Related link: http://www.paulgraham.com/taste.html
Go read Paul Graham’s essay called "Taste for Makers". It’s one of the most inspiring things I’ve read in a long time.
I want to make beautiful programs for their own sake. It makes me happy. Like the art and craft that goes into making music even if nobody will hear it. You want this beautiful thing to exist and be as good as it can be.
CD Baby was, from the very beginning, meant to be a design project. Not graphic design, but business design. A contrarian invention to be the opposite of traditional distribution, the opposite of greedy commercial ad-filled websites, the opposite of the major-label attitude that shuts out all but the biggest sellers. Even if it never made any money, I just wanted something like that to exist.
So now I feel the same way with the code. I can imagine beautiful code, smart layout, best-practices in class structure and encapsulation, separating business-logic from presentation-logic, and the list goes on.
I know this might be really naive, but it’s a fun thing to shoot for.