On the Ownership of an Idea

Malcolm Gladwell has an article in the Newyorker titled “Creation Myth” that highlights how an idea, to be successful, has to be owned by different people who are good at doing different things to the idea. For example, the idea of personal computer and its peripherals – the central theme of the article, had many takers:

  • The one who conceptualized or thought of the idea – Douglas Engelbart.
  • The one who had an initial first implementation of the idea – Xerox PARC centre
  • The one who took the idea further and improvised it and made it much more usable – Apple.

So, who the credit goes to? As he says, the truth is complicated. 🙂 Each of these steps is/was critical to the ultimate success of idea. The things that failed should not be discarded because they pave the path for the success.


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