The world of free, independent enterprise will only flourish if the agents within it are properly protected. App developers, designers, film-makers, writers and other contractors can now turn to Docracy – a project that grew out of Techcrunch’s Hack-a-thon.  Here’s the schtick:

a home for free, open-source legal documents, socially curated by the communities that use them. You can easily edit, download, or even electronically sign agreements on the site. Documents are submitted by lawyers, organizations (AIGA, etc.), and users like you.

Here’s the promo vid which contains a beautiful truth:

The verdict is in.

Apple won just over $1-billion in damages from Samsung for patent infringement.

As somebody who has used the iPhone since the 3G model (currently on the 4S) and who has had about a week’s experience with an el-cheapo Samsung Android device I can say I am not surprised. Compared to Blackberry OS, which I have extensive experience of from the enterprise environment, and also compared to Windows Phone (which I played with once in a shop), Android feels largely derivative of iOS. Both Blackberry OS and Windows Phone are different paradigms.

But here’s the rub.

I think what Android has done, in many cases, is innovation by iteration. This is something that happens often – where invention happens in the way ancient cities rose. You always build the new levels on the old foundations. In this process they have come up with innovations that are beneficial to the end-user and that MAY NOT have existed ever before. Swype, for example, is a superior alternative to typing as it fully uses the glass screen surface in a way that is more suited to the medium than tapping and in fact leads to faster text input. Would I love to have Swype on my iPhone? You bet.

So what really is on trial here, is the US Patent Law’s inability to acknowledge this basic inherent truth about creativity.

Apple themselves have innovated by iteration in their development of the mouse, just to cite one example.

What should happen is for acknowledgement within patent law of iteration and let the market decide. If a company chooses a new paradigm, let’s see if Windows Phone can be beat Apple and Android. If Android takes on iOS then let them duke it out to make each other better – because, let’s face it, iOS has improved because it too has built on some of the innovation within Android. I’m looking at you here, Notification Centre.

Ideas flourish when they exist within open systems. When they are free to jump from brain to brain and to get better with each jump. It is time patent laws acknowledge this. And it is time for companies like Apple and Samsung to dedicate their time to out-innovating each other so the consumer can decide and choose from the very best human ingenuity can offer.

Further reading on innovation by iteration, click here.

 

One of the most profound exchanges in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is to be found when a computer named Deep Thought is built to calculate The Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything:

Deep Thought rightly points out that even though the answer is 42, a greater computer is required to calculate the question to which the answer is 42.

It is the same in the creative business.

Creative teams can only come up brilliant answers if the question itself is even more brilliant.

For a profound insight into brilliant creative questions (briefs), I direct you to this fantastic post by Rob Campbell: The Need to Dumb up, not Dumb Down.

Finally, a great application for those blasted QR codes that creatives use to “demonstrate” their “understanding” of “digital”.

Click here, lol

(QR code sin includes placing them on billboards where drive-by snapping would be impossible or where typing in the address would simply be easier.)

Monmouth, a town in (Jimmy!) Wales has placed plaques with QR codes on all its important sites, linking straight back to the living encyclopedia.

So when you want to know what’s the what with a place, snap and learn.

More info here: http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/05/16/monmouthpedia_day/

Neat-o.

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