Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monetizing an ἰδέα

Plato said that an idea is "perfect, eternal, and immutable" (Refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idea)
I simply disagree.

Here is a story of my two grandfathers.
My paternal grandfather -- an engineer in late 1800's; was the Port Commissioner of Chittagong, Bangladesh; loved the English; retired and had an idea of delivering milk via pipeline to homes (pre-pasteurization era); partnered with a German spy; lost his wealth in his idea; and died a pauper.

My maternal grandfather -- born into a famous family in North Calcutta; most of his life he was a freedom fighter and a resident philosopher; had an idea to implement "Metric system" in India; which he petitioned for and won after India became independent; never asked for money for any of his ideas; and died a pauper.

Two men -- Two ideas. One idea had a sense of eternal as Metric system stuck in India (Thank Goodness), however the idea was neither perfect nor immutable (because we have other measurement systems such as bytes getting into the cultural lingua). The other idea was certainly imperfect and not eternal but was immutable (that milk via delivery will not work -- that hypothesis has not changed).

When I look at the future of work (Refer to http://sloanreview.mit.edu/special-report/video-a-billion-brains-are-better-than-one/ and work processes -- What I see is iterative change is the new Black; What I hear is that collaboration is the new plurality.

Currently, VCs and other financing houses monetize isolated and singular ideas or memes. If our work is changing from singularity to plurality, from personal excellence to collaboration, then who and how do we reward the "social" processes and ideas?

How can we monetize an evolution?

Any suggestions?