Richard Posner, Federal Judge, decries “excessive” copyright and software patent protections @arstechnica

The problem of excessive patent protection is at present best illustrated by the software industry. This is a progressive, dynamic industry rife with invention. But the conditions that make patent protection essential in the pharmaceutical industry are absent. Nowadays most software innovation is incremental, created by teams of software engineers at modest cost, and also ephemeral—most software inventions are quickly superseded. Software innovation tends to be piecemeal—not entire devices, but components, so that a software device (a cellphone, a tablet, a laptop, etc.) may have tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of separate components (bits of software code or bits of hardware), each one arguably patentable. The result is huge patent thickets, creating rich opportunities for trying to hamstring competitors by suing for infringement—and also for infringing, and then challenging the validity of the patent when the patentee sues you.

It's definitely worth reading the full article beyond just Judge Posner's quote.

Founders, don't fall in love with your ideas. Why Startups Die.

  • Paul Graham recently wrote that a “a startup founder is in effect an economic research scientist.” This is the way you should view your company. It’s an experiment. You’re trying to discover a product that will work for some market, while also being a hugely motivating space for you and your cofounders to work in for (potentially) ten years. What is that thing? It could be anything. You have to try a bunch of different ideas, until something sticks. No idea is sacred.
  • I can't say this enough to founders.

    Woman On Fire: @Shoptiques Founder Olga Vidisheva

    Vidisheva has faith that Shoptiques will resonate with shop owners and customers around the world. “When I started, I just had an idea. I graduated from business school with a ton of loans and I was sleeping on the couch of my friend’s house. It was either believe, or not,” she says. “I think if you don’t believe in the idea 100 percent, don’t start the business, because there are just a lot of growing pains along the way. If you really believe in the business, even the challenges will be fun.