I like the sentiment here — but just a thought from one on the business side of software development. It’s not your money. It’s not about YOU. It’s about those who pay you — assuming you don’t just work for yourself.
If you do work for yourself, yes you can start with a blank slate. But let’s assume for a moment you’re spending MY money to produce Value for ME. As a business manager, I’m actually spending other people's money. Our shareholders, our investors, our customers. Those same customers, that pay me to pay you.
The topic you bring up is critically important to all software development professionals. No matter if you are the payee or the payer. In the end the “business” of software development is about the Microeconomics of decision making and Managerial Finance. So making the “best” (whatever that is defined as) use of assets (money, time, and talent) is the role of management. You’re part in that, is just that One part of many.
As a manager of software development I am critically aware of the ultimate importance of time, money, and talent — but also critically aware of the business processes that provide the ability for us to hire talented individual, pay them, and provide the needed time to create the value we sell to our customers.
This notion of “business management” seems to have been missed by many conjecturing actionable outcomes from Alan Moore, V for Vendetta. Re-quoting — Now that you have a blank slate you can start to figure out what makes sense for YOU. It’s not about YOU. If you want it to be only about YOU, you need to find someone who will pay YOU without any expectations of an ROI on a time basis. It happens, but rarely.
But once again a very thoughtful post.
BTW many of your examples you provide are simply Bad Management. I’d suggest following Ron Jeffries advice he gave me in 2002, “find better clients”