A Curious Oversight

Got a great idea but don’t want to start a business? The Wall Street Journal offers a menu of strategies — but omits my favorite: Buy a whole lot of stock in a company that you believe could profit from your idea, and then give them the idea for free. It’s imperfect, but so’s everything else, including starting a business.

Most great enterprises require plenty of innovation, hard work and risktaking. One of the reasons capitalism works so well is that it enables the innovators, the hard workers and the risk takers to be different people, by providing institutions that allow them to coordinate their efforts. The stock market is one of those institutions. This isn’t something I’d have expected the Wall Street Journal to overlook.

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7 Responses to “A Curious Oversight”

  1. 1 1 Bennett Haselton

    Any idea if anyone’s ever actually tried that?

  2. 2 2 Harold

    I suppose the downside is that you only get a very small share of the added value, or you have to invest a huge amount of money.

  3. 3 3 Scott H.

    My critique is better handled by the Monty Python comedy troupe…


    I think it’s relevant on more than one level here.

  4. 4 4 Dave

    Is it possible you could get convicted for insider trading for that?

  5. 5 5 Advo

    I thought you’d cancelled your subscription?

  6. 6 6 Mike Sproul

    You’d do much better buying call options on the firm.

  7. 7 7 Don Martin

    I agree Steve. That is a heck of an oversight for such a reputable paper as the journal. I guess it does make sense though to say that “it takes money to make money” in this instance though. That is, unless you were going to buy a bunch of stuck in a company that might be classified as a “penny stock”.

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