Reynolds started Seer Interactive—a leading SEO and online marketing agency—in a small apartment back in 2002. Since then, the company has grown to more than 100 people. But scaling the company was not without its growing pains. In this energetic talk, Reynolds shares how he learned to put a "lid on his hustle" and made sure his values weren't compromised as his company grew. "Getting things done means giving things up," he says. "It can't all fit. You need to have the border."
Patents are supposed to spread knowledge, by obliging holders to lay out their innovation for all to see; they often fail, because patent-lawyers are masters of obfuscation. Instead, the system has created a parasitic ecology of trolls and defensive patent-holders, who aim to block innovation, or at least to stand in its way unless they can grab a share of the spoils. An early study found that newcomers to the semiconductor business had to buy licences from incumbents for as much as $200m. Patents should spur bursts of innovation; instead, they are used to lock in incumbents’ advantages.
The patent system is expensive. A decade-old study reckons that in 2005, without the temporary monopoly patents bestow, America might have saved three-quarters of its $210 billion bill for prescription drugs. The expense would be worth it if patents brought innovation and prosperity. They don’t.