Hypothesis: Inventors who create humanity significant inventions serve themselves and humanity better by gifting their inventions to all of mankind.
It’s a philosophical question as to whether an invention that might save millions of lives should be given away so that all humanity might benefit. Or to pursue the capitalist dream and retain control of production such that the invention can be sold for billions of dollars.
On one hand the inventor would be considered a philanthropic savior in the company of people listed below. Any wealth that might accumulate would come from the reciprocal giving that would take place, the Nobel prize (perhaps), the speaking engagements, the notoriety and the accolades.
On the other hand, retaining control and doling out the invention’s product to the highest bidder is simply “good” business. An avaricious avenue to be sure but no different from the millions of other capitalists who have come before.
So, which would you choose?
Let’s say you’ve invented a source of nearly free energy (NFE). Nearly free energy could singlehandedly save millions of lives, lift millions of lives up from poverty, give millions of lives an opportunity to to contribute to humanity’s progress. NFE, if your invention is truly real and effective, would change the course of history more so than the microchip or microbiology. The impact of NFE cannot be accurately predicted the extent is so great.
So, what will you do? Gift your invention to humanity? Or attempt to capture the billions, nay, trillions of dollars it might represent in profit if commercialized by you and you alone?
So choose. Choose wisely.
If NFE is truly a possibility only history can accurately judge you.
Some of the important inventors who gave their inventions away:
• Galileo Ferraris – Physicist, Pioneer of Alternating Current Systems
• John Dobson – the Dobsonian telescope, gave his invention away to all to use it
• Tim Berners-Lee – The Web
• Linus Torvalds – Linux
• Vint Cerf – co-investor of TCP/IP – gave it away.
• Jonas Salk – inventor of the polio vaccine – gave it away for free.
• Dr. Willem Johan Kolff – the inventor of the first clinically effective dialysis machine freely gave his invention away and,
• Belding Scribner – Scribner could have become a multimillionaire but instead gave his invention away and by so doing saved millions of lives in different corners of the world.
• Nikola Tesla – gave away almost all of his royalties on future inventions