A made-up word (a portmanteau) from “sweat equity” – the hard work invested in an idea (or actual product). Never forget the value of hard work – though neither should it be overestimated.

Recognising the work of others gives a better appreciation of how those people will value what has been done. When putting a monetary value on something it helps to know what effort went into producing it; commercial value is either what somebody else will pay for it, or what it would cost you to reproduce it. It is easy to be dismissive of the result if we don’t know the path taken to reach it. We may know that something could have been done much more easily a different way and so fail to appreciate the result or dedication that went in. A solo round-the-world sailor ends up where they started and could have just stayed where they were – a lot easier but, in that case, we appreciate the effort and dedication that was needed. We recognise the effort more than the apparent result. Of course, doing something the hard way is not always to be admired if it was unnecessary or just pig-headed.

And, sometimes, having put a lot of effort into a project clouds our judgement of its value to others. We defend our results at all costs, putting up extreme (and ridiculous) arguments just because we had done a lot of work to get there. We cling onto long cherished ideas just because they’re long cherished and fail to recognise that new ideas may be better.

We need to recognise the swequity; of others to ensure appreciate its true value and of ourselves to ensure we don’t over-value it.

(Posted as a blog 19 April 2016)