IncuLabs is an INTIGREATOR initiative to promote Open Source Ideation. We believe that the “Open Source” concept should not be limited only to source codes. We believe that ideas should be shared, improved on in collaboration and unleashed to find its way to realisation.
We’re not suggesting to do away with patents, trademarks and copyright protection. Not at all. These are very much still relevant. They are there to protect the rights of individuals, companies or organisations who want to claim exclusivity to their inventions and innovations. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, there are also technologies which should be guarded from landing in the wrong hands.
But there’s also nothing wrong with individuals sharing their good ideas with the public either, if they so choose. There can be many reasons for doing so. It could be because you have a brilliant idea but don’t know how to bring it forward or to realise it. It could be that you just want to get some honest and maybe equally brilliant feedback. It could also be that you just want to share that idea because it just makes sense to share it and benefit the world without the hullabaloo of legal protection and securing profits for investors.
Just as the open source movement in the coding industry has taught us: the community effort beats the individual brilliance anytime. Community brainpower really kicks ass! By the way, crowdsourcing works with the same principle of many tiny contributions building a serious financial force.
Of course, there are some brilliant individuals who are able to tinker around in their garage or bedroom without needing anyone else’s input and come up with earth-shaking stuff but these guys and gals are rare… Aliens with human forms, planted on Earth to benefit Mankind… As for the rest of us, we believe in the strength of numbers, thank you very much!
So, if you have a great idea that you think could benefit the world, let us know. Never mind if it could have been “thought of” before: welcome it because now there are two of you who find the idea a smashing one! If someone can indeed prove to have come up with the idea first and claims intellectual property rights to it, applaud it… and then question it: what’s next? If it’s so brilliant, why can’t we realise it? What’s the stumbling block? Can we help? If two minds are not enough, what about two thousand?
Sharing an idea isn’t so bad. Not unless you have an evil motive. Like hiding, holding back or (worse!) shelving an invention because it disrupts your current technology roadmap which, in turn, affects long-term profits. Or patenting a product without actually producing it but waiting for someone to come up with something which violates your “intellectual property rights” and suing them to bankruptcy. Or leaving your idea locked up in a dusty drawer simply because you are not able to realise it yourself and you don’t know who to get help from or you are not willing to see someone else get hold of your idea.
But, of course, no one does that. Really. Surely no one on Earth is THAT selfish!
So, sharing an idea isn’t so bad. Especially not when we can harness the community effort towards a common good. Won’t that affect profits or even competitiveness? Maybe. In fact, we hope so – for the better! Imagine if you can engage a global network of inventors, innovators, tinkerers and visionaries – all working towards the betterment of mankind – who are more passionate about seeing a great idea realised than receiving a share of your company. With that collective brainpower, you can get your product to market much faster and more accurately addressing your buyer’s needs. All we ask is that you share your fruits with the community – not the profits you make from selling the product using your own channels, but the product itself. With the dizzying advancement of technologies, we are quickly reaching saturation level in terms of what we can truly call unique inventions. But there’s still plenty of room for innovation. There’s a huge playground where we can still discover new applications for products we find today or even the combination of products or their feature sets.
Most inventions and innovations are geared towards business and money-making. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that. But there are so many areas all over the world which will benefit from good and practical ideas which may not necessarily have the best business case. Does this mean we should stop pursuing these ideas? No. But it takes a big heart and a lot of collaboration to achieve this. Take the MaKeyMaKey, as an example. It’s an invention turns “everyday objects into touchpads and combines them with the internet”. The geniuses behind MaKeyMaKey is also behind other similar enabling inventions like Drawdio, Singing Fingers and Scratch. The MakerBot, the 3D printer for small businesses and individuals which is causing a global wave in the world of new technologies, is another good example. These simple but brilliant products enable other inventors and tinkerers to create new stuff. We need more of such cool stuff! The best thing about them? They are clever, they are for the everybody and they make sense.
As Howard Zinn said, “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.“.
We are now working on a platform with our partners to enable such sharing and we welcome like-minded entrepreneurs and pioneers to join us!