A while back I was reading one of my favourite European blogs THE EQUITY KICKER and Nic, the Writer and Partner at DFJ Esprit was asking for some ideas for taglines for their new website. I had a few moments so I gave it some thought and ventured a few modest ideas to the pot. Others too responded with their ideas and to be honest I thought nothing of it afterwards. I'm often generous with ideas and as long as they don't compromise my own ring-fenced business ideas and asset value, enjoy keeping my creative brain alive by contributing to other people's projects.
On many occasions, I've come up with book titles, song titles, band names, movie titles and they've ended up in lights without so much as a mention or note of appreciation. Every time that happens, I mentally write off the people or companies concerned and look at both their ethics and simple good manners with a sense of resigned disappointment but comfort myself that they have lost any opportunity for further value and at least I will go to my grave knowing I've always been original and have never had to 'steal a line'. In some cases especially where that omnipresent spectre of corporate passing off goes unabated, I know myself and many like me (and increasingly these days), look at some big brands with a sour taste in our mouths and the impression that if they can steal the smallest thing, then the overall company integrity must be suspect.
Sometimes though one stumbles across an honourable person and all the negatives described above are transformed to opposite effect. (At the risk of being seen to seek mileage for my efforts which I can honestly say I'm not, I am though seizing the opportunity to demonstrate the point to those individuals and corporations who've benefited from my contributions in the past without so much of a thank you, or worse, lied about the origin of those assets.) So here's my big up for Nic;
Nic Brisbourne is a gentleman and no we haven't even met in person yet. His blog is impartial, engaging and erudite. He publically crowdsourced his call to action for the strapline from the outset, kept his followers up to date and didn't attempt, like Governments tend to, bury the bad news. Some months later, Nic sent me a note asking for my address without explanation and within a couple of days a very nice present indeed arrived at my door, with a note thanking me for my coming up with DFJ Esprit's new tagline of 'fuelling global ambition'. I'm an old fashioned sentimentalist and I was genuinely touched. Now that action alone 'had me at hello', but I have just noted today that Nic also posted a new blog post thanking the contributors to his website and namechecked me as well which he similarly didn't have to do.
And so I find myself, not only further warmed to Nic as an individual, but with a massive feel good factor for DFJ, both in Europe and as part of the wider network. It's the little things that count and this one little thing has prompted me to break my blogging drought and perhaps further contribute to their ongoing success by sharing that good will.
Maybe in this age of increased sharing, one of the eventual net benefits is the ironic fact that the ability for corporations or some of the people who work there, or individuals with a lack of moral fibre, to plagarise without being called to account is diminishing to the benefit of those that originate ideas in the first place. In Nic's case I contributed without expectation, in others more close to my own ambitions, my ideas are just those and have a price or are just not for sale. Either way and without implying we have any other connection currently, I would prefer to be surrounded by the Nic's and DFJ's of this world than the alternatives and to my fellow morally intact entrepreneurs and potential investors into DFJ, both with 'global ambitions' I hope this strikes a cord!
To Nic, I hope this is not presumptuous and put more simply, 'it was my very great pleasure!'.