who regularly visits Stack Overflow for answers to their questions why they don’t have an account you’ll regularly get responses such as “I don’t have time”, or “I don’t plan on answering questions” - which, whether you agree with them or not, are all perfectly valid reasons.