I said it first, “Quote, Unquote”

By Jeff Bowman

I think sometimes that someone has stolen my idea, my words, even my thoughts.

I once dreamed that a product I invented, at least in my mind,  appeared months later on a store shelf, and I became preoccupied trying to figure out how my nightly brainwaves were confiscated.

Is there anything that is really a unique thought, something that no one, anywhere has ever thought before?

I regularly tell business clients to develop a unique selling proposition to differentiate themselves from their competitors.  Some have difficulty grasping the concept of “unique”  let alone a word phrase or value offering.  Maybe it is because unique is an ideal rather than something that is tangible.

I would love to think that someday my unique words or ideas will be quoted, like those of famous people.  Maybe I’ll find my 15 minutes of fame in an acceptance speech, or a politician’s address, a text book,or  in my case maybe a comic book. More likely, I will find my fleeting fame where millions of others are currently enjoying theirs, on the Internet, in a tweet, or a link to something I’ve written or said, perhaps measured in seconds rather than minutes.

Hundreds of years ago, those deep thinkers, explorers and Machiavellian masterminds,  who had access to the pen or press were allowed to lay down and lay claim to originality, unique thoughts and create a legacy that would live on forever. Fast forward, to today, the computer generation, billions of people with billions of thoughts accessing billions of blogs, and writing innumerable pages of ideology.

How does a person know any more if their thoughts have been previously recorded? If it is the first time I have thought it, said it or written it, it must be mine, right?

I thought I coined words like “Turtling” to describe a guy who covers up in a hockey fight back in 1973, and “technical velocitization” to describe the process of speeding up technology when I was in high school in the 80’s.  I thought I was the first guy to freeze coffee and eat it with a spoon 20 years ago. Did I get credit for any of these original ideas? Nope.

Next time I try to think about unique positioning statements, or credit myself for a singularly wonderful thought, I will temper it with the proviso that it is unique to me.

Any unique thoughts of your own?

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1 Comment

Filed under Jeff Bowman

One response to “I said it first, “Quote, Unquote”

  1. So true, happens to me all the time. I have so many deep thoughts and ideas! I think from now on, we need to patent our ideas as soon as we have one.

    By the way, I am changing careers and becoming one of those people that process patents!


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