Selling Creativity
Wed, 19 May 1999 11:46:31 -0600

jonwill wrote:

"The profit motive as facilitated by the patent system promotes private research efforts. It would be interesting if someone could devise a way to increase such efforts."

The patent system has been a good way to ensure that inventors are rewarded for their efforts, and it has provided incentive for people to invest time and money on the research necessary to create new inventions. However, the patent system was created before the Internet, and the Internet allows for more effective ways of rewarding creative people and thus promoting greater creativity.

I would like to see the development of a system where creative individuals can sell their ideas through the Internet. Those looking for ideas to buy could read brief descriptions of the idea and could then pay to access more details. Those selling ideas would decide how much they want to sell the details of their idea for and how they want the price to change over time. Of course, anyone would still be able to get a patent on their ideas; I'm just thinking about a system for actually marketing and making money on ideas.

Lets say I came up with an invention that I know several competing companies would be interested in. These companies could be notified of the idea and also of the fact that their competitors are being offered the chance to buy the idea also. I could sell my idea to all companies interested, or I could allow them to bid against each other, and I could sell my idea to the highest bidder, with the agreement that I will not disclose the idea to others for a certain period of time. I see many different possibilities for making money off ideas.

The full details of such a system have yet to be worked out by me, but I anticipate the development of companies which market ideas for creative people. Anyone could contribute ideas, and as the company sold the ideas, they would make money for themselves and their clients. It seems like this would be an effective way to promote creativity among humans.

I would appreciate any comments you have on this idea.

the creative potential of humans is greatly undervalued

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