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Give it away, give it away, give it away now!

January 9, 2019

If, like me, you lived through a Red Hot Chilli Pepper concert in the 90’s and saw Flea with his kit off you will be able to place the pop culture reference in my title.  If you weren’t, no matter, it’s not really relevant anyway, it just reminded me of what I want to talk about and that’s Intellectual Property.

I’ve started the New Year with a dilemma and I want to let some ideas flow onto this virtual paper as a way of me exploring how I really feel about this and (maybe) providing you readers with some light entertainment.

The giving away of what appears to be ones intellectual property for free (or very cheaply) as a business model.

You may be wondering how that can be a business model when there is no business to be had when everything is free?  Well I’m guessing it has something to do with the cult of celebrity and the hope that their rising profile and follower count will eventually lead to a big pay-day somehow and somewhere.

misty forest

Anyway…

I feel a bit weird about it all to be honest. It’s not that I’m adverse to sharing or not monetizing the knowledge that I personally have.  I’ve been writing this blog for free for long enough now for that (hopefully) to be apparent and while, yes, the blog does serve as a bit of advertising for my consulting,  it’s actually a fact that the bulk of my paid customer base over the last ten years haven’t found me through my blog at all, it’s been more of a word of mouth, industry type of thing which is nice but it does somewhat prove that I could have just kept my mis-spelt words and wacky intellect to myself and used my time to walk more or talk to my dogs. I digress…

So the weirdness I feel is centred on what is turning out to be the theme of my life really, my one-woman quest to try to encourage people to place more value on their resources than they currently do.  For me this spans all things from environmental resources such as palm oil to personal resources such as your time and energy. Somewhere in between all of that is the huge amount of value that I place on the scientific method, slow and deep thinking and the art of paying attention.

leaves

To sum up the weirdness I feel about all of this giving away of everything is that for me it kind of flies in the face of all that I value, not because of the act of giving, I think we should give more, I truly do (is she just contradicting herself a bit here???), more that I fear we are dumbing everything down and commoditising what should be a really beautiful learning process and that this has become a particularly popular thing to do thanks to the addictive aspect of social media that is ‘the cult of celebrity’ and ‘promise of easy money’.

But then I ponder on again, maybe I’ve missed something here. Maybe these people don’t have the same relationship with knowledge that I do?  It’s highly possible that is the case…

It is true that not all Intellectual Property is created equally.  I might go into the lab and find that this goes with that and creates something nice and the whole process have taken me next to no time, as a bit of creative fun. I could then quite happily share that with my online friends, as a comment in a group of specialists or on my Instagram feed with a nice picture.  My sharing is about the here and now, what you see is what you get and the rest is up to you.

But it doesn’t work like that for me.

Sure I go into the lab for five minutes and throw some things together and sometimes they work out great but my five minutes has been underpinned by foundations that span 21 years of trial and error, that have chemistry and application knowledge, that intimately know the supply chain and the problems that can come up, that understand scalability and process flow, that have an intricate knowledge of costing, margins and return-on-investment and not just for one brand, for many.  I understand the legal framework albeit not as thoroughly as a regulatory specialist but I understand it nonetheless,  then there’s stability, micro testing, packaging compatibility, consumer behaviour, marketing and skin feel.   So my five minutes in the lab was supported and made fruitful thanks to the 2.6 million minutes that sat behind it,  at least half of those totally self-funded via my own business.

It’s not that I think that nobody else has that kind of understanding, more that I don’t think the way that business is being run these days as a social media popularity or get-rich-and-famous-quickly model is helping people to reflect on the true value of what they have or what they are asking and rank it accordingly.  Social media doesn’t necessarily give you more points for being better qualified or more experienced and it’s hard for people to tell that stuff,  one good layout of pictures or share of ‘behind the scenes’ action looks as convincing as the next to the layperson, that’s what’s led to brands that share pictures of their founders mixing what we are led to believe are cosmetics in their food kitchen, in food bowls with hair flowing and everyone breathing into everything.  Not exactly representative of what goes on in a real lab environment but we like it so it ‘wins’.

So back to this and I’m left with the realisation that the reason I’m a bit weirded out by all this is because, yet again, I’m living in a completely different I.P world to many of the other people I float around with on social media and while that’s OK, it’s going to sometimes jar a little.

My final thought brings me back to the point of it all, the human desire to share and exchange ideas and make connections.  I now understand, I think, that there are tiers of I.P  supported by different layers of value that is invisible/ unfathomable to the bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed but that to participate in this dance I have to find a way to play and I will play.   In order for me to play I have to keep my mission, my motivation, at the front of my mind so that the exercise is all worth it.   So with that I confirm that the point of it all for me is to participate in the pursuit of knowledge and the growth of understanding,  not in what to think but in how to think.

sky

And that’s why I sometimes won’t give you a formula or specific ‘do this or that’ advise but I will hand you a key to unlock that door for yourself.  It’s not my problem if you don’t recognise what a key is but you know what, I’d probably try to help you learn of the keys value too as that’s just what I do whenever possible.

And with that I’m going to go off and look at how I can better orient my social media chanels to allign with that  realisation 🙂

Amanda

7 Comments leave one →
  1. indochinenaturalcom permalink
    January 9, 2019 8:24 am

    A very thoughtful piece. Thanks. You are not alone. I share a lot of your views as I formulate (mainly for other brands) and develop our own brand message.

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
      January 9, 2019 8:28 am

      Thanks, I am currently accepting that it may be a failure of mine to ‘sell’ the reality of this layered value that IP creation or transfer has. I hope to get a better grip on that over this year as that’s the only way to keep the science in the industry. If nobody values or recognises real science there really is no point in going through the pain to create it. Too risky 🙂

      • indochinenaturalcom permalink
        January 9, 2019 9:32 am

        Unfortunately the reality of being a scientist. I realized a long time ago that in Australian society as a scientist we have little value. I could have earnt more driving a truck on a mine site. Marketing guys have a lot more clout with their BS. So be it. Let’s just do our thing and be happy

      • RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
        January 9, 2019 9:34 am

        So true, so sad but so true 🙂

  2. sukimarmelaide permalink
    January 9, 2019 12:48 pm

    Dear Amanda,TFL;DR!
    i know we are living in some bizarre alternate dimension where ‘truth’, ‘facts’, &’reality'(hell, ‘science’, too!) have seemingly all become relative..but good grief! i seriously & wholeheartedly need you! & Perry R., Colin, & anyone whom i can really trust! Not many people! Without you, those of us who recognize expertise & mastery would be simply & wholly lost.
    There’d be no balance at all. Because the weight of the words of the precious few of you that, thankfully, do exist in this industry is enough to keep the scales level for now. Think of the sheer number of bullshitters on the other end of that fulcrum! Your knowledge & curiosity & vigilance & adamant insistence on the real truth keeps it from disappearing completely.
    This seems like the ideal post for me to ask you what i wanted to ask you, so, hopefully, you can, once again, as you’ve so many times before, help me with an answer.
    i think i need the details & specifics & costs of your consultation services. Could you please maybe email me privately with these details? i know that you being in Australia & me in the US, that there are obviously things i cannot contract with you for, however, what i’d love to inquire about would be a brief, or series of brief skype or telephone calls to possibly ask a few well-considered chemistry-oriented questions to assist me in rounding out a few of the basic understandings i will need if i should choose to continue..its so funny & synchronous that this was your post today, because just last week, i decided i had to have more education if i’m going to continue to attempt to learn some basic formulating,& i believe education, like anything of value, should be paid for; an investment is the best way to begin to commit to a life-changing decision.
    i am pursuing some courses on my own, but i would feel so blessed to consult a chemist of your caliber to help me understand some simple & fundamental concepts so that i can really get the most out of the knowledge available to me.
    The thing i’ve found in your blog, & your approach, is such a creative & unique resource..your curiosity & open mind is the best part of a very specific empiricism that doesn’t strangle new ideas & theories..you’re every bit as rigorous & thorough as any good scientist, without that cynicism that empirical thinking so often seems to engender..although its just my opinion, i think you’re made of the same stuff as the best scientists; the innovators & radicals that have a dynamic enough paradigm to seek truth above politics in all things, to follow their wonder, no matter what.
    Warm regards, suki

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink*
      January 9, 2019 6:53 pm

      Aaahhh that’s so sweet and actually extremely humbling, thank you so much, you have no idea how much that has affected me x.
      What very weird times we live in indeed!
      In terms of your requirement for assistance yes, I think I can help you. I’ll send you an email and we’ll see what we can do. I do have a wide network of clients including those based in Europe, Asia and the Americas so distance needn’t be an issue although it does make postage a bit more expensive and longer (if it is necessary).

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