You can't get far in business circles without that question answered - well unless you are in tech and then, if you ask that question, people can deride your misunderstanding of the world of tech(nology) and the way the money works in that world. After all Twitter did not have a proven category let alone a full on model of how it could take the world by storm and make money.
I went to the planners conference yesterday organised by APG. The conversation was around being human and tech. The overriding conclusion was that tech is neither good nor bad - and it's up to us - it's our use of tech that makes the difference. Russell Davies' well honed presentation showed us that organisations are typically bad at tech and Baroness Greenfield (good name btw) showed us neuroscientific evidence that consumers are consumed by it - especially the smallest of our tribe - who are being changed by tech in the very way their brains adapt to the external world. Steve Hilton, the author of More Human who, judging by even a brief ogle on Go-ogle, is well used to being derided himself. That's what happens if you try to put a round peg into a square hole (government policy) and then go even further to try to make the hole round.
The other major theme, that had to be curtailed to allow everyone to the bar, was to get children and adults into nature, to get away from tech wherever possible, (Steve gave up a mobile years ago, (bet he sneaks a mobile puff off others)) to eat together, to share time without external distractions, to read books where our own human imaginations get a chance before the computer generated geeks get inside your head and tell you what to imagine first.
Russell Davies' other thought was to replace the word 'digital' with the word 'gravity' and to see if it still makes sense. His point was there is some pretty meaningless dialogue going on around the word 'digital' which is not moving anyone forward.
So back to the title - what if we replace the word 'joy' with the word 'money'. What if each business team asked 'but how does it make joy?' And then we recognise people will value joy - not pleasure - pure joy...and then there will be an exchange - could be bitcoins / could be rice / could be a smile...the key thing is it would change the conversation and more importantly change the aspiration - we wouldn't put more chocolate in children's cereal - we wouldn't put more addictive content in food, we wouldn't put more feeble excuses for news in papers. It wouldn't all have to be PollyAnnaish - which makes everyone sick in the end - but joy can have a richer, deeper thought. Rebecca Moody was adland astute when she said we have to satisfy human needs - not wants - we, as planners and strategists, have to go far deeper than the obvious sugar cravings, the junk brand strategies that the developed world currently has a habit for producing. So if we are ready to go that bit deeper then we can ask deeper questions about the meaning and purpose of what we are all here for. And everyone in every position of responsibility can be thinking about this in their showers, on their buses, in their chauffeur driven limousines...how do we make joy? Let the money / bitcoins / buttons flow to that and now we have something to behold. By the way Dom Boyd who chairs the APG in such a gorgeous manner, reminded me of someone - and now I just realised - he's a bit like a taller Eddie Redmayne.