What Works

What makes an idea valuable? What turns it into a product that can be bought, sold, or rented? Ideas turn into capital assets thanks to our system of intellectual property rights. But understanding IP isn’t simply a matter of learning what a trademark or patent is, and then learning how to leverage it to create wealth. To truly understand intellectual property, we need to under property—what it is and why it exists—first.

In this episode, I explore the origins of our conception of private property, why we’ve coded intellectual property rights into law, and how one business owner—Jenny Blake—licenses her IP to companies to generate (relatively) passive income. 


New episodes are published in essay form every Thursday at explorewhatworks.com. Get them delivered straight to your inbox, free of charge, by subscribing to What Works Weekly: explorewhatworks.com/weekly

If you’d like to learn more about how we can approach life and work differently, check out my book, What Works. I explore the history and cultural context that’s led us to this success-obsessed, productivity-oriented moment. Then I guide you through deconstructing those messages and rebuilding a structure for work-life that works.
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What is What Works?

It's easy to lose your way in the 21st-century economy. The world of work and business is changing so rapidly that you might start focusing more on how to keep up than how to live a meaningful life. What Works is a podcast for entrepreneurs, independent workers, and employees who don't want to lose themselves to the whims of late-stage capitalism. Host Tara McMullin covers money, management, culture, media, philosophy, and more to figure out what's working (and what's not) today. Tara offers a distinctly interdisciplinary approach to the discourse around business, work, and personal growth.