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Help for Innovations

"When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others" - Chinese proverb

"When you move your focus from competition to contribution, life becomes a celebration. Never try to defeat people, just win their hearts." - Anonymous

Please note
In relation to what I (an utterly NOTHING entity) have said below, kindly see inno.html, spread.html and contribute.html without fail, because this page is closely inter-related with the aforesaid pages. One request: Kindly please read the following only if your time/interest/mood/situation permits. Not otherwise. And if you opt to read (voluntarily) the following, please read fully and attentively - to avert any 'quick' judgements on your part.

Intro
What I have given below (first compiled in year 2009 or so) are my own humble ideas for promoting inventions/innovations so that one day in the future, such an ideal situation may come into existence, whereby any invention is readily available for the humanity, totally free of cost. Some of my ideas may ofcourse look 'fancy stuff'. Further, reg. some of the ideas, some may feel that some section of people will be always there to take illegal advantage of them and hence can never be practical. Nevertheless, I place them here becos many a things which looked 'fancy' or 'impossible' or 'impractical' in the past have become a reality today. So, let us be always positive and hope for the best, ever. Any idea can be fine-tuned and perfected when many minds unite and think about the same. Where there is a will, there is a way. I am very hopeful that some day, somehow, all societally useful inventions (software, at the least) will be (shall be) free and readily accessible.

Ideas for promoting innovations/inventions
  1. Govt.s can consider introducing "inventors'/innovators' tax". i.e Like educational cess which some govt.s levy, Govt.s can think of introducing inventors'/innovators' tax too - which amount can be given to genuine innovators/inventors.

  2. In my observation, I see that the established multi-crore companies give the latest versions of their widely used software (both general purpose and developmental purpose) for free to students but sadly enough not to developers of 'free software'. While offering free software for students is appreciated whole-heartedly, it is a great wonder* why such an offer does not exist for developers of 'free software' (esp. those 'free software' which are long-standing and helping the society immensely) too. It will be of "immense immense immense" help if such an offer exists. It will help reduce the burden of a developer who tirelessly keeps working to invent, innovate, enhance and test his/her software in various hardware/software/os/... environments, undertake backup/maintenance/repair/recovery, etc. etc. etc. It will help him bring about innovations sooner than much later. Surely, words cannot explain the nature of the extreme difficulties and hardships a 'free software' developer goes through because of lack# of resources (hardware, software, operating systems, time, health, etc., etc.). Particularly, if the developer is confined to his/her home almost all the time (like me), if the developer has no monetary earnings of any kind of his own (like me), if the developer does not even seek donations of any kind (like me) and more so if the developer has chronic health problems (like me), he/she had it!!! :) As a matter of fact, in 99% of cases, the developer's (including me, ofcourse) Hardware/Software/OperatingSystem resources lack FAR FAR BEHIND than even what the users of the developer's 'free software' have. :)
    (*) If there is any apprehension in the minds of established companies, a written understanding can always be made with the developer that he/she will not take advantage of this free offer in any way, whatsoever.
    (#) Azhagi/Azhagi+ contain certain 'unique and peerless' features and hence it requires extremely involved programming, which proves to be greatly taxing and completely exhausting for me, many a times. That is why I immensely feel the lack of resources. Otherwise, for a normal computer user, my resources are adequate enough.

  3. As far as my observation goes, there are no pages in websites of established companies with links to pioneering/innovative work done by other companies or even individuals. Since there might be some sort of apprehension in doing that, one can always put such links with a suitable disclaimer that whatever links given are only for informational purposes. In other words, when it comes to do good, ways can always be found. [ For e.g. kindly see indic.html - my thanksgiving page to all the selfless enthusiasts and also companies who have done their best to Indian language computing. The abovesaid page hosts a comprehensive list covering very many software available for computing in Tamil and other Indian languages - both free or commercial. It also carries my short or detailed comments/reviews on few of the software. ]

  4. As far as my observation goes, there is no page in the sites of established companies seeking* information from innovators on what innovations they are doing. Whatever innovations these established companies find mind-boggling or user-friendly or find being used extensively across the globe (whether it be by individuals or by companies), they can take it over fully (many innovators might be willing to give away their innovations for free if promised that their innovations would be taken to all, free of cost) and make it reach the whole of humanity, as fast as possible. Since it is an established company, large no. of the public can get benefitted at a rapid pace, rather than at a tortoiseque pace.
    (*) In addition to seeking information from interested innovators, the established companies can themselves show interest in identifying innovations (at least, the time-tested ones) around the world and directly contacting the innovators, to do the needful.

  5. As far as my observation goes, there are no pages in websites of established 'social service' sites with links for pioneering/innovative work done by companies and/or individuals. In fact, surprisingly, I don't find links to sites of other 'social service' organisations even!

  6. As far as my observation goes, there is no weblink in the sites of established companies which lists the free software which have mass appeal. There are 1000s of free software (time-proven) which are extremely extremely extremely good, increasing one's productivity multi-fold and most importantly vastly beneficial to the society, but which majority of computer users are not aware of at all. As said earlier, a disclaimer can always be put that the free software links are given for informational purposes only. And this way, it does not even cost a penny for the established companies to do their bit for promoting free software which are beneficial to the society immensely.

  7. It is my humble observation that most of a commercial entity's time/money/energy is spent in competing (e.g. developing an already existing widely used free product from scratch, rather than adopting the existing free product itself and improving upon it). Most of the developers of popular free products will be ready to give away their products for adoption, if suitably rewarded. And all developers may not insist in this reward to be in monetary terms. Some developers may be happy even with a token recognition of their efforts, as a reward. Some developers (like me) may not want even that token recognition and prefer to remain 'completely in the oblivion' (with 'absolutely no strings attached') but only "the promise" that the product will be maintained free of cost (as it was earlier) and promoted to the bestEST extent possible. So, established companies like Microsoft or Google (with unimaginably huuuuge resources - money, manpower, hardware, software, etc., etc., etc.) can readily take complete ownership of such developers' societally beneficial software and release the software under their banner/name itself, in a completely different name, without absolutely no mention of the original developer anywhere, in any way. Thus, they can modify the existing code to their will, to enhance the existing features, introduce very new ones, port the code to all the existing operating systems, bring in ultramodern looks, responsive screens and what not and what not. If established companies can thus promote a societally beneficial software, it can spread in an extremely fast manner and the society can benefit at an extremely large scale. If an individual can spread awareness of his/her innovative and immensely societally beneficial free product at level 1, the established companies can do the same at level 10000000 or even more. That much is the difference. Any invention, if it is for a price, is going to take a long time to reach and benefit all of the humanity. For instance, on a rough estimate, I can say that Azhagi's reach was only 50:1 (free:non-free) when part of it was for a price for a few years (more on it here).

  8. In connection with the competition aspect I have talked about above, why have so many browsers, so many email service providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.), so many search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.)? Is it not possible to form an organisation (named, for instance, United Apps, much like 'United Nations') and have software representatives from various multi-crore software companies sit in this organisation and think about coming out with a plan to have One browser, One email service, One search engine and so on? Can't they study the best features in all the browsers and come out with a single browser with all the best features? Is it sooooooooooooooo tough? Do we need to have an ever-lengthening list of browsers - Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and so on - just for one common single task called 'browsing'? Really? In this rate, in 100 years' time, we will have 100 browsers. Where will this all lead to? Is there not anyone thinking about this? As a single person, if I can think to this level, is it not possible for both the young and ripe minds in Microsoft, Google, Adobe, IBM, etc. to come up with much more brilliant ideas, in this regard? If companies necessarily think that they need continued revenue from browsers, etc., is it not possible to come out with a model which gives revenues and which can be shared by these companies? Are companies going to keep on competing with each other and not come out with any common plan at all in future? I think it is high time, they start having a common platform - something on the lines of 'United Apps' so that we move towards a holistic future in the field of software.

  9. Again, in connection with the above, I have to share one interesting observation of mine which happened on the night of 3rd October 2019. Since I was not able to find any 100% free offline video creation software for Windows, I searched in the net to find any online video creation which is 100% free. To my surpise, there were a plethora of online video creation softare but none of them were 100% free. Yes, NONE of them - whether it is from a starter company or from an established company . But, amidst all this, one app (headliner) caught my attention. This was an exception. Not that this fantastic app was 100% free either but they had a noble thought in their mind. They were giving their app free for educational and nonprofit organisations. Not only that. They were allowing 10 watermark-free videos of theirs (at Full HD) to be exported free of cost. No one else was providing such an offer. Absolutely no one - I must have seen at least 20 of the online video creators. So, what does this say? Now, coming to the point of giving away paid software freely to nonprofit organisations and such, recently I came across a page where Google had written that YouTube partnership program is free for those who do nonprofit work. I felt sooo happy reading that and readily went to see the details but only to be left distraught that it is for "registered" nonprofit organisations and not for individuals who do nonprofit work. What an irony! I mean, why has it not occurred for any of these multinational companies (software or otherwise) so far that they can provide at least one of their work completely free for freeware developers like me. I feel lost sometimes seeing such attitude from the multinational companies. I always feel that all the paid software in the world should be straightaway available for free (free, by default)## for freeware developers like me who are slogging like anything to do good to the society - without expecting absolutely anything in return - through user'friendly and unique freeware. That too developed amidst extreme difficulties, in my case.

    (##) If the established companies do not wish to trust the words of a free developer like me, then it is very easy for them to ensure that the software given by them to a freeware developer is used only by the freeware developer. Just use fingerprint to allow opening the software. And, throughout the time the software is used, have webcam running, scanning the face of the user to see that it is the freeware developer only. In this age, all these things are quite easily possible. What difficulty is there then for the established companies to give their paid software freely to freeware developers? My humble request is that all established companies start giving all their paid software free of cost to all the freeware developers, as a lifelong encouragement and incentive to the freeware developers so that they keep on developing societally beneficial freeware. What is so baffling for me is that these established companies' software are used in pirated form by 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of entities (individuals**, organisations, etc.). They lose revenues in crores because of this. And yet, utterly ironically, when it comes to giving their software for free to freeware developers, they perhaps are thinking that they will lose revenue! Perhaps. I don't know. Because, otherwise, I simply cannot believe that they still do not have a plan, to freely give all their paid software to freeware developers. It completely baffles me that they do not have a plan yet, even the simplest one (even as of Oct 2019). So strangely, they just have not thought about it at all, it seems.

    (**) NOT ME, of course.

  10. There might be many innovators who are genuinely willing to donate ALL that they earn (via donations) for other good causes but then I understand it is not possible to do so, as per law. I pray this situation changes (some day, somehow) so that the innovator atleast does not have to go through the hassles of book-keeping (which is so time-consuming and greatly eating into the innovator's precious time) but on the other hand has an 'additional' satisfaction of giving away ALL his monetary earnings to the needy. The innovator's software helping the society immensely already serves as the innovator's 'primary' satisfaction - please see users' comments at comments.html and commentstam.html to realise Azhagi's immense usefulness to the society. As such, Azhagi is benefitting lakhs of individual users around the world. That apart, Azhagi is also benefitting hundreds of different kinds of organisational entities - commercial establishments, associations, schools, institutions, hospitals, temples, NPOs, etc. For details, please see users.html.

  11. It is just not to do with established companies alone. Even established individuals or for that matter any individual (for e.g. blogger, reporter, website owner, teacher, student, author of a book, doctor, etc.) can always do their bit for promoting innovations/inventions, to the best of their abilities, as and when their time/interest/mood/situation permits. Please see helpus.html in this context, to get an idea on the very many different ways in which one can spread the news of societally useful software. Thanks.
    Note: On my part, since many years, I have been already spreading the news of ALL Indic software (developed by other individuals and commercial entities) through my india.azhagi.com page. Link to this page exists in various pages of azhagi.com (as a link called 'Other software' at the top) and also through prominent buttons in the opening screens of both Azhagi and Azhagi+ software. Also, not only Azhagi and Azhagi+ are 100% free but technical support given by me for them is 100% free too - even over phone and even to commercial entities (as detailed at contacts.html)

Conclusion

Well, I (or anyone for that matter) can keep on churning out ideas (for e.g. how media can give large-scale advertisements on free products - every minute/hour/day, how celebrities can publicly keep talking regularly on free contributions, etc., etc., etc.) - not only in the area of inventions/innovations but in every other area. There is no end to it. So, I stop with the above few ideas. And, all said and done, let me make it clear (as already done by me here - author.html#trying) that I (with tons of imperfections still) am no one to preach anybody. Hence, the reader of this page kindly need not get to a feeling that I am intending to 'preach' by way of my ideas. I am only just sharing some ideas, for those who are interested. That is all to it. If at least one of my ideas is studied, refined, fine-tuned and taken up for a big cause - some day in the future, even if not immediately and even if I am not alive - which ultimately benefits the whole of the humanity, this soul would be satisfied.

What is foremost otherwise, I have realised (by reading Mahans' words and through repeated and rigorous self-analysis), is that as an individual, we have to change. That alone will help on a permanent basis as a deeper solution for everything. For e.g. (lots of examples can be given but I am giving just one), generally, a free software developer (there are exceptions ofcourse) does not give links to other free software of the same kind. We know the reasons why.

In reference to the above attitude of individuals, I have to frankly admit that it took quite a few years for me to develop a fully willing heart to create indic.html. Even my better-half (and some well-wishers too) asked me once as to why I should give publicity to other software when they are not doing the same for Azhagi or any other software for that matter. I told: "This is how each and every individual and commercial entity thinks and we never grow. At the least, let me change.". Others might change slowly and steadily. This is what Gandhiji also opined: "Be the change which you want to see". And, in this context, I wish to recall how magnanimously Marie Curie chose not to patent her radium-isolation process.

If anyone is still not clear as to what exactly my goal is, here it is in a nutshell:
My goal is global - for the awareness^^ to exist for ALL societally beneficial inventions/innovations - and also for them to be available FREE OF COST (at least in the case of software, where such possibilities are the highest), so that anybody who needs## them at any point of time may make use of them readily.

(^^) Creators (inventors/innovators, I mean) are not important when it comes to awareness. Creators may pass away even this next second. But their creations will live longer. So, 'global awareness' should exist for their immensely useful creations (inventions/innovations). That is paramount. For now, and ever.

(##) This means that not all creations will be needed by all at all times. So, the only thing I wish for (at the root level) is:
  • Global and complete awareness of all useful creations.
  • Availability of these creations, 100% free (which possibility is highest in the case of software, as of now) so that they can be used readily by anyone, whenever need arises.
And, as opined by me already at the start of this page, many a things which looked 'fancy' or 'impossible' or 'impractical' in the past have become a reality today. So, let us be always positive and hope for the best, ever. Any idea can be fine-tuned and perfected when many minds unite and think about the same. Where there is a will, there is a way. I am very hopeful that one day all societally useful inventions (software, at the least) will be (shall be) free and readily accessible.

Comments received on the above
When I emailed a few of the above ideas (and more) to one of my near/dear who is doing research on certain "business" aspects, he passed it on to one of his friends and following is a list of some (not all) of the comments recd. from that friend:
  • I found the email by Viswanathan extremely inspirational and thought-provoking.

  • The concept of "Innovators' tax" is very interesting. I liked the thought.

  • Why do we always think that a professional office should have all modern materialistic comforts?!! Why is that 'materialistic comforts' one has, has become the measuring rod for almost everything?

Please note
In relation to what I have said above, kindly see inno.html, spread.html and contribute.html without fail, because this page is closely inter-related with the aforesaid pages.