Ideas are cheap (a.k.a. when I invented Uber and Pinterest)

2009 was, apparently, the year I invented Uber and Uber Pool and Pinterest.

Except, I didn’t.

Cleaning my GDrive today & find this stray note in a doc called “2009 – Notes.”

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ThenĀ I find this:


This was maybe something like what Pinterest now is.

Common, the oft-repeated takeaway is: Ideas are freeeeee, free, free and abundant and thousands of people have the same or similar idea at the same time. There were dozens of people working on the invention of flight around the same time but only the Wright Bros get credit. Same thing with the telephone. Similar thing with this Facebook thing I use right now to distribute this message.

Tim Wu’s great book The Master Switch goes even further with this. It discusses how even when someone does actually take action and execute on an idea, history usually only remembers one person–like Bell and the telephone when there were actually many people working on this innovation at the time. Some of them came before Bell and had working “products.”