Ideas Into Execution: Giving Away An Idea To Make It Happen

from the the-anti-patent dept

We spend a lot of time talking about innovation and ideas. Part of that discussion often turns to patents, and questions of whether it is better to "protect" or "hoard" your ideas, or to focus on sharing them. Patents live in this nebulous world between the two, where you partially (sort of) "give away" the idea, in exchange for the right to protect it. This seems counterintuitive when you think about it. Plenty of research has shown that people invent and innovate more often because they want what they're inventing themselves -- not because they want some sort of monopoly right over it. Other research has shown how innovation (rather than invention) is really an ongoing process, that often involves building on various ideas. For years, we've discussed how the "idea" is quite often overvalued, while the execution is undervalued. Lots of people have ideas. How you execute on them is where the real innovation occurs.

I was thinking about all of this after hearing of the launch of a new service called Mixtape For You, which let's you create a limited time mixtape, which only a single person (who you email) can download. What does this have to do with ideas, execution and innovation? Well, let's go back a bit... and follow this (somewhat convoluted, but fun) trail:
  1. On Memorial Day weekend in 2009, at the annual Sasquatch Music Festival, some shirtless dude started dancing, and someone else started filming him with a cameraphone. Then someone else started dancing with the shirtless dude. Then someone else. Then a few more people. Then a bunch more. Then pretty much everyone. The guy who filmed it put the video up on YouTube, where it went viral (nearly 3 million views at this point). I remember seeing it passed around as a video that "just makes you smile." And it does.

  2. As the video became popular, some started to think about it a bit more, and all around smart guy, Derek Sivers, wrote up a nice little blog post in June, analyzing the sociological aspects of the video.
  3. That discussion turned into an absolutely wonderful 3 minute TED Talk, given in February of this year, that Sivers gave, using the video as a way to explain and demonstrate the importance of "first followers" in creating a true "movement."

  4. That talk got a ton of attention, with lots of people telling Sivers that he should turn the whole "first follower" meme into a book or something like that. Sivers, however, said he wasn't that interested in doing much with the concept and decided, in the very nature of the "first follower" to give away the idea and embrace anyone else who wanted to take the idea and run with it:
    If this "First Follower" idea inspires you to elaborate on it, please do. Feel free to write a hit book about it, tour the corporate speaking circuit talking about it, or anything else. I won't.

    You don't have to ask my permission, pay me, or even credit me.

    I've been very lucky with lots of opportunities. This one's all yours.
  5. Another all around smart guy, Andrew Dubber, picked up on the idea and considered doing exactly as Sivers suggested above, and writing a book based on this concept. But, after sleeping on it, he decided to innovate and execute in a slightly different way. Instead of taking the "first follower" idea and preaching it, Dubber wanted to be a first follower of Siver's other concept: giving away ideas. He decided that he would give away 30 ideas in 30 days -- just like Sivers "gave away" his idea.
  6. Starting March 3rd, Dubber did exactly that, giving away an idea a day.
  7. On March 16th (day 14), Dubber's idea give away, was called I Made A Tape, and was based on the idea that, back in the old days, when people made mixtapes, they were usually for someone specifically. And while there are a bunch of "mixtape" services out there these days (though the RIAA likes to shut them down every so often), Dubber thought it would be cool to create one that allowed someone to be more personal:
    So that's why my idea is an online music sharing site -- but one that can only be shared with one person. You craft a "tape" with a single person in mind, and then that mix is sent to that person with a unique URL that only they can access.

    They can download or stream the mixtape, and it comes with the liner notes that you've written.
  8. And then... on April 6th, some other guy, Ray Kuyvenhoven launched MixTapeForYou.com, based very much on Dubber's idea from just a few weeks earlier.
I'd been following the whole chain of events from the very beginning, but what struck me about it, and what caused me to write this post was when I read Dubber's followup post, gleefully talking about how cool it was that Kuyvenhoven actually executed on his idea, this one line stood out:
I invented something, and it came true because I said it out loud.
That's a really powerful statement when you think about it. And, of course, it goes way beyond that. Just look back at the trail of things that happened that resulted in this particular offering coming about -- how many of them were disconnected and simply shared. Yet, we keep hearing people talk about the need to "protect" an idea? Innovation doesn't come out of protection. It comes out of building on the ideas of others and sharing and others taking a different view on it and finally someone executing, not because they want a patent, but because they want the product.

And to tie this all together, Sivers (who kicked off a lot of the chain of explosions above) has also pointed out himself that it's the execution that matters, and ideas, by themselves, are "worth nothing unless executed."

But think about all this in context, and you realize that it was the openness and sharing of ideas that resulted in execution. It happened by building on different ideas -- not "copying," but innovating. And, it's not just this one idea. Remember, Dubber put forth 30 ideas, and others have been doing the same, building on those ideas themselves. In fact, some have committed to delivering on other ideas that Dubber put forth as well.

Now, before people get upset and say "well that's great, but it doesn't mean patents aren't useful," you're right. I'm not saying that any of this negates the need for patents (there are other reasons for that), but I found it to be such a great example of how ideas travel and morph and lead to eventual execution, totally separate from focusing on the need for protection, that it felt worth sharing. And hopefully, someone else might share it, build on it and do something different and innovative with this idea themselves.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 7:57pm

    movement/momentum

    I think the whole concept is very cool, and makes a lot of sense.

    That first follower movement/momentum is also very visible on slashdot, for example.

    One person makes a post, it gets moderated, someone makes an additional comment, and the end result is an enormous discussion spawned off of a single comment. It's a different version of the same concept but I see it happen when I post there daily, if I get a good moderation or post something that tends to gather attention, as it gathers more attention by that fact itself.

    I guess it rolls into crowdsourcing concepts a little too. Good post, mike.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 8:01pm

    Last paragraph: ". . . but I fount it to be such a great example of how ideas travel and morph and lead to eventual execution . . ."

    Otherwise, great post.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 8:16pm

    I got some ideas I would like to "give away" that were inspired partly by the thread

    "Are You Happily Invoicing Your Customers?Case Details"
    http://www.techdirt.com/blog.php?start=20

    All of the following ideas are non patentable.

    First of all, and I heard this part somewhere else, I think the future of invoicing for retail stores would be something like this, and I think some places implement similar technology even?

    You walk into a store, you grab an item or a group of items, you simply walk out. Somewhere on your way out you receive a message on your cell phone that says, "would you like to purchase such and such." You put in a pin number to prove the cell phone isn't stolen (pin number idea is my non - patentable idea), then you type that you would like to buy this/these items. Your credit card (or whatever) gets billed.

    Another one of my non patentable ideas is that if you want a physical receipt, at the exit there is a receipt printer and you can direct your cell phone to make that device print you a receipt. The phone also stores all your past transactions as well.

    Another non patentable idea that I came up with is that your cell phone can read the bar code of a product and then you can tell the cell phone if you want to purchase it (and print a receipt at the exit too like described above). If you click yes after scanning an item and typing in your pin number you can simply walk out with the item and you automatically get billed. However, if you tried to steal an item it would be the same as if you tried to steal an item today, there would be security guards at the door (just like with any store today) that would try and stop you and bar code detectors would detect that the item is stolen. When you accept the purchase of an item the before and after tax prices appears on your cell phone and you can either accept it or deny it. Also, you can scan multiple items during your stay at the store and then decide, at the end, which items you would like to buy and which ones you would like to leave at the store and delete from your shopping cart on your phone. Then, each item subtotals and (after tax) total and your subtotal and (after tax) grand total appear on your cell phone and you can accept payment and walk out with a bunch of items, no cash register needed.

    Also see

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/01/business/01code.html?_r=1

    Another non patentable idea is the idea that televisions can have a bar code on the back of them. I can scan the bar code with my cell phone and it will automatically program the cell phone to my television and now I can use my cell phone to change channels and navigate my television, like a universal remote. Also, why not have universal remote controls have a similar bar code reader as well?

    This would be tricky to implement with garage door openers because garage door openers need to be secure which implies the ability to change encryption keys. A non patentable work around could be that I press a button on my garage door opener to signal that I want the password changed and then I enter a key in my cell phone (or I use a key that was somehow generated and imported to my cell phone or my cell phone generates a random key) and I put my cell phone very close to my garage door opener (or I connect it via USB or some other wire if this is considered a security threat) and my cell phone (either creates an encrypted connection using Public Key infrastructure with the garage door opener or) tells the garage door opener the decryption key. Then, whenever I want to open the garage door from the outside I push a button on my cell phone and it communicates with my cell phone to authenticate it and then it opens and/or closes the garage door. I can program other cell phones by either plugging them into the garage door and extracting the key or pressing another button on the garage door opener that securely or insecurely tells the opener to give another cell phone the key. Or I can securely (or insecurely) transfer the key from one cell phone to another via wireless means or wired means or to a computer and then to another cell phone via wired or wireless means. Now any cell phone can be used to securely open garage doors.

    Another non patentable idea involves those light remote controls that everyone always sees at the stores but no one seems to buy. Basically, it's a remote control that can be used to turn on and off lights and devices in someones house. A good idea would be to make those communicate with someones cell phone instead so that someone can use their cell phone to control lights and other appliances in their house.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 9:09pm

      Re:

      Another non patentable idea I just though of are those remote controls that enable and disable car and house alarms and that lock, unlock, and open house and car doors and car trunks and doors and other stuff in general. Make cell phones do that too.

      See, I am so innovative, and no patents needed :)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 9:18pm

        Re: Re:

        and to satisfy those at east Texas and the retard patent office of the prior art put forth here on techdirt (because no matter what I do, some retard will find a way to patent it and claim that this somehow does not constitute prior art and, given the retarded nature of our legal system, it will end up working), the cell phone can connect, via wired or wireless means with your car or house alarm device or the device that controls the lights and then exchange security information necessary to enable the receiving device to properly identify the cell phone in order to later communicate with it wirelessly. I mean, of course this is obvious to ordinary people, but those working in East Texas and the patent office are by no means ordinary and I think they suffer some form of mental retardation even.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 9:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          and of course, a pin number could be required to be entered into the cell phone to unlock and open doors and unset alarms for security purposes in case the cell phone gets stolen. Again, non patentable. I hope I included enough detail to prevent someone from getting a patent on any of this and then claiming that this does not constitute prior art. Stupid patent system is so retarded.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Klaus-Peter Speidel, Apr 23rd, 2010 @ 5:15am

        Cell phones to open doors

        It exists and it's called openways.
        They just made the Top 5/81 at Mini Seedcamp Paris:
        http://blog.seedcamp.com/2010/04/mini-seedcamp-paris-winners.html

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 9:51am

      Re:

      Or, in the case of televisions, forget the bar code scanner (but that idea is still non patentable). How about you being able to connect your cell phone to the T.V. , either wirelessly or via a wire, and then having the television send the specific IR commands (or signals) that it understands to the cell phone. That way, when new television models come up an old cell phone can still support them. Now I can use my cell phone to remotely control any television I first connect to, my remote gets the various commands and supported remote control functions directly from the television.

      Again, this is another non patentable idea.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Wobbly Wonk, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 8:36pm

    I invented something, and it came true because I said it out loud. Can you invent an idea? This statement by Dubber is inaccurate and should be reversed and reworded. He said it out loud and it was invented by someone else. Now, before people get upset and say "well that's great, but it doesn't mean patents aren't useful," you're right. I'm not saying that any of this negates the need for patents (there are other reasons for that). I too am amused by those who would seek to tell you how the 'real' world works and give you a lesson on patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Yet these privileges are not 'real'; they are artificial restrictions on the creation of products, flow of ideas, and distribution of literary works, software, music, etc. The privileged (owners of patents, copyrights, and trademarks) have now go on to patent troll and terrorize society as they sue all in their path, with the collateral damage being the sales of their own products. Yet and still they see copyright extensions as the cure and fair use as the curse. A crude analogy would be drivers lobbying for higher speed limits (copyright extension) and no longer yielding to pedestrians (fair use).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Alan Williams (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 8:50pm

    HTML'd for clarity.

    I invented something, and it came true because I said it out loud.
    Can you invent an idea? This statement by Dubber is inaccurate and should be reversed and reworded. He said it out loud and it was invented by someone else.
    Now, before people get upset and say "well that's great, but it doesn't mean patents aren't useful," you're right. I'm not saying that any of this negates the need for patents (there are other reasons for that).
    I too am amused by those who would seek to tell you how the 'real' world works and give you a lesson on patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Yet these privileges are not 'real'; they are artificial restrictions on the creation of products, flow of ideas, and distribution of literary works, software, music, etc. The privileged (owners of patents, copyrights, and trademarks) have now go on to patent troll and terrorize society as they sue all in their path, with the collateral damage being the sales of their own products. Yet and still they see copyright extensions as the cure and fair use as the curse. A crude analogy would be drivers lobbying for higher speed limits (copyright extension) and no longer yielding to pedestrians (fair use).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 9:41pm

    I have given away a lot of my ideas and designs because I wanted the product and did not want to spend years and years trying to develop a commercial version.
    Then I happily buy the item someone else put the sweat into.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Ross Nicholson, Apr 9th, 2010 @ 10:36pm

    Creativity from poverty & ...

    I've often been asked why I keep helping out an old friend and his friends and now their friends in Hollywood with story ideas. Filming Star Wars was my idea (from the 'lost' 1963 novella 'The Star War"). My little helps have grown into big helps, I provided the stories for Titanic and Avatar, the Sixth Sense, Forrest Gump, The Matrix, Independence Day, and on and on, hundreds of films and TV shows. So why give billions of dollars worth of ideas away?
    I'm an American and a citizen of this country. Entertaining my countrymen, giving them hope, inspiring freedom, justice, tolerance and education are all worthwhile enterprises from which I benefit particularly. You might not have noticed, but America is a much better place today than it was 40 years ago when we were losing to communism and led by JFK's murderer. Now the red is defeated almost entirely and I helped, a lot.
    I get nothing and by taking nothing, I continue to be valuable to all of us because my creativity is enhanced by my poverty. Billions of dollars have been invested in projects which I initiated with returns on investment averaging 100% or better. But there were risks, risks that I did not personally participate in (other than the junk I gave Spielberg--an old leather jacket, some jewelry, etc.), risks on such scale that they usually turn creative writers into copycats to minimize them. For instance, no pirate movie had ever made any money before my Pirates of the Caribbean series. Yes, most of them succeeded dramatically, although a few (e.g. Apocalypto, City of Angels, 300, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, the TV show Kings) failed. And who, exactly was responsible?
    I've railed here about how filing false copyrights and patents should be made criminal offenses, but had such law been emplaced, the incentive for idea theft would have kept my little stories, just little stories instead of big movies with big influence, creating a better society despite trends of social despair. Thus some of my criticism was meant as a lash to force the use of those ideas, concepts, poems, lyrics, and stories.
    But my poverty is grinding poverty, and it threatens to shorten my life now that I have reached the age when vitality begins to decline. I know that Avatar needs a sequel, and only I can provide one fit enough to continue that advance. All I really need to do is wait, and Steven Spielberg's promises will be fulfilled. After everything, I still trust the little squirrel will be fair and just.
    I have elucidated how to stop drug addiction, crime, running away, and sexual perversion. Perhaps I will die a fool, but before I do, I will have seen hopelessly ill people live long, healthy productive lives of real promise. If only I had more resources now, I could multiply those small numbers into millions, perhaps billions and trillions to come.
    I'm fond of telling people that I have 1000X's their I.Q., and I do. I am one of the great hopes of the world, by the Grace of Almighty God. I know most of you don't believe in Him, but I do and He is the real reason that I have 1000X's your I.Q. Just thanking God when you find your reach higher rewarded with a strong grasp, that opens more doors than any honor, any high degree, or any fortune. God makes impossible possible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      teka (profile), Apr 9th, 2010 @ 10:57pm

      Re: Creativity from poverty & ...

      ross, or whoever, your post seems to be a random pile of catch phrases and unassociated words. I think your post is a blatant attempt to create links back to your altogether scary seeming whispernet-published book.

      we are not here to learn how you have elucidated a cure for world ills by curing homosexuality or whatever.

      Now, on to the matter at hand.
      Ideas into execution and the power of the first follower.
      I think the video is a marvelous demonstration of human-herding and acts as a window into the way our minds work.

      The concept of creating ideas with the hope that Someone, maybe not you, can follow them through is wonderful. not for personal gain, not even for fame and accord, just, as the quote goes "I invented something, and it came true because I said it out loud."

      thanks for sharing this with us, Mike, and, heck, thanks Amex. You are still an evil corporation draining money away from the small business i work for, but at least Someone in charge of ads or public relations was clever enough to give mike some money, so bravo.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Apr 10th, 2010 @ 2:00am

    Priorities

    For the true inventor the priorities are as follows

    1) That the idea should be implemented.

    2) That they should receive the credit

    3) That the inventor should make some money from it.

    Those who simply appropriate the ideas of others (and try to lock them up with so called intellectual property) seem to have those priorities in the reverse order.

    Surely if you invent something what you really want is for it to happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Marcel de Jong (profile), Apr 10th, 2010 @ 3:49am

      Re: Priorities

      not everyone is money hungry or credit hungry.

      This "giving away ideas" idea is not based on personal gain, but rather sharing with others. It doesn't have to be me-me-me-me-me-me-me. How about us-us-us? Sharing with others is what you learn in kindergarten, but sadly seems to get forgotten over the other formative years.

      For instance: I have a good job as a software tester, but that does not mean I have ideas on other issues than that. Do I have to demand payment for my ideas if I tell them to friends who act on them? No. I'm just glad that my idea might get further than just my mind.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 7:55am

    all those people need to pay performance royalties to me for some reason

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    enrolled agent 2010, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    About the video

    Now that's what audience participation is all about. :) It is nice to know that a Woodstock mentality still remains for some.Ü

    Great read, though. :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    bshock, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    no new ideas, but that's not the point

    Thanks for a very enjoyable article, Mike. I really like how you connected the dots.

    Have you ever read the science fiction novel "Accelerando," by Charles Stross? The first few chapters take place in the near future, where a character named Manfred Macx spends his time making connections and giving away ideas for free, very much like this. He makes a loose living from it because his reputation attracts prospective entrepreneurs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    jimbobber, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 12:08pm

    "non-patentable idea"???

    since when have "ideas" been patentable?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

      Re: "non-patentable idea"???

      Since the patent office decided that they are (ie: the idea of having a cat or a dog chase a laser pointer).

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    dave parker, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Spelling Nazi

    "...which let's you create..."

    Fail.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Apr 10th, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    Sharing ideas

    VERY well written and thought-out article, and as an IP (patent, if someone insists) attorney I totally agree with all of it.

    However, there are ideas that are very expensive to develop (even though, when developed (but ONLY when developed) they are obviously what the world needs). In the "good old days", if a person developed such a thing, you could be sure the wealthy would steal it (check out where the "Carnegie improved steel process" came from - NOT from Carnegie, if you are wondering!).

    Even before Carnegie and his theft of the idea for improved steel, the founding fathers attempted to fix this, and their ideas would still be sound, if "campaign fund" donors had not corrupted the process.

    So, there is a place for patents, but as you pointed out, it is so abused now that the "cure is worse than the disease", in some ways.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      vivaelamor (profile), Apr 11th, 2010 @ 6:34am

      Re: Sharing ideas

      "However, there are ideas that are very expensive to develop (even though, when developed (but ONLY when developed) they are obviously what the world needs). In the "good old days", if a person developed such a thing, you could be sure the wealthy would steal it (check out where the "Carnegie improved steel process" came from - NOT from Carnegie, if you are wondering!)."

      I would be interested in a source for this. I did a quick google and found references to two inventors coming up with the idea separately: http://www.bookrags.com/research/english-inventor-henry-bessemer-dev-scit-05123456/

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    lux (profile), Apr 10th, 2010 @ 8:44pm

    :D

    to think, all this was kicked off by one kid, music and some good molly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Inne ten Have, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    the next step?

    Hi, haven't read all comments, so sorry if I'm saying this for the second or third time ;-)

    I haven been following the same steps as Mike describes above and have done the same with my own work. I believe giving away for free is one of te most powerful ways to empower and motivate people to bring it to the next (desired) level.

    The only thing I miss in this story is that 'things for free' aren't always judged the way we would like. By making a special gift-wrapping (methaphorical speaking) would be something of interest ;-)

    I'm interested in your comments!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    gr3atl10n (profile), Apr 11th, 2010 @ 4:07pm

    I invented Net Visa this way...
    ...perhaps some of my other genius boy ideas are being built, as we speak. Leading the way, or paving it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    The Swedish Terminator, Apr 11th, 2010 @ 8:07pm

    My life in Sweden

    Very nice podcast! Interesting. I´ve got a podcast on: http://don-gerardo.podomatic.com/
    where I tell a little about Sweden and my life there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Apr 12th, 2010 @ 12:52am

    Hey mike if your curious on another first follower try DoctorSteel, his inspiration; Pink Floyd though it takes a riddle solving to know this from his song secret message.

    toysoldiersunite.com

    :) Enjoy Mike... oh and I look forward to you following ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    ControlCalorie, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 12:57am

    I absolutely agree with the speaker in TED. It is the first follower that will create great impression since he had the guts to follow a shirtless nonsense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    David C, Apr 12th, 2010 @ 6:44am

    Accelerando

    The idea of giving away marketable ideas reminds me of the book Accelerando (by Charles Stross). The main character pretty much makes a living giving away ideas every day to people who can execute them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Apr 13th, 2010 @ 3:16am

    AmexSux.com

    "This post is part of the Entrepreneurship series - sponsored by AcceptPay from American Express, a new online solution that lets you electronically invoice customers and accept online payments-all in one place."

    One of the worst things any entrepreneur can do is deal with American Express. Amex's conduct is simply atrocious.

    Everyone should take a look at www.AmexSux.com.

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 - (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      teka (profile), Apr 13th, 2010 @ 5:30pm

      Re: Amexredacted

      “I have the ear of tens of thousands of people in the inventor
      community.” -R.J.Riley

      “If I am in the mood for a bit of fun I stick the phone between my legs and pass gas.” -R.J.Riley

      Speaking only on my own behalf.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Eric Borgos, Apr 13th, 2010 @ 8:46am

    My 10 new business ideas

    After reading this article, I was inspired to post 10 new business ideas to my blog. You can view them at http://www.impulsecorp.com/giving-away-my-new-business-ideas

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    KD, Apr 22nd, 2010 @ 8:32pm

    It's nice, but...

    It's all well and good for Derek Sivers to give away an idea--he's loaded at this point. But what happens if Kuyvenhoven makes loads of money on the idea Dubber gave away? Is Dubber loaded, too? I don't know--if it were me, I'd be ticked off. But maybe it's because I don't have two nickels to scrape together and can't imagine just handing someone a great idea for THEM to be successful with. I guess if everyone involved is okay with the turn of events, it's none of my never-mind!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Dubber, Apr 23rd, 2010 @ 12:35am

      Re: It's nice, but...

      I'd be delighted if Ray made a fortune. How mean would I have to be to begrudge him that?

      I'm not loaded by any means, but I'm on an okay salary at a university. I have ideas all the time. Most people do. I even teach people to have ideas, and while I was doing this 30 day exercise, I averaged a dozen a day. Most of them were crap - but even the good ones are still just ideas.

      I was never going to make this idea or put any further effort into it - so my alternatives were to give it away or throw it away. If I've contributed to culture by telling the world about it - then brilliant.

      If Ray makes a lot of money because he had skill, initiative, drive and the willingness to actually DO something, rather than just talk about it as I did - then to claim some kind of ownership over his work seems absurd to me. He deserves every penny he gets.

      However, of course, he won't. That's not how the site works.

      But the upshot is this: if I keep my ideas to myself, they're worthless. If I give them away, I get a chance to play with the thing I imagined.

      After all - they are... just... ideas.

      You want to pay me for having ideas, I'll sit here and churn them out all day long. Can't think of anything more fun, actually.

      But you ask me to commit to one, sweat night and day over it, spend my own money and time on development and coding (and learning to code!), launching it in the hopes it finds an audience and betting my livelihood on it - then I'll tell you to go find an entrepreneur instead.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Thomas Gapinski, Apr 22nd, 2010 @ 10:27pm

    Cool to see Drupal used...

    Very cool to see Drupal CMS (drupal.org) used for http://mixtapeforyou.com/. Goes to show how free open source software is being used to execute clever ideas.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2010 @ 11:35pm

    hmmmm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This