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Andy Leonard

Andy Leonard is an author and engineer who enjoys building and automating data integration solutions. Andy is co-host of the Data Driven podcast. Andy is no longer updating this blog. His current blog is

The Last Percent

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Published Tuesday, July 5, 2011 8:00 AM by andyleonard

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Geoff said:

I strongly disagree with your assertion that people are basically good. What we have is that most people left to their own devices would become monsters. But, and I think what you are getting at, is that most parents discipline their children and that negative impulse is kept in check, albeit imperfectly.

That aside, I think a problem with large companies is that they have to have one size fits all rules. And that just doesn't work out too well many a time, especially in the hard cases.

July 5, 2011 10:53 AM

sfibich said:


These are some interesting ideas you are putting forth.  First I am in complete agreement that the person who puts forth the effort deserves the credit and payment.  I do have some issues with the concept of idea ownership you offer.  So many new ideas and or inventions are built on other peoples work.  Some of which may be directly related and some may be many generations removed.  Your statement:

In the place of non-competes, imagine ownership agreements that express that the serf inventor of an idea owns the idea (I know! Crazy, isn’t it?) and that this extends to works derived from the current employer’s intellectual property

What makes an idea owned by someone?  Where does the derivative end?  For a practical example as it relates to SQL Server how joins or how complex does a query need to be before its “my idea” and anyone who uses must compensate me for it.  

How about people contract out for what they feel is a fair price for their work, either hourly, salary or piecemeal whatever makes them feel properly compensated.  Whatever you learn or think about while you are executing this job is yours to take with you.   Is this in the ballpark of what you are referring to or are you swinging the pendulum in the far far in other direction.  

The person compensating you is taking the financial risk and may deserve the lion share of the reward.

July 5, 2011 11:50 AM

Racer X said:

In a capitalistic, free society it is capital that is put at risk and thus rewarded.  A "serf" in your scenario is a willing "serf" who voluntarily contracts himself into such agreements.  Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin could have easily gotten "jobs" and been "serfs" in the manner in which you speak, but instead they put their futures at stake to invest their capital and invest in their own ideas and were thus rewarded.  I don't want to live in a society where such risks and investing in one's own ideas are frowned upon or punished.

July 5, 2011 5:32 PM

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