RANDOM: How Progress Happens

Random train of thought as I was driving in to work today.

I've said before that I think profit is the enemy of innovation. Companies invent, but want to hog all the profit for themselves, so they apply for patents and copyrights, preventing other people from copying and possibly improving on their product.

However, I took that thinking a step further. If you want to invent and innovate, you need funding. Where do you get that funding?

Off the top of my head, there are three possibilities:

- Donations
- Profit from unrelated product(s)
- Profit from previous innovation

So it looks like profit is a necessary evil when it comes to innovation.


IDEA: Sample Store

One thing that irks me about grocery shopping is the temptation to try something new. To do so, you usually need to buy a lot of the product, as that's the smallest size it comes in, and if it's not to your liking, are you going to return it?

Additionally, I sometimes want to compare flavors or varieties of products side-by-side to see which one I prefer more. However, the only available option is usually to buy a box of each flavor and take your changes.

Hence, the Sample Store. A store that encompasses both of these ideas in mind. It allows for samples of anything requested, and allows for side-by-side comparison.

Now, funding for such a venture may not be simple. More popular items could be cost-effective in that you buy a pack and quickly go through it in the course of sampling. However, some new and/or exotic products would likely be negative ROI, so those would need to be specially ordered, likely at a premium cost.

Then there's how to charge the customers.

A quick thought on this branch of thinking. It might be worth it just to have a bank of snack machines with individual packages of more popular products for people to sample as they wish.

Other ideas for funding this kind of venture are beyond my knowledge and experience, but the main goal would be to make the experience less painful than having to buy a large amount of food that you end up not eating due to a difference of opinion on taste