I have alot of ideas. Gobs of them. This week I'm working on game design, pitching a new script, writing a book, Mac tech support, blogging, learnning about doing stonework, magic, (mixing mortar and such) marketing & learning to cook a turkey. And beyond that, I am still writing down ideas, plots, jokes, designs, names, business models, workshop ideas, character descriptions, snippets, writing advice and texts of things to get to later. That's alot of ideas.
A metaphor, if you will: Imagine I have a roommate who work is a gourmet sandwich shop. At the end of the night he brings me home 5 tasty sandwiches, and I eat one and put 4 in the fridge. He does this every night. I get tasty, and free sandwiches every day...and more for lunch tomorrow. The problem with this situation is that, at the end of the week I have 15 sandwiches; the end of the month 60. More than I can ever eat.
Ideas to me are like sandwiches. I have lots of them. Each one is good but there are many, many more than I could ever use. So I give them away. (I keep a few for lunch, if you'll allow the mixed metaphor.) But the rest? I tell them to friends who can use them, post, share or develop.
Why not sell them?
1. No time. I lack the time to polish, pitch and market 20 'brand new to the world' ideas each week. (70% of my ideas make money, the other 30% are for fun, for me or to help.)
2. Altruism. It feels good to help. Some of my ideas have helped people, their careers, started important groups or just sparked a change.
3. Reputation. If you like my comedy routines this week, you will probably like them next week. And people want, (and pay for) consistency and quality. I post my stuff and let the customers judge its quality.
Seth Godin: "...free ideas spread faster than expensive ones."
4. Idea beget ideas. I've found that more ideas equals even more (and higher quality) ideas. This system means I end up with lots left over.