Everyone will steal your idea. All the big industry players will hijack the vision. And that is why you have not started that business. Possibly, you may never start. And the world will continue to move on.
You fear your typist. You fear the graduate. You fear everyone. Then, you fear yourself.
Get a life, there is nothing new in this world. Pythagoras, Faraday, etc invented everything long ago. We are just combining them more efficiently using legal systems to make money. If Euclid had patented geometry and al-Khwarizmi Algebra, in perpetuity, we would not have computers and cellphones. That the world allowed us to monetize their ideas and inventions primarily to unlock capital should not make you feel most things are new.
Yes, innovation = invention + commercialization.
The men that pioneered most things died poor. Most of their families could not even afford graves for them. They were inventors and they invented. Yes, inventing things or coming up with ideas do not make you rich. It is innovating on things that do.
There was a time when the world was full of ideas but no products and services. They fixed that by making it possible for those with money to bring them to commercialize things [they gave the capital to those with ideas, making it possible that ideas became products and services]. Simply, the world invented the patent system to make it possible that capital can flow to commercialize ideas. The U.S. awarded the first patent to Samuel Hopkins on July 31, 1790.
With capital secured via patent, the inventions move to innovations. And the world economy grew. With that growth, human welfare improved.
Gross World Product (notice the bump after the patent system began)
Technology penetration or diffusion has been a catalyst to this global economic redesign. Technology anchors innovation which typically drives productivity gain. Before 1500 AD, the world was largely an inventive society with so many ideas but little products and services for people to buy. Of course, during that period, the world experienced great scientific discoveries, demonstrating that mere expansion of scientific output does not necessarily give rise to improvement in the welfare of citizens.
Abu al-Khwarizmi, the Father of Algebra, had lived centuries before (780 to 850 AD), pioneering modern Algebra. Yet, in Baghdad, the land was poor.
Critically, nothing is really new. That you put Euclid equations on Python or C++ does not make it any better. That we allow you to patent that modification does not mean the world is stupid. Simply, that is the only way to get men with money to release it, to innovate on that idea, so that market needs are met. If not, no commercialization and we would have a society of ideas but no product [hello Nigeria].
The deal is not just the idea. The deal is executing that idea. Everyone knows that Nigeria needs electricity, good roads, nice bridges, faster Internet, etc. That you know that does not make you special. The question is really ‘Who can make them happen?”
Now, get out of that fear. Go out and begin. Connect with right people, you would be fine. And where you feel there are reasons to protect the ideas, visit the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and get the necessary protections via patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc. We have them in the nation.
---Will you join me at Tekedia Business Webinar? $15 (or N5,000). Click and register here.
---Visit our Store for my books, cases, notes, etc. Now, enjoy our consolidated subscription for all contents (past, present and future).
-- We offer Advisory Services (tech, strategy & Africa).