Ayn Rand defines value in terms of the Objectivist ethics within “The Virtue of Selfishness” as follows:
“Value is that which one acts to gain and/or keep – virtue is the act by which one gains and /or keeps it. The three cardinal values of the Objectivist ethics – the three values which, together, are the means to and the realization of one’s ultimate value, one’s own life – are: Reason, Purpose, Self-Esteem, with their three corresponding virtues: Rationality, Productiveness, Pride.” Page 27
Earlier in life I made the common mistake of equating money to value. Money may or may not equate to value and value may or may not equate to money. Money, in the government-backed fiat sense is a widely accepted medium of value exchange, but it is by far not the only means. Value may, and often is, subjective. Really value is in the eye of the beholder. What one may value, another may disregard either purposefully or through ignorance.
Bootstrapping entrepreneurs often learn this while working to move their business forward. Early in the life of a company, or idea, the organization is resource starved. Entrepreneurs must find creative ways of moving forward despite the lack of resources, this is where the subjective aspect of value comes into play.
Instead of a monetary exchange of value, another entrepreneur, business owner, or service provider may be willing to exchange value in terms of trading physical goods such as vehicles, jewelry, or a product you manufacture. In addition, exchange of services may serve as a value exchange. Some examples that come to mind are web design, creating a logo, developing an application, among others. Of course these are only a few examples, the possibilities are near limitless and really just depend on determining what the other party values and the most efficient means of exchange.
1. Ayn Rand. The Virtue of Selfishness: