The Value of Ideas

I once read that Nicholas Negroponte insured his laptop computer for $2m, not for the value of the hardware, but for the value of the bits it contained. I was reminded of that factoid when I read the following story:

Why You Should Never Try to Steal a Law Student's Laptop

A thief learned the mistake of trying to steal a law student's laptop last week after after becoming a punching bag for an Arizona State student he tried to rip off. Armed with a baseball bat, the intruder, Gabriel Saucedo, allegedly climbed through an open window into Alex Botsios' apartment, waking the student and threatening to smash his head in...

I love this story because it illustrates how some in the knowledge economy are completely disconnected from the value of ideas. The law student, Alex Botsios, knew that his things could be replaced. Even though he probably had some sentimental attachment to his guitars, he was willing to part with them without complaint. What he could not abide was the loss of his ideas, the theft of work that was entirely cerebral in origin. He put himself at risk and punished his would-be robber for his ignorance.

No comments: