This conversation is closed.

How can we make world changing inventions & ideas profitable?

World changing forces, for the most part, require enormous resources to create. Some world changing ideas are lifelong pursuit. However, just because a world changing force is difficult to obtain doesn't make it profitable. I would even argue that most world changing ideas aren't.

Take this fictional example. Imagine, that you discovered a cure for diabetes. You spend decades of your life, most of your life savings, and tons of sweat to discover this cure. The cure? Drinking one half tablespoon of salt in a glass of apple juice a day for exactly 10 days.

Congratulations. You found a way to cure a disease that harms millions. Your reward? Nothing but a special mention in the news. What you wished was a complex cure that would require a $100 pill that someone has to take ever day for a month. What you hoped was a procedure that you could sell your instrument to. What you got was a simple cure that took a lot of effort and research to obtain but has no reward or profit.

  • thumb
    Jul 27 2012: When you start working on something which is going to change the world, you have to accept that the project may not be profitable and may not work at it should be. Therefore, the risk of having your profits expectancy downgraded is permanent. If you found the cure of something horrible, the first feeling is hapiness because you made something that will relieve millions of people and that is the real reward.
  • thumb
    Aug 26 2012: I think world changing ideas are usually profitable. Usually, patents are meant to ensure that opportunists do not reap where they have not sown. A lot of money is spent on research; most scientists and innovators work with administrators who know what to do to protect valuable research.
  • Aug 8 2012: If the objective is to make money, invest in research is a bad idea because nearly 95% of the research does not end in profitable goods. Improve existing goods is less risky and more profitable.
  • thumb
    Jul 28 2012: IN MY VIEW:
    We get what we truly wish for. An inventor/research person is so deep into invention/research they don't think about profitability. They just wish for their work to happen. I guess only way to make an invention or idea profitable will be to have one person working on invention and another on making it profitable right from the beginning.
  • thumb
    Jul 27 2012: Using the power of MARKETING....whether one likes it or not doesn't matter......most brilliant inventions fail to generate money if not marketed efficiently
  • thumb
    Jul 27 2012: If you discovered a simple cure for diabetes or another serious illness, do you really believe you would not feel like your efforts had been dramatically successful and left you with a legacy you can be proud of, even if there were minimal finaancial return from it?

    Aside from the social benefit of your attainment and the intrinsic reward to you, there would be a lot more public attention and solicitation of your skills for new and interesting projects than a blurb in the mewspapare.
  • Jul 27 2012: Some are not doing it for an award. They spent their lives in researching it.
    They do it to solve problems. Their award is the feeling of helping people.
  • thumb
    Jul 27 2012: money is a measure of suck-cess (thanks Mr Zimmerman) for many but, thankfully, not often the motivating factor for many who have world-changing ideas.

    If you want to make money out of an idea, then you need to own the infrastructure around the sale of the idea. See the history of the music industry for example - a bunch of "owners" cashing in on "creator's" talents.