上級分類: Guaranteed Profitibility

The definition of profit

Is profit meaningful for work done in isolation?


There are so many definitions of the word profit, that I am not yet sure what we are talking about.

In the pure accounting sense of business, I think of profit as the difference between the price paid by the consumers and the costs paid by the owners.

From that perspective, if the owner of a fruit tree works to make sure the tree is productive, but eats all the fruit (does not sell any), is any profit created?


投票 (可選) (別通知) (可選)


然而,一項活動的理性最終目標只能在更具體的 KPI 中定義,因爲利潤率是暫時的——一個時期的利潤是另一個時期的損失,它可能是計劃性的損失,就像爲冬天保存水果一樣。因此,最終,活動的成功不能以利潤來衡量,而應以目標來衡量。

目標的實現只能通過衡量目標距離的指標來衡量。比如我們要成爲航天文明,就需要增加太空的人數,所以,一個KPI,比如太空人數 ,以及它的長期增長(而不是週期性波動),纔是對“利潤”有意義的定義(如果經濟想將利潤重新定義爲信用,然後獎勵“信用”而不是“盈利”)。

順便說一句,標準定義中的利潤並沒有失去意義,如果一個人獨自工作,即使獨自生活有時也可以儲蓄,因此衡量在有限時期內節省(獲得但未花費)的金額的盈利能力可能是有用的指標,但絕不是最終目標,這是一個長期的多 KPI 目標。

Profit as the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent, seems okay as a definition, however, not okay as the rational ultimate target of activity. Perhaps the ideal capitalist economy would be the one where everyone gets their reasonable profit margin, so they can sustain themselves, while providing something valuable to others.

However, the rational ultimate target of an activity can only be defined in more specific KPIs, because profit margins are transient -- one period's profit is another period's loss, and it may be planned loss, like saving fruits for the winter. So, ultimately, the success of activity mustn't be measured by profits, but in goals.

The achievement of goals can only be measured by metrics that measure distance to a goal. For example, if we want to become a space-faring civilization, we need to increase the number of people in space, so, a KPI like the number of people in space, and its long term growth (rather than periodic fluctuation), is what would be a meaningful definition of "profit" (if the economy would like to redefine profit as credit, and then reward "creditability" rather than "profitability").

Btw., profit in standard definition does not lose meaning, if one is working solo, even living alone makes sense to save at times, so profitability as measure of the amount saved (obtained, but not spent) in a finite period can be a useful metric, but never the ultimate goal, which is an long-term multi-KPI target.




It seems profit is the worst metric for what we want to achieve as it results in short term thinking

We want the optimisation of happiness and equity. Theres a lot of work that people do that isn't directly monetisable but if people stopped a lot of people would become unhappy. We need to track this work too.

We get more of what we measure. This is why I posted the happiness index.

    : Mindey
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Pavyzdžiui klausimas "if the owner of a fruit tree works to make sure the tree is productive, but eats all the fruit (does not sell any), is any profit created?" yra akivaizdžiai beprasmis.

    : Mindey
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I think we need a new made up word which does not have financial connotations.

    : Mindey
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I used socioprofitable in another post but I am sure someone can think of a better word.

Beneficial is too light meaning.