The difference between work and Work

“(Capital-W) Work is what we have considered for years: your boss tells you to do something, you do it, and you get paid. By contrast, (little-w) work is motivated by inherent interest and generally unpaid. Think of the difference between an Encyclopedia Britannica editor doing Work, and a Wikipedia editor doing work during spare hours. Big Work drives the economy; little work drives the Internet. Big Work builds skyscrapers; little work generates a half million fanfiction stories about Harry Potter.”

Clay Shirky: Doing work, or Doing Work?

(via pforti)

8 Comments leave a comment below

  1. i love this. i regularly say i’m going home from Work to work. it’s the work you love that makes life all the better.

  2. My read: (big-W) Work builds infrastructure, and (little-w) work fills it.

  3. Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.
    – The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

  4. This is great. I’ve thought of my life like that for a while now but never as big W and little w. Really nice way of putting it.

    My work is way better than my Work, but my Work pays me :( bad times.

  5. I always thought that work is the stuff you have to do to get paid, but your Work is the stuff you put in your portfolio, or do in your home studio after office hours. work is base. Work is holy.

  6. I’m a little “w” person.

  7. there are a fortunate few who make a living working.

  8. I noticed that the few who can make a living out of “work” had to make a lot of sacrifices until they got to that point.
    It is much more comfortable to hide behind the excuse that Work pays and work doesn’t.

    Ok. Now I have to go back to Work :)