Madhav Krishna

This conversation is closed.

Making ideas "open source"

Let's make ideas free from the constraints of intellectual property laws and make them open for sharing. I propose the creation/development of an Open Ideas Initiative -- inspired by the Open Source Initiative. Ideas should be free for redistribution, derivation and production.

Check out my attempt at this at

Will this be possible within all fields? For instance, in the field of biomedial/pharmaceutical engineering -- do patents on molecules/compounds hold the key to monetization for drug companies?

Closing Statement from Madhav Krishna

Thanks all for your comments!

I believe that profits are made through action, not thought. A great idea may be rendered worthless by a poor implementation, and a mediocre idea be rendered great by an effective implementation. However, the sharing of ideas facilitates innovation -- new technology, art and design are borne off the "meeting and mating" of different ideas -- that is what I am trying to facilitate.

If you would like to carry this discussion forward, or take part in creating an 'Open Ideas Initiative', feel free to email me at

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    Feb 21 2011: I think this is a wonderful idea! (I did just try to sign up at your site but there's some sort of error and my subscription won't go through - I'll try again later.) As both a writer and a proponent of opensource learning, I believe there's a way to balance open sharing with some copyright protection. But I'm all for people freely accessing my writings in some way. And with respect to science and medicine, I think it's vital that ideas be freely available for others to build upon and further develop. My 18 year old son and I have conversations about this all the time - he's a huge open ideas supporter, contributing regularly to SourceForge ( , which is an excellent example of idea redistribution and redevelopment. I know there has to be a balance somewhere, between monetization, copyright and patent protection and free access to knowledge and the freedom to invent. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm behind it, whenever we find it!
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    • Jul 8 2011: It's the execution of the idea that counts.
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    Feb 22 2011: An interesting piece on the related idea of "open innovation":
  • Feb 20 2011: Totally agree with you!