What You're Sitting On Might Look Great

An education company I used to work for has a game in its youth curriculum that you may have heard of. It’s the one where you start with a trivial object like a paper clip, then go around to people and try to trade up for items of bigger and better value. I have also seen this same game done by Girl Scouts and youth groups. I don't know who invented it, but my guess is that it has existed for at least twenty-five years.

So the company I was with did not invent the activity, but had been doing it with youth in their programs for at least fifteen years. Then this big story broke where a Canadian guy was playing the exact same game as a hobby and had traded for a house.

So basically, the company I was with had a deliciously news-worthy story that, if played out, could have gotten them huge media; there was just no understanding of its potential. To the company, it was just a little paper clip game, a clever little game hidden amongst hundreds of pages of games and curriculum that we were doing. Ever seen that final scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark where the Ark of the Covenant is put into a crate and wheeled into a government warehouse full of a million identical crates?

Is the secret of life sitting in someone’s hard drive or box in the attic?

Every now and then I read a story about someone finding old recordings of Jimi Hendrix or Bob Dylan in a forgotten attic, and I wonder what else is out there - not just music, but science and technology, communication and literature.

What wondrous ideas are already born but don't have a spotlight? Some ideas lie dormant due to lack of initiative or belief. Some lie wounded due to companies rejecting them.

What are you sitting on right now that needs a lift?