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This article was published on May 29, 2008

The Innovation Problem, no one else cares.

The Innovation Problem, no one else cares.
Steven Carrol
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Steven Carrol

Steven is a web applications developer, living in south of France, originally from London. His current project is In the nin Steven is a web applications developer, living in south of France, originally from London. His current project is In the nineties, he was a designer / director of a highly successful design, manufacturing and distribution company (Intimidation).

The value of an idea is often claimed to be worthless, those dismissing their value then claim execution is everything… On the contrary ideas are everything! They are mankind’s personal version of evolution and I’d say that was pretty important.

Execution is way down in the hierarchal list of elements that make a venture successful (IMO). If I was to make a quick list of crucial elements required for success, it would be something like this:

  • Idea
  • Luck
  • Technical understand / ability
  • Hard work
  • Investment capital
  • Marketing magic

But intellectual property theft is rife within innovative industries. If people actually knew the full extent of the problem they would be astonished. Naive and eccentric inventors who come up with a ‘really good’ idea (often their first is the best) are generally completely ignorant to the potential traps that await them which threaten to exploit their genus while giving absolutely nothing in return.

The law is totally inadequate in protecting independent innovators from plagiarism. There are many well known techniques employed by the unscrupulous to circumvent the law. In general the law only works successfully for corporations with clout (who do protect their own ideas) and of course who are well versed in using it to avoid comeback when they ‘borrow’ others genius.

Good ideas just by their nature are viral, therefore it is somewhat natural that others will also try to emulate them. But when someone else taps them without recompense, clearly that is wrong, but all too often it is reality.

I could give you countless examples of ideas that have been plagiarized, it is unfortunately / fortunately rampant. I say fortunately because of course not everyone suffers. The market benefits, consumers benefit and the brands who copy benefit. The only one who is hurt is the genius, no one else cares!

But as a society we should care. Collectively we all benefit more from creative geniuses than we can imagine. Imagine no television, no computers etc. It is to our advantage within society to not only offer protection to innovators (which is currently totally inadequate) but to actively seek them out, encourage them by way of rewards, and further to evangelize them as the stars that they truly are.

What is needed is not empty promises of protection by the state, but as consumers / plagiarizers we should pay a tax (not to a government) but into a kitty that is paid out as awards and directly used to support the innovators and artists who enrich our world with their passion, enthusiasm and creative genius.