a shift from stuff to ideas

From NY Times’ roundup of 2007 commencement speeches, Dean Kamen at Bates College:

We’re moving from a world of stuff, from the idea that there’s a finite amount of gold out there, a finite amount of almost anything out there. Throughout all of history, people fought over stuff: land, fuel, stuff. But in your generation, the most value that will be created isn’t stuff anymore. It really is ideas. The Internet is an abstraction, and the value of Google exceeds the value of all the car makers. In a world that’s about ideas, it’s not a zero-sum game. You don’t have to win by someone else losing, where you have the gold or oil or water, and somebody else doesn’t.

(via zachklein)

2 Comments leave a comment below

  1. That’s absurd. Ideas are worthless. Everyone has hundreds of thousands of great ideas during his or her lifetime. Unless you have the gold (e.g. money, talent, time) to do something with the idea, it’s going to remain an idea.

    Sure, it sounds good. But I don’t see how it’s a valid position.

  2. Except the ideas are limited by patents, copyrights, and the lawsuits the follow…