At the gym they play three different types of music: upbeat, fast music in workout areas, general pop music in the bistro area, and fairly standard elevator music in the locker rooms and lobbies. While I was changing today, I wondered to myself if it's demoralizing to write elevator music for a living—if perhaps these musicians feel that writing it is beneath them. It's cheap, royalty-free, and the people who buy it probably don't listen to most or any of it before they do. It's sold as music for music's sake, not for its beauty, used in situations where "we need music, but the cheapest music will do." Is that depressing?
Then I remembered that I write freeware for a living. The software that I write doesn't bring in any royalties or directly make my employer any money. People download it because they need to customize and add features to their websites, and there aren't really other options. People don't really download it because it's awesome. I write elevator software. I guess that's not so bad.
(By the way, SharePoint Designer 2010 is available for free download—the first full product I've worked on from day 1. There's not much point in downloading it if you just want to see what I did, though, 'cause you can't do anything with it unless you also set up a SharePoint 2010 server, also available for free.) (Corrected from original post.)