I wonder what motivates people to start companies that make or provide boring stuff. What causes a person to devote decades of their life to an organisation that manufactures soap or installs archive shelving? It doesn’t surprise me that people take boring jobs: everybody needs a job and most jobs are boring. But what makes a person suddenly think “What I really want to do with my life is run a squeegee company”?
Maybe what they really think is “I want to make more money and avoid taking orders, and the only business I really know anything about is the squeegee business. I am resigned to the fact that I must spend my life doing boring things. Instead of just working at a factory that makes squeegees, I’m going to start a factory of my own. It’ll be boring and pointless. But I will make more money, and I will have no boss.”
My incomprehension is probably typical of Swedish middle-class culture. I don’t particularly need money, because I despise conspicuous consumption and most of my family’s needs beyond housing and subsistence are covered by the public sector. My kids don’t have trust funds, for instance. Uni tuition is free and state study loans are favourable. My main career priorities are fun, intellectual satisfaction and academic recognition, neither of which a chain of stationery stores would be likely to provide.