"Every perception is to some degree an act of creation, and every act of memory is to some degree an act of imagination."
-- Gerald Edelman, Second Nature: Brain Science and Human Knowledge
2 Why isn't there more work on tools for thought today？4 Why isn't there more work on tools for thought today？Why isn't there more work on tools for thought today？How can we develop transformative tools for thought？2020-10-18Journal
As Marc Andreessen has observed In Elad Gil's “High Growth Handbook” (2018).:
> true defensibility purely at the product level is really rare in \[Silicon\] Valley, because there are a lot of really good engineers… And then there's the issue of leap-frogging. The next team has the opportunity to learn from what you did and then build something better.
Put another way, many tools for thought are public goods. They often cost a lot to develop initially, but it's easy for others to duplicate and improve on them, free riding on the initial investment. While such duplication and improvement is good for our society as a whole, it's bad for the companies that make that initial investment. And so such tools for thought suffer the fate of many public goods: our society collectively underinvests in them, relative to the benefits they provideOf course, it does cost money for companies such as Sketch and Figma to duplicate features originating in Illustrator, and they have introduced some improvements. So our characterization as a public good is only approximate. .