We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
– H. L. Mencken
We all love our own ideas. But they are not as valuable as we think. If you try to raise money from investors based on the strength of an idea, you’ll quickly see how little the market values ideas.
Many of us have had the experience depicted in the cartoon. If you read about the history of almost any technology, you’ll find that many breakthrough ideas occurred to several people independently around the same time. I think 5 people lined up behind Alexander Graham Bell to patent the telephone. Leivnz and Newton are usually both credited with the invention of calculus. Charles Darwin had delayed publishing his “Origin of the Species” because he feared the repercussions, but changed his mind when it looked like someone else had come to the same conclusion and would publish first.
The market values the action, products, sales etc that comes from ideas – but not the ideas themselves. And usually when ideas get loose in the real world, they don’t survive unless they change, adapt, morph, evolve etc. It’s the result of the changed idea that produces value.