Business Life Thoughts

About Sharing Ideas and Idea Theft

When it comes to ideas, I see things quite differently.

Over a decade ago, I thought up this illustration of where I think ideas come from, and how they manifest in the real world. So go with me for a moment here…

Imagine that there’s a big pool of ideas up there somewhere, and God stirs this pool from time to time, to dish out ideas. Whenever it’s time to bring an idea into this world, he releases that idea into the minds of people in the world. Imagine it like throwing a hand food if seeds on fertile ground… the seeds are one idea (like seeds of one fruit) and the ground are human minds.

Each seed that finds the right conditions, will produce the same fruit. That is, same idea, but from different minds or by different people. Differences in soil and weather conditions could make some grow differently from the others. The consequence in the real world are ideas getting mixed and improved upon.

But now one seed says “oh, I’m the first to be plated, therefore I’m the only one and should be the only one”. That’s basically how some people sound when they get an idea and feel entitled to that idea. Several to many others have the same idea, with or without your permission or knowledge. So take a chill pill!

So for a long time now I’ve understood that an idea does not solely belong to those who receive or think of it. But an idea belongs to the first person who is able to implement it. Even at that, my illustration above shows that though you could be the first to implement, it does not stop others from doing similar or the same.

So when God needs an idea to come into reality, the seeds are disbursed, waiting for the one who will bring that idea into life. If you delay in bringing that idea to life, someone else who is ready, will execute that idea… with or without your permission, whether you like it or not, and whether you’re aware or not.

I worked with a guy last year who was pissed when I learned that someone used his idea. I asked why he was so pissed, and he said the other guy “stole” his idea. But then I asked him… this so called idea of yours, where did it come from? Didn’t you also get (or steal) it from someone else as well? Everything is a remix!

Sharing Ideas

One thing I’ve learned from sharing and discussing ideas with people is that ideas multiply. When we share or discuss ideas with others, our ideas multiply as both ideas copulate to give birth to other ideas.

I remember taking an idea to someone, and leaving with 2 extra ideas. That wouldn’t have happened if I horded my idea all to myself. This happened 3 times in ONE week, on different ideas that I shared with different people. Indeed, two heads are better than one.

Knowing that I do not have the resources or time to birth an idea, I should not be selfish and hoard an idea all to myself? And thereby prevent someone else who can, from actually implementing that idea? That is a typical definition of “enemy of progress”. As much as I would like recognition for an idea, who brings that idea to life is sometimes irrelevant to me. What matters more to me is that the idea comes to life.


What do you think about sharing ideas and idea theft? Please share in the comments section below. Thanks