Do VC’s, angels, and businesses hold the future hostage because they lack imagination?
From some of the FD discussants, it appears that the venture pattern is: First you develop an organization, then you look at several concepts for a viable one on which to base your venture. As a consequence, the product concept is usually very simple and often is an imitation of what someone has already done. So you are really just defining your competition and proposing how you can do it better. But do you yet know how you can do it better?
What I don’t see is someone, a venture capitalist, angel, or business recognizing a truly unique and important concept, doing a marketing study, and then developing an organization to bring it to fruition.
Several of you have revealed the real issue, which I need to spell out.
Rob Gropper has experienced the situation I am in.
It seems to me that what comes first, the idea or the business group to support it, is a little like what came first, the chicken or the egg.
I don’t mean to demean the imagination that ventures have used to see the possibilities of their ideas. The successful ones have made a lot of money. But I do feel that many of the ideas ventured could have come from brainstorming sessions. They are based on combining ideas that already exist or can easily be foreseen.
My situation is somewhat different. I am a mathematician who has been working for twenty years so far on a method and computer program that I call the Explainer. The Explainer extends the capacity of humans to solve the many complex problems they are now unable to solve. I believe, some might consider naïvely, that a computer method to solve these problems might lead to less chaos and hostility, thus creating a more harmonious world. Sometimes it takes the naïve to tackle problems that others feel can’t be solved. I qualify.
In my defense, I have developed other methods that have been used to solve problems that others had not been able to solve. One of these, the DSM, is now the subject of annual international conferences. The 17th was last month.
I believe that much of the trouble we are seeing in the world today is due to our inherent inability to solve the problems in society that we are faced with.
I have been able to propose solutions to a number of problems that have Congress in conflict, or show them how the problems can be reframed so they can more easily be negotiated.
But I am facing a catch-22. No one seems to be interested in looking into this unless they first see it applied to a problem that everyone can see the value of. But no one would make that effort if they don’t look into it. Illustrious examples have not been adequate. No one believes in the consequences of a method they don’t understand. So it behooves me to make it understandable. I am working on that.
At 83 years old, I am overwhelmed at the work that has yet to be done. So I am looking for other participants in this effort.
The Explainer method could be put up on the web where people familiar with a problem could collaborate to solve it. A charge could be made based on the size of the collaborating group and the amount of time they use.
However, I would look for colleagues who would be motivated by both the social good they could achieve as well as the money they could make.
I suppose I have several choices on which I would like some advice. I could turn it over to a company such as Google to take it on. Or I could go for a joint effort through sweat equity. Or I could publish it in the hope that someone will take it on. I am more interested in the social benefits than the money, although I wouldn’t object to earning money that my children would inherit.
I am within days of finishing up a comprehensive description of how the Explainer works and would be willing to share it with whoever is interested in pursuing it.Donald V Steward firstname.lastname@example.org