I’d like to think that there’s a special place in hell for people who credit themselves with the work of others.
We can all agree that if you leave money on a side-walk, it’s likely to disappear before your mind had a chance to persuade your legs to walk on further (which is why I do my damndest to hand money to any waitress/waiter before leaving it on the table). Even if you put your name, contact details, and a supporting ownership statement. So why should you expect anything different when it comes to your ideas, tangible or not?
You’ve spent a great deal of time on your ideas (or maybe not) like you’ve worked hard for your cash (maybe not). But the pain and loss is deeper, cutting to the core.
Maybe the money is replaceable you think, but the idea is gone forever, almost if it’s a living breathing thing with its unique DNA.
The whole internet thing allows ideas to spread like the flu, which is awesome (not the flu, the flu is crap). The downside being it’s also easy to manipulate and alter. Perhaps, you can be comforted by the fact that your expression is good enough for people to want, good enough to take… maybe we fear what we secretly desire?
One could even argue that there are no new ideas, just parts of old ones stapled and bolted together creating some Frankenstein Monster idea.
|Feed My Frankenstein|
The lines are murky. I wouldn’t like to think of myself as an ideas thief. I certainly wouldn’t take any creative expression from another and parade it around as mine with intent. I’d feel like a right soulless, shallow, empty, uninspired douchebag if I did. But what if I did it unknowingly? Do I still reserve my spot in the Eighth Circle of Hell?
If we are moved by something, inspired, or even just subconsciously pick up information; It somehow may seep out into our conscious mind and present itself in our “own ideas” later. Are we still guilty of such despicable crimes?
I don’t know the answer, obviously.
If you are concerned about this happening, maybe you can begin to recognize that if you laid one golden egg, you will lay another without allowing the fear of idea theft to prevent you sharing your own “unique” perception with the world (because, as I’m so fond of reminding everyone, when you’re dead, you’re dead). What good is an idea if it’s locked up with the key thrown away? I also don’t believe it’s necessarily necessary to charge a fortune for your idea. It doesn’t make sense to go from one extreme to an another. People love to say (don’t they so?) “You get what you pay for”, “I don’t believe in giving it away” or some variation of the those.
I was disheartened once when I was listening to CherylRichardson one evening (I love her…in a very platonic way, but she has a super duper radio manner) and she was interviewing James Altucher. He had a new book out, which I’m sure is just the Beez Kneez, but he was offering some sort of rebate scheme where if you buy his book and read it, he will refund you the cost of the book if you can prove to him you’ve read it “because the money isn’t important” but “I don’t believe in giving things away for free”.
Ok fair enough. I don’t believe in bull shit. So, there.
I’ve read loads of free ebooks given away by their authors which offer amazing information at no cost. And yet somehow they manage to make money.
I would also like to express my disdain for websites who seemingly offer great information but only after you MUST enter some sort of detail about yourself. Thank you and good bye. I’m an advocate of the “no strings attached” …….no… the “really, I swear no strings attached “.
If you genuinely want to share something for free, share it. Don’t hold people hostage. If you want, charge, but you’re unlikely to find anyone who gives two pennies if you’re an unknown. They greatest thing to keep in mind as far as I’m concerned and from what I’ve read is, No one cares about you or what you do, we are only interested in how you or your product can solve our problems. Not to be mean or anything. ( I care about humanity and stuff. I even care about my damn neighbors, one of which is guilty of not preventing a stray condom wrapper to fall into my garden this morning. I probably care a bit less now).
There seems to be some association with giving things away and people stealing it, which is insane.
Having said all this, let me be honest and fess up. I have these thoughts. I am guilty of such ridiculousness. I am evolving through the process of “denial of the quality of my work/ no one wants it – people are going to steal it – I’m not giving shit away for free god-damn-it” . It’s going. Takes time.
Ideas come and go. You are not your ideas. (Unless you’re a politician.)
Ideas are energy and they need to flow. Release them in whatever manner best suited to you.
And with that, breathe.
You have just read another tale in “Jenny From the Field” for the small price of a few of your brain cells.