In academic, we are very, VERY concerned about the source and the originality of ideas. However, among inventors that is quite different. Larry MacDonald in the [I-NET] list said,
Personally, I consider ideas to be like seeds that birds drop all over the world. One set of seed represents multiple holographic copies of the idea. Some land in the water, some on rock, some are damaged, some never get any water. However, there are usually several that fall on fertile ground, receive the right amount of water, sun, and nurishment to flourish. Now those "ideas" have value. The rest are "failures" or practice for people or ideas for books or movies or "I thought of that" stories. Much like the single sperm that amoung billions is the one to become a person.
I often ask myself whether the idea I just came up with is something I should do, or whether it is something I should enjoy and appreciate, but someone else is doing it. Most of the time I just admire the idea and realize that I don't have the skills necessary to do it, but someone must also be thinking about it who does.
One reason it is said that an idea has no value may be that the idea has no value UNTIL it is developed. It takes about 1000 ideas to result in one successful product (numerous sources say so). Certainly THAT one idea that led to success had value, but not until after the development.
How would anyone know in advance which of the 1000 ideas had value? The value of an idea is what people will pay for it in a market economy.
If we are over protective of our ideas and refuse to discuss, elaborate and develop the idea into useful practice in our endeavour to help people learn, it is like a seed falling on a little dry corner. Will it germinate?