They Stole My Idea!

EarthAid.net stole my idea! Seriously. So why am I happy instead of mad? Because ideas are worthless.

I’ve had the idea for their site for years, even building half-functioning prototypes and mockups. I have thoughts about it at least once a month, but I’ve never taken the time to get it built. While I’d love the site for myself, it hasn’t been a big enough priority for me to build.

But these Earth Aid punks come and built a site in the time I’m sitting on it. Bah! I had the idea long before they launched and it was largely the same.

So why am I not suing them? They came up with the idea independently. See, ideas are not just cheap, they’re worthless. People have ideas all the time; brilliant, unique ideas. What matters is how you act on it, not how much you think. Until you act on an idea, it should be seen as you would a piece of lumber or a box of legos. There is potential, but it takes skilled builders.

In the same way, most venture capitalists won’t invest in an idea alone. They want to see a prototype or know that there’s a strong team who can build the idea into something useful (sellable). Its all well and good to have an idea, but you have to be able to implement.

That’s why I’m excited to find Earth Aid. While their site isn’t exactly what I wanted, they’ve done some things I wouldn’t have thought of. More importantly, I don’t have to build it; I get to use it today. While I would have loved to see my exact idea come to fruition, there’s no use lamenting. Had it been a big enough priority for me, it would have been done years ago. Being upset about them being first would only serve to deflect that I could only blame myself for not doing it.

Earth Aid seems to be doing great things. I wish them well, and am excited. Now if only they would support my local utility…

Photo of Daniel Morrison

Daniel founded Collective Idea in 2005 to put a name to his growing and already full-time freelance work. He works hard writing code, teaching, and mentoring.

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  1. elmany@gmail.com
    Manuel
    October 15, 2010 at 17:24 PM

    Hi,
    I felt the same for the amazon Kindle… You wont believe me but I “invented” it almost 15 years ago! I still have drawing of it and specs of functionality, it’s practically the same, mine is identical to Kindle 2… but as you, I only did drawings of it. I fill ok because I didn’t act on my idea, and my daughter, now 18, said to me that I’m ahead of my time most of the time… :-)
    Lesson to learn: Act! not only think!