The entrepreneur as a contemporary motivational speaker and social role model shapes an ideal of 1000% dedication and self-confidence, but also insecurity of failure in a world of "success". Self-help tries to provide help using the ideal that
necessary in the first place. This is reflected in free online assessments to evaluate personal entrepreneurial potential, with congratulations often being given after successful completion.
The Instruction Book "Congratulations, 1000% Entrepreneurial Potential" contains the 1000 most often appearing queries + answers, for successfully completing online assessments. It is self-help in the sense of conveying the entrepreneurial ideal as a general social ideal, but also for successfully completing the online assessments themselves. The Instruction Book shows the ambivalence between conveyed self-confidence and the reason why people are doing online assessments in the first place – insecurity.
In the moment of procrastination, we live with a constant feeling of guilt: leisure time translates into wasted time since it fails to serve labor productivity. The gesture of self-optimization can be interpreted as a gesture of procrastination,
with the difference that the former disguises our feeling of guilt. Self-optimization is self-sustaining; our initiating self-optimization allows the consumption of optimization content to continue further. Quite pragmatically, optimization leads
to more optimization...
"How to?" tutorial videos exist basically endless in quantity and constitute one of the most common medium of self-optimization. The nature of this medium is ambiguous in whether it is trying to teach or to entertain, which exactly disguises the feeling of guilt. "How to?" generates a continual "How to?" tutorial stream when the user inputs a question, questioning whether this is a gesture of individual self-optimization or just endless procrastination.
A distinction can be made between specific and unspecific software-related data access. The specific access is reflected in the way we articulate ourselves trough using a SearchBar. We find the answers to our needs and problems that are driven
an individual's desires. Nevertheless, the amount of data gathered on websites appears to be too large. A speculative form of sorting, categorization and curation is required - the unspecific access. Examples of unspecific access are categories,
forecast and recommendation systems, which try to anticipate users’ desires, but often end up creating new ones.
By removing the SearchBar, we are exposed to an ideological software anticipation. We no longer have the opportunity to articulate our own needs and problems but are always torn between frustration and hope that the desired information could still appear.