Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Five-Finger Discount

We’re in the 19th century.

Thomas Edison is 29 years old and he just finished building his own laboratory. Now he’s churning out inventions at a seemingly impossible rate.

Within fifty years Tom’s going to own over thousand patents.

How does he do it?

Stealing.

Edison didn’t invent the x-ray, telegraph, motion picture or the lightbulb. He just improved on what came before and made sure his name was on the patent first.

I’m not trying to try to drag mister Edison’s reputation through the mud. Every discoverer steals from the past.

Take the father of modern astronomy.

Galileo’s name is synonymous with the telescope. But the Italian astronomer didn’t invent the stargazer. He simply strengthened a spyglass and pointed it at the moon rather than the sea.

Musicians are also famous for being light-fingered.

Madonna’s Justify My  Love is lifted from Public Enemy’s Security of the First World.

Bobby Parker’s Watch Your Step was pinched by The Beatles and transformed into I Feel Fine.

Both these artists were caught stealing red-handed, but they were let off scot-free—they were even praised for their work.

Why?

Because they didn’t just copy like a xerox machine, the musicians remixed the original like a DJ.

All creative works are actually a mashup. Creating something out of nothing is impossible.

So don’t feel bad about ripping off your heroes, just try your hardest to make it unique.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach