Some people say that money makes the world go round, but this is only true in the short-term and in cases without substantial meaning. Multinational corporations, powerful politicians, and even entire nations are only superficial manifestations of a deeper driving force. No behemoth, organization or fortune is more solid than the philosophy, which it is built on. Ideas are everything – and when new ideas are born, the world changes for good.
In our everyday life we easily forget this. But everything of importance in the history of mankind started with an idea. Democracy, antibiotics, ecology, talk therapy, the Olympic Games. First comes the idea, then it becomes reality. In the process, and as a consequence, fortunes, companies, power and sometimes whole nations are created.
Now unfortunately, not all ideas are equally good. Many are outright destructive. Atomic Bombs, tariff barriers, and slavery aren’t some of humanity’s proudest intellectual baggage. Socialism seemed to be a good idea for many, but ended up creating misery for almost everyone. From the drawing board, it can be difficult to assess the impact of an idea.
Ideas don’t only form our world, they also define your and my life in very concrete ways. It is proven that you live longer and with more joy if you think of yourself as a lucky potato, than if the opposite is true. If you think about being stressed, then you’ll fall ill. If you perceive yourself as someone being good at learning new skills, you’ll probably do well.
When everything in the world – including our daily life – is shaped by ideas, it’s very important that the best ideas can travel freely and spontaneously around the world, from door to door, and without limitations.
The technology is there; the Internet is the highway where all ideas can power ahead without any speed limits. The conditions to learn from each other, and to let the good (and unfortunately, the bad) ideas spread with the speed of lightning are better than ever.
But there is something missing. One of the favourite forms of communicating an idea is by writing a book – and this is where the difficulties begin. Today it is a horrible process to be a writer, especially a new one. The reading experience also leaves much to be desired. Do you know the empty feeling of finishing a book and thinking “now what?”
As a reader, why can’t we interact with our favourite author, perhaps even help shape or finance his or her next book? Why is a book always in a specific format when many messages are learned, enjoyed or understood better in a combination of text, audio and video? Why are less than 1% of the best books from Indonesia, Ukraine, Brazil and Sweden translated into English?
Ideas should travel freely. The best writers and thinkers should be able to get their messages out to the world in a dignified, sustainable, exciting and educational way. Readers from all over the world should have the same opportunity to treat themselves to the best ideas of our time. Without ties and difficulties. This is Pine’s vision, and we start today.