Generators of ideas, unite!
With the “restricted specialists”

Author: Ury Smirnov. Category: Smart world. Date:26.08.2009, 7:22.

This is not the “Manifesto of the creators Party”. The other day I promised to share my thoughts of how online platform of direct sales of ideas may look.

First you need to recognize the “direct sale of ideas” not selling it to the investor, not to the manufacturer but directly to the consumer in the form of the finished product. 🙂 Then you need to create a business mechanism for author ideas easily to “materialize”. Not for months or years, but for the hours and minutes. After all, the real generator of ideas can not devote years even to the most remarkable of them. Or he’ll get bored tomorrow – or he will be forced to undergo an ancient rite of renunciation from the “source of all ideas”, and become a regular manager. (It’s a joke! 🙂

“Why the world does not need my ideas?”

In the XX century, there were three main types of self-realization of people, able to generate new ideas (beyond these variants usually just no one would hear you):

1. or you open your own business (either alone or in partnership with investors, business angels) and implement the idea by yourself;
2. or you make a career in another business (scientific structure) in order to earn the right to implement anything from your ideas at the expense of others;
3. or you patent ideas and live at the expense of the sale of intellectual property.

Unfortunately, all three ways little fit to “ideas generators”. For if their creative nature is not limited with the administrative and market barriers – they are easy to create, and they create a lot. Of course, the “ideas generators” often invent a “bicycle” or give birth to projects, unable to pay off themselves. However, the rigid filter leaves in the sediment so many productive ideas, how many no corporate structure can “digest” (exceptions only prove the rule).

Therefore, the active generator of ideas is not easy for self-actualization in his business or profession. The attempt to bring at least one idea with the help of a patent attorney – is, in fact, the same business project, but even more grueling and it often does not leave forces for anything else.

However, in the near future, the objective factors could create a business environment in which the generators of ideas will feel like a fish in water, and be able to realize its outstanding potential.

“Petroleum” civilization gives way to the “creative” one

Even before the crisis, I predicted the appearance of a powerful layer of remote businessmen (or telebusinessmen) to the end of the next decade. The crisis has only increased the probability of this scenario.

First factor. In recent months, most analysts and observers came to a consensus: there will not be the former “cheap money”, the former consumer boom in the coming years, and possibly decades. “Radicals” even talk about the decline of the economy based on loan interest. “Moderate” discuss the mechanisms that will allow the market to function effectively under conditions of more expensive credits.

In this context, it is quite natural the revival of companies interest to barter. Especially because the modern technology raises it to a whole different level compared to the “dashing nineties”: electronic exchanges allow to collect quickly barter chains, the most beneficial to all parties. I believe that after the crisis the experience of hundreds of electronic stock exchanges around the world will be rethought in a relaxed atmosphere: many businesses will see in their services not only a lifeline in case of force majeure, but also a means to achieve competitive advantages in the emerging markets (in particular, due to the fact that electronic barter at times reduces the need for financial resources and eliminates the need to lend working capital and pay the bank interest).

In short, electronic barter exchanges may take marked place after the crisis in world trade – it’s quite real. And from barter exchanges there is only one step up to the advent of online platforms that allow businesses not only to interact with each other but also to include consumers in their business chains.

The second factor. At the same time the crisis has spurred the spread of teleworks: many employers around the world were forced to transfer employees to remote work. Most likely, they will evaluate the benefits from this form of labor cooperation (as Western business at the time praised the benefits of transfer of production capacities in Asia) and keep it after the crisis. That even more accelerates the erosion of “monolithic” corporate structures and the further spread of telework. And there is only one step from telework to telebusiness.

Actually, this new layer of remote business entrepreneurs is forming now from the most active teleworkers who, even with the usual mobile phone and e-mail manage to create from other teleworkers and traditional assembly, transport and commercial enterprises effective business chains for the development, production and promotion of new product or service. This layer will be the mass, when there will appear Internet-based platforms, allowing to build chains of such business quickly, safely, flexibly and efficiently.

Third factor. Unlike the first two, it is not associated directly with the crisis – it just coincided with it in time. In my opinion, one of the most important results of the technological revolution of recent decades is the appearance, figuratively speaking, of “Big universal constructor”.

Today, without having high power laboratories and scientific base, it is not very difficult to get “high” market of PCs, laptops, net books, smart phones, multimedia gadgets, etc. Take an existing element base, pick up a set of features designed for the target consumer, develop a constructive scheme, design, invent your own “brand” and soon may demonstrate the article to your friends in the computer press: “Another domestic producer entered the market in MP3-players. Assembly, though, as always, is Chinese, but the construction and design are our, domestic ones”.

An even more telling example will be all sorts of unusual and original products and gadgets. Enter the appropriate request to the search engines and enjoy the fireworks of creative, had a free implementation due to the emergence of “Big universal constructor”. It is a set of standardized devices, principles, protocols, etc., which will only expand every year. Consequently, for the generators of ideas zone of opportunities will increase, allowing, without resorting to costly basic and applied research, to combine existing discoveries and developments – and to create quickly products and services with absolutely new consumer features and functions on that basis.

“Absolutely new” is the key definition in this context. In the last century, to release a completely new product, it was necessary to develop a completely new material, technology, means of communication, means of transport, etc. XXI century is not just the age of knowledge; it is the age of ready-to-use knowledge. Today, in order to surprise and capture the buyer it is rather to see a completely new need – and to realize it with means of “Big Universal Constructor”.

Fourth factor. The crisis made ​​to sound louder voices critical to modern patent law (to which joined even the corporation IBM – the world’s largest patent holder). It may be that the patent right will move in time when a “class of telebusinessmen” will begin to form – and the interests of them will be considered by lawmakers.
Fifth factor. Not far off when the robot will be able to compete with the production companies, based on the use of cheap labor. This means that not only Asian manufacturers will be to the services of telebusinessmen, but also flexible mini-plants near New York, Helsinki and Paris, which will be able to provide instantly the ordered goods for the inhabitants of the region – even if it was designed and offered to potential buyers within this morning.

Direct sales of ideas

Let us look to the future – for 10 years ahead. Let us imagine an extreme situation: a stunning idea for a new product came up to a man without a business education and business ambitions. Perhaps the first and last time in his life. Where did he go most likely? In the regional office of the organization, which is the guarantor of the Remote Business System, where he will be registered under his own name.

System is a network of international Internet-based Services that communicate key information about their participants, products, services. Services compete on quality, convenience and reliability of services.

Of course, the System is designed not only for “selling ideas.” With it, traditional products, periodically undergoing minimal improvements will move ordinary in large quantities. But the System puts the idea generators in advantageous position, allowing them quickly “on the fly”, without creating a permanent business and climbing the corporate ladder, “materialize” their projects and receive an increased surplus.

So, the user fills in his profile in the System and posts the idea of ​​a new product (for regular users the service automatically generates accessible to any visitor portfolio of the realized of ideas – both successful and “failure”). User and System isolate the unique features of the idea that will be tracked with module patent protection system (a worthy task for AI developers). This means that during six months no one will be able to register a similar product (service) in any of the System’s services. In principle, it would not difficult to steal your idea and try to implement it outside the System. But without the aid of the System a thief will not be able to find quickly and chained together the best offers for the development, production and marketing of goods. I.e. his product will always be more expensive and it will always be late to the consumer.

Let’s go further. Your idea is automatically included in the catalog, available to any potential buyer in the world in their own language (the second problem for developers of AI). If the goods will be of interest to the public, it immediately begins to grow with the buyer’s requests. You, too, do not sleep: searching in System database engineers, designers, ergonomists, experts in marketing, etc., which will be engaged in product development and promotion (by the way, these professionals will also be looking for you), and also the appropriate production, transport, trade, advertising companies. The System will help you to compare the prices for services, experience, reputations of candidates to your team.

Of course, many of the ideas posted in the System will not be interesting to customers or potential contractors. But if the idea will bring together the business chain and the critical number of customers requests (enough to start production) – these customers will get an offer from the System to pay for goods in advance. And the majority will do it: pricing in the System will be beneficial for first time buyers.

Initially, the prices of goods are minimal, and are close to the cost price. Then, with the growth of requests, they increase to the maximum possible (until a sufficient number of “late” buyers is found who are interested in the product and do not want to wait for lower prices on it). In the end, after the expiry of patent protection other manufacturers will come on the market (with their modifications of your idea) – and from that point the prices will start to fall gently (which could be sooner, if the goods quickly exhaust consumption potential).

The System automatically distributes income to the participants of a business chain (according to pre-specified shares) and pays to the states where they are based taxes and other fees. Everything is transparent. Abuse, including bribery and kickbacks, are not possible.

Author of the idea (and its developers) throughout its life cycle actually receives rent. All that is required from him is to make the initial selection of participants of the business chain, and then – to review periodically production and sales, and, if necessary, to terminate contracts with those who do not fulfill their obligations. But this work “generator” can share with a hired manager, offering him a part of his percentage of the profits.

Thus, a rather active generator of ideas can simultaneously run multiple projects. And, if desired, to invest part of their income in fundamental and applied researches and the production of “super-product” based on breakthrough technologies. And all this – without a legal entity 🙂 and without legal support: The System will take the making standardized contracts with other market participants and monitoring its implementation. If necessary, the interests of participant involved in the chain will be defended in court by the representatives of the System organization-guarantor (which, of course, will also receive a percentage of transactions).

Finally back to the topic of the crisis. Now, many are asking how can one provide the former, pre-crisis level of consumption, to which he is used if the money become more expensive? The System will solve this problem. How?

1. Due to huge savings of resources that are currently spent on maintaining cumbersome and inefficient corporate structures, the shadow economy and corruption. Only those who really are needed to “materialize” idea will participate in the business chains. And only “transparent” System participants and government budgets will “feed” from them.

2. By better meeting the real needs of people. To convince people that their needs are met can be manipulated by advertising. Huge resources are spent for this, but needs really remain. Therefore it is better to give consumers more choice. Better for business and for society.

3. In a much better use of energy of creative people.

What about today?

Any scenario of the future – it’s just its remote version. What can created today services owners borrow from the proposed System?

I would suggest that they pay attention to the topic of building business chains. If you post an idea on your service, you can offer interface of interaction not only to potential buyers or investors. Give the opportunity to join the author of the idea to anyone who might want to realize it. In one case, it will be, for example, an engineer and designer, in the other – a programmer, marketer and lawyer.

Command presence immediately very increases the chances of the idea to be “materialized”. Put yourself at the place of the investor. It is one thing when he need only to invest money in the project, and quite another – when he will also have to take on himself the headache of finding the right specialists and project management. Moreover, the presence of the team will help to save some resources: members of the team are not employees. They can work for free, with a pocket-sharing agreement of future profits.

Associated inspiration to your projects!

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