1. Good post.

    I think this discussion needs a definition of “an idea”. In my view, an idea is the same as the thing you describe as a “seed”. For example, the idea for Coca Cola is “a tasty, unique beverage”. If this is the valuable element of Coca Cola, as opposed to everything else that makes their brand and business, then surely I should be as wealthy as that company, as should everyone else that now knows their idea. But I’m not, because it’s everything else that adds the value. It’s the secret formula, it’s the bottle shape, it’s the decades of marketing, it’s the incredible bottling and distribution networks. These are not ideas, these are processes, formulae, research, deals; all products of the effort of the guy that turned the idea (“a tasty, unique beverage”) into Coca Cola.

    I come across people on a shockingly regular basis that are protecting ideas like “Facebook, except for dentists”. That’s what they call ideas and what they consider valuable and what they want to protect with NDAs and the like. I’m not sure we’re talking about the same thing. I don’t doubt a Karl Deeter “idea” is worth a million Euro! Your ideas consist of plans and domain knowledge and business relationships. That’s where you create value and wealth for yourself.

  2. Touché. Also a great post, with a killer ending.

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