November 22, 2005
Like the Creative Commons, there can be a notion of a Venture Creative Commons where ideas are free and plentiful, but hard effort and capital are scarce.
My original philosophy about writing about money making ideas was that keeping a good idea private until I could invest effort in it was better than setting it free for others to adopt, enhance, etc. I still think that is best for certain ideas, but for the ideas that are just merely creative and require effort and expertise combined with some other attributes such as scale (a base of participating users) which is earned over time through effort, those ideas can live a richer life when released to others.
We all have creativity in common. If an idea’s success requires
investment of money, effort, expertise, then the idea itself does not have much value.
In defense of software patents, you could argue that software innovation requires expertise, R&D effort and investment of money with risk of no results and should be legitimately protected from copying in that way, just as someone performing a funny comedy piece would be infringing the original author’s copyrights by reusing the jokes and punchlines. But it isn’t defensible to try to restrict or license the use of an idea when there is so much more involved to actually realize it.
So that will be the criteria — if I didn’t spend much effort to
arrive at the idea, I’ll set it free here. I hope you adopt the same philosophy too.