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ET’s Power of Ideas & Paul Graham’s Content? [Updated]

First things first – I respect big brands (like ET and everybody else) promoting entrepreneurship in India and bringing in much more focused programs to create awareness about entrepreneurship.

Having said that, it saddens me that ET’s power of Ideas has simply copy/pasted Paul Graham’s content in the name of providing useful resources to entrepreneurs.

The program has great tie-ups and funding (from DST, which I am sure runs in several crores) and I am surprised that they couldn’t get a single great guy to write content for them? And if it was really about sharing useful resources, they could have simply shared the first 50 words [which is a standard practice] and provided the link back to PG’s site (which I think is a bible for entrepreneurs) , instead of copy/pasting the entire content (which  I am sure ET knows that it is considered plagiarism, after all they are a media company).

ET_Power_of_IdeasBefore writing this, I had a word with Paul Graham, asking whether he has approved the content sharing part; and this is his reply

Hmm, thanks, I didn’t know about this. Isn’t this supposed to be a reputable newspaper?

Sadly. Yes. It is actually a reputable newspaper and if they resort to this, they actually bring bad name to the Indian startup ecosystem, i.e. of copycats and thieves.

A large scale entrepreneurship program which is supposed to be about new/path-breaking ideas needs somebody else’s idea to get the content part up and running? Not for an entrepreneurship program, where it’s all about creation and not duplication.

It’s time ET lives up to the power of original ideas theory – they have great partnerships and can simply use their network to have some original articles on entrepreneurship.

And like I said, I am all for supporting such programs in whichever ways we can, but it has to be done in a spirit of honesty and originality. And the spirit shows up in each and every aspect of one’s activity.

As of now, I am not impressed.

Update (Aug 24th): I had a word with ET team and it seems there was a major confusion, as Paul Graham had approved ET of reusing his content (for online as well as print), but maybe he wasn’t aware of ET using the content for Ideas.ET portal. So when we asked him, he was completely unaware of Ideas portal and hence the entire confusion.

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