I have ideas. Lots and lots of ideas.
And I’m getting better at it all the time. I used to think that having ideas was something of a gift, but now I realize that an idea is practically worthless if it can’t “get to market”, so to speak—if it can’t be made into a reality. So I’ve learned (the hard way) to be unimpressed with most of my ideas, as they show no particular potential for greatness.
But then there are those ideas that remain—those that keep coming back to the surface as undeniably powerful and timely. Some of them are ideas that could fix what ails us if I could only get large numbers of people to give them the attention they deserve. And others are ideas that could make a bajillion dollars if only I had the funds to get them to market.
So get the moneymakers to market, Jack, and fund the rest from your profits! What are you waiting for?!
Oh, believe me, I’ve thought of that! The sad reality is that to get them to market without losing ownership of them, I’d have to have several thousand dollars each to get them patented. And then, patents in hand, I’d have to sell them, license them, or find investment capital to bring them to market myself. Even if I had the patents, the effort to take these projects to the next step would itself require further funding. No matter how brilliant his idea, a man’s still got to eat while he works!
So, ironically, I simply can’t afford to have these ideas!
I could just chalk it all up to dreaming, just like some less-eccentric counterpart of mine someplace probably has lottery dreams that he knows will never come true. He figures, “Well, there’s no harm in dreaming!”
But the ideas I’m talking about aren’t mere dreams for mammon; they aren’t about lifestyles of the rich and famous. No, they’re about improving things in the world in which we live. They’re about aspiring to be better people, and to hand off the world to our children a little (or a lot) better than it was when we found it.
Even the ideas that aren’t about making money require money to get into the “market of ideas”. Just getting the word out is an expensive proposition. And the ideas with revenue-generating potential…. Well, that old saying, “it takes money to make money”, was penned by someone who know what he or she was talking about.
So here I sit, wondering: What’s a fellah to do when he’s got an idea that the world sorely needs, but that he can’t afford to bring to reality?
Anybody have an idea?