Allow passion to forge the way
I am sure that many will have choked on the coffee reading that I suggest “death to patent laws”, but with any bold vision, bold moves precedes it.
Why do you think it is that people are suspicious of Big Pharma, GMO’s (gene modified organisms), AI (artificial intelligence), surveillance technologies, etc? Peter Diamandis in episode 19 of his Podcast with Dan Sullivan “Exponential Wisdom” (well worth to follow if you want a glimpse in to the future) made the claim that Hollywood was to blame for people’s fear of technology; on account of all the movies portraying tech as evil. I am not sure if it was tongue and cheek, but it caught my attention. Who can forget “Open the bay pod doors Hal!” “I am sorry Dave. I am afraid I cannot do that”; puts you on the fence regarding AI, does it not? Consider that “2001: A Space Odyssey” came out in 1968, so the indoctrination has been going on long before AI was even a reality in our every day lives. Hollywood has certainly played its part, but, it is deeper than that.
Corporations are driven by the societal notion of success; “MONEY”. Money is a great instrument to achieve what you set out to do, but it is a detriment to the relationship between governments, companies, organisations and people when it is encouraged as the main purpose and goal. It breeds mistrust. Anyone who’s followed my blog knows that I base my entire life around “Making Passion Humanity’s Priority”. That is my “Massive Transformative Purpose” (again, thank you Mr. Diamandis for the input). Money is a means to an end, not the end goal itself. I firmly believe that passion is the goal we need to shift our focus to in terms of setting goals. With passion/happiness as our new success measure we will see organisations brimming with ideas and happy employees. I think you can visualise the benefits to society as a whole after changing to this focus. I am not being avant garde in my approach; Dubai has a Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing and then you have Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index, replacing their Gross Domestic Product. Change the incentives from money to happiness and watch the domino effect.
Quantitative goals create a mentality of fear that pours down the organisation and really only serve to satisfy the investors. Times are a changing though. With the emergence of organisations, such as B Corp, Future Fit, et al, that measure a company’s success mainly on the quality of their citizenship, qualitative goals are starting to creep into the fore of corporations. Venture Capital funds, Hedge Funds, Investors, etc. are also being measured by the same stick by these organisations, which will put the pressure on corporations to follow suit.
As put forward by Peter Diamandis, when industries are disrupted they go from being Digitised to the Deceptive phase (i.e. does not look like a disruption) to Disruption being a fact, which in turn Demonitises, Dematerialises and Democratises the sector (he calls the the “6 D’s”). The biggest obstacle for disruption (and sometimes the cause of it) is Patent Law. Governments are enabling industries to not be transparent, come across as greedy and evil. The “old paradigmers” will say that without patent laws we will have no innovation. Bah humbug, just look at the crowd sourcing of technologies that is going on right now on, e.g. GitHub. I would argue it is in the interest of the corporations to collaborate through crowd sourcing; it is good citizenship. The development time will shorten, the cost diminish, acceptance of the tech will be broad and you have transparency. Lest we forget the amount of money saved protecting a patent. According to a study by Morrison Forester $3.3 Billions were spent on IP (Intellectual Property) litigation in 2019 (https://media2.mofo.com/documents/benchmarking-ip-litigation-2019.pdf). The company will then use its organisation to manufacture/deploy the product/service. They will develop their own specialities to differentiate themselves. Possibly, companies will be built around infrastructure and data. The fact that they cannot patent the technology, will drive them to come up with the next big thing they can be first to market with. It will drive collaboration at every level. Hence, I argue that getting rid of patent laws will disrupt innovations and we will see an exponential growth in innovations as crowd sourcing drives the innovation on a very large scale. Yes, you will have to get the USA, Canada, Japan, China, EU, Russia, etc. to all agree to disbanding patent laws all at the same time and agree that any company that wants to trade in these areas to comply with opening up their technologies. Might be a tall order, but so was controlled manned flight prior to December 17, 1903; difficult, but not insurmountable.
The only reason we do not like Monsanto running their GMO’s right now is that they are driven by profit and there is not insight into their activities, hence you have the whole movement against them. Encourage Monsanto to use bio hackers across the globe through open source collaborations to come up with better ways to create crops that can meet the food demands of the future. If something does not seem right with the process, it will be fixed and not overlooked in favour of improving the bottom line. The same goes for Big Pharma. The opioid crisis in the USA at the moment is a perfect example why we cannot trust them, they are driven by profits. What would happen if Monsanto was truly driven by “feeding the world healthy nutritious food” and Novartis was truly driven by “healing the world”. You’d see Monsanto focus on creating safe products that truly help and Novartis would focus on keeping people health as opposed to padding the symptoms when they are sick. As a side note, Big Pharma won’t be an issue in about 10 years as genetics take over and people can manage their own health. Pharma will custom made based on your genetic make up and insurance companies will change their model to help you stay healthy. In the whole healthcare sector, they are probably the only ones that have financial incentives to keep you healthy and out of hospital and off of drugs.
I put the blame for our mistrust in GMO’s, Big Pharma, AI, etc. squarely at the feet of governments and companies themselves. They have simply been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar of lying one too many times to be trusted. There are solutions and you better get on the band wagon before someone disrupts you.
Follow your passion and money will follow.
Also published on Medium.