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Monday, December 26, 2011

Howard Aiken

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas.  If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."

American Professor/Computer Engineer
1900 - 1973

Writers sometimes worry about someone stealing their ideas or their work.  And while this may happen from time to time, it is not as prevalent as people might think.  In fact, truly original ideas are almost never stolen because nobody believes in them.  Today the Impressionists painters are celebrated throughout the world, but in their day there were considered failed artists.  Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime and that was to his brother.

Today the light bulb is taken for granted, but in the late 1800's most people would have thought you were crazy if you told them that you came from a world lighted by electricity and light bulbs.  In fact, Thomas Edison originally developed the light bulb to light baseball fields. 

Howard Aiken knows of what he speaks.  He was the conceptual designer in 1944 behind the Mark I computer originally called the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator.  Think about what it would take to sell the concept of a computer when it had not even been invented.  Nobody would steal the idea.  You would have to ram it down their throats.

What truly original ideas do you have?  Don't worry if nobody believes your idea will work.  That only means it must be original and only you can bring the idea to life.  Don't live in fear of someone stealing your ideas.  Live in fear that you will not give birth to an original idea.