I. WAS. WRONG.

Yesterday I wrote a post about trust.  The main reason I said what I said had to do with the sharing of ideas … and how some people over the years have taken mine or those of our business and run with them or made them their own.  And then something hit me as I was reading Linchpin by Seth Godin tonight.

I have done the same.

Yep.  The guy who has been angry about “stolen” ideas has also been a thief as well.  Much of what I have learned and teach about have come from the words and images of others.  I won my first art contest in 5th grade with a first place ribbon and special award for a sketch of a MAC truck.  An image I copied (not traced) from an older student.  My branding knowledge was learned from reading books, researching articles and conversations with others.  I adapted it and made it my own.

I think we are all “guilty” in some way of this behavior.  We are all inspired by others.  We hear and see things and it’s easy to forget where they may have come from, plus we are shaped by our surroundings.  So I was wrong by my attitude and motive behind my post.

Trust is as important as ever – but – if I never told a person that my idea was sacred or protected, then how could I fault them for this?  If we are in a group brainstorming and there is no mutual agreement about who owns the IP (Intellectual Property) then who are we to blame?  And finally, if we have been shaped by other people’s ideas, opinions, training, conversations, or experiences then can we really claim that anything is original or all our own?

Don’t severe the bond of trust if you know it will do so, but if you are not certain then perhaps make it right if you ever discover it wasn’t your idea.  Just my new two cents…

4 Comments

  1. Brad on February 5, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Great post. I agree that so much of design is building on what other people have started. There would be no evolution of style if we never took inspiration from what’s around us and from other designers. Although I also hate being copied (especially poorly), it’s the combination of everyone’s tastes and ideas that keeps us fresh.

  2. James Dalman on February 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks Brad! Great input and I know you understand being an artist/designer yourself! 🙂

  3. Cory Miller on February 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Glad to read this. I think we can be jealous about our ideas and content but can also go overboard and never release anything for fear.

    The fear of it being copied or stolen keeps a lot of brilliant artists, designers, writers, photographers, whoever from releasing that brilliance.

    And let’s face it, we are a product of every person, book, conversation in our past.

  4. Simon on April 27, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Glad to read this. I think we can be jealous about our ideas and content but can also go overboard and never release anything for fear.

    The fear of it being copied or stolen keeps a lot of brilliant artists, designers, writers, photographers, whoever from releasing that brilliance.

    And let’s face it, we are a product of every person, book, conversation in our past.

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