Trade secrets

During the destructive years of the dark ages, Europeans lost the art of glass blowing. It took several hundred years before tradesmen from Venice, Italy regained these techniques. The Venetian Merchant Fleet, who controlled the Mediterranean, monopolized the industry by banning the import of all foreign glass and exiled all the glassblowers to the island of Murano – effectively controlling the means of production.

This model of discovering and coveting was perfected during the industrial age: own the factory and get rich.

But when the World Wide Web came along it changed everything. Ideas became cheap. Because now we are connected to three billion people. The factory became the laptop and access is for anyone with 500 bucks.

In the age of connection, it’s no longer about who owns trade secrets rather who is sharing them. So when someone pirates your song, this is a good thing. It means someone out there has taken the time to find you. Your ideas begin to spread. And if it’s good, we’ll trade something for more of it.

The mistake people make today is thinking they can keep an eye on things. But there are no more islands to hide on. Monopolies don’t work anymore. The record industry is proof of this. And soon the movie industry will follow. Collaboration is on the rise. Look at Linux, or Kickstarter, or YouTube.

So let go. Loosen your grip. Give us what you have to offer. Don’t be afraid to let someone take your ideas. Sharing is what brings us closer together.