Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I worry about Intellectual Property Theft

This is going to be a fun topic. I associate holding one's tongue with keeping something secret. What examples can I give of keeping a secret without failing to keep the secret? We have a lot of family reading these essays, and the biggest secrets and dramas often happen within families.  To avoid any potential for hurt feelings,  what I’m going to do is tell you about something without telling you what the something is, that way the conundrum can be revealed without giving away the bank. You’ll see what I mean.

The conference I attended in San Diego ended last Sunday, and then I stayed with Kelly (as I‘ve mentioned). During that time I came up with 3 truly brilliant ideas – ideas that will make money and contribute to the information profession. I’m serious. These ideas will be revolutionary. But I need to do some research. The ideas are so great they might already have been invented. If they have, then too bad, but I will purchase one from whoever did the inventing because now that I’ve thought about it, these new things are going to be absolutely indispensible. And if my great ideas haven’t already been invented, then I am going to need to find a partner because I do not have the technical skills to create the prototypes. It is also possible that my great ideas are impractical or impossible to create in real life.

 I may have seen The Social Network a few times too many. I have relationships with people who have the skills to construct my great ideas, who might make excellent business partners, but what if they turn out to be the worst business partners in the world? It’s not a good idea to mix money with friendship. But we could be the next great partnership, like all the other great partnerships everyone could get rich and contribute to the profession at the same time. Or something like that. I am conflicted.  I just don’t want to be the person who’s sits around bitter and telling everyone that I was actually the inventor of “The Greatest Library Related iPhone App ever” (TM).

I think I’ve already figured out what I’m going to do. I’ll do some research, sketch out the instructional designs, and objectives and find out if they would work. Then I will approach my friends with contracts and confidentiality and non-competition clauses.  Worst case scenario, I have to take classes and learn to do the coding and data base construction myself. It will take longer but I should learn how to do it anyway.

So, I would say the conference was a success. I remember after the prison library conferences, I would always return to work so excited and full of ideas, and over time the place would wear down my enthusiasm, but I always got the most ideas after spending time with colleagues.  Eventually I may reveal the great ideas, after  I've determined if they are viable. I once came up with a plan to raise children using only sock puppets and I told everyone about it before I'd fully thought it through. Big mistake.
*This post was originally published at The Daily Theme on January14, 2011

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