But a lot of the time I'm happy even if no one knows I'm doing good work. Whomever ultimately gets an accounting profit from it, often enough I'm happy to know that I made the call, that I manipulated the software (read: spreadsheet), that I introduced the compatible parties - that I ultimately changed the world (yes I did, and you did too when you woke up this morning and reached for the toothbrush, you startup types stuck looking for moonshots...). I'm selfish that way - mine is the only opinion that I really care about. I honestly find that commercial work is only bearable as an artistic pursuit, i.e. as an ends in itself.Good work can, of course, be defined to include a real accounting profit. For example, if one is in the business of trading, then in the absence of information about whom else each trade affects, and in the absence of any learning, it seems that therein "good work," can only imply an accounting profit - since there's no other dimension to it, right?
Reluctant I-bankers might find it strange... but I'll openly admit to enjoying spreadsheets and structuring... just spare me the dishonest numeracy.
If I view commerce as a means to get something, then it eventually fails to interest me enough to even do it. (This has received plenty of study by labour economists.) In my case, it's probably the case that I've never been paid very much in the first place. I don't think I've ever actually been offered enough money to make it worth doing something I saw no inherent value in - for very long at all.