Doc Searls has a very convincing argument as to why collaboration is better when developing ideas, with a list of ten ideas about ideas. Doc is a major member of the Linux community and very fond of the Open Source movement, so it’s no surprise most of his list gravitates toward the thinking that ideas are best when developed by a lot of people. Here are my two favorites from the list:
- Ideas aren’t physical. Regardless of the legalities, treating ideas as possessions insults their vast combustive power. Jefferson put it best:
The moment [an idea] is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.
- Ideas have unexpected results. No one person can begin to imagine all the results of a good idea. That’s another reason to welcome participation.
While a lot my writing on this blog has to do with developing ideas, this is a great post for understanding the value of expanding on an idea or concept with interraction. I might add that one of the reasons why the Open Source community has done so well is because of the collaboration and how everyone can participate in its growth and direction. This feeling of belonging and participation is a much stronger bond than being paid to do something. Not to mention the fact that you get to watch your idea grow organically, possibly beyond what you originally thought it could.