What Are You Making Possible?

Drawing of the interior of an apple.

I recently came across a wonderful phrase that made me wonder about how my business is contributing to the wider community.

Back in 2015, Jason Kottke, a curator of the Internet, shared a link to a government archive of 3,800 paintings of apples. Recently, he updated the post with news that high resolution verions of the images were available in the public domian:

“This is a good example of the value of the public domain (and activists like Higgins)…without those images being available, neither Slate or I would have written about the collection, and who knows what someone who read them will do with that information. Maybe nothing! But maybe something cool! It’s worth putting it out there to find out…governments should be in the business of increasing the possibility space of their citizens.”

Jason Kottke

I love that phrase: increasing the possibility space.

Putting those images out there creates possibilities. Who knows what someone could do with all of those images? That’s the beauty of inspiration and collaboration. Unknown possibility exist.

So What?

What does the public domain and government have to do with business? We can make things possible. Last time I talked about the possibilities of investing in your community. That’s a way to increase the possibility space.

It not about dumping images into the public domain—it’s about looking for opportunities. It’s about making things possible, whether it’s working with local artists or giving students a chance or creating a local event.

Too often business is exclusively focused on profit margins. But another way to profit is to build possibility in your community.

(Image by Mary Daisy Arnold, U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.)