Inventor George Newstein warns start-ups and entrepreneurs

Inventor George Newstein warns start-ups and entrepreneurs: “Don’t share your ideas!”

Newstein came up with the Internet and has almost cracked teleportation. He is worried that engineers and innovators concentrate on networking and collaborating, not creating new innovations.

Text: Wärtsilä Photo: Wärtsilä

As part of Wärtsilä’s SparkUp Challenge, we introduced the start-up community to a larger than life inventor, the eccentric George Newstein. Unlike start-uppers, Newstein doesn’t believe in sharing his brilliant ideas and inventions to the world. To manifest his message, Newstein has been taking over social media with the #dontshare campaign. He has also been spotted in person in Helsinki during the Slush event.

But has George managed to create awareness of Wärtsilä’s appetite in start-ups and leading future partners to We sat down for a cup of tea with George in his workshop to learn more about his beliefs and to hear how his #dontshare manifesto has been spreading.

George, tell us a little about yourself and your expertise areas?
I'm an inventor who specialises in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Chatbots, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Clean Energy and Space Travel. I also study the possibilities of Blockchain and Nanotech. I’ve actually created thousands of apps. My current focus is on testing Teleportation and I think I’ve almost cracked it.

We all know that sharing is not your thing, but why is that?
Well, the expectations today for engineers and inventors are just too much. I oppose to the fact that everyone should be a salesman pitching their ideas. Why should we work in teams? I strongly believe we work best alone. Real engineers can build their own world, on their terms, with their own hands. They don’t share their ideas. Ever. Never ever.

Why did you start your Don’t share campaign?
All I wanted to do was to question the status quo that every engineer out there is a life coach and a keynote speaker. The way things are these days, it’s just not right. I'm appalled that engineers suddenly are into sharing their ideas. They hold workshops and brainstorming sessions. They network. They sit in meetings drinking green smoothies. Then, they go for a bit of yoga. You have all these innovative tech start-ups using the lean approach. That isn’t natural.  I think it’s time for a “stop-up”. We need to stop all this nonsense and get back to a higher level of engineering.

How have you been sharing your manifesto?
Before the unbearable global sharing event called Slush took place, I did my best to let all the start-uppers out there know that there is an option. They do not have to sell their souls. They should keep their ideas to themselves and never share them.

I used various methods to get my message through online. I shared my manifesto with fellow-minded people in social media. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, you name it – I was there. But I did not stop there. There were a few lamp posts in Helsinki that did not have my manifesto or poster taped on it and my ‘Don't share’ and ‘My idea all mine’ stickers were spreading like a wildfire.

Did this approach work?
No, for some reason people were not paying enough attention. It actually got to the point that I had to take some extreme measures. Just before Slush I was at the Helsinki Airport welcoming the aircraft full of investors and tech heads landing from San Francisco. You know the notorious Silicon Valley sharing utopia. The airport security personnel did not see eye to eye nor appreciate my humble efforts to warn about the dangers of sharing economy.

During Slush, I even parked my precious camper just outside the Slush main entrance on the opening day to save these poor souls from entering the world's leading start-up event. As my last attempt I kept handing out my manifesto and stickers. Now, it has been proved that 20.000 people can be wrong, believing that sharing is the way of the future.

Now after a few weeks of all this hustle, the waters have calmed. How do you look back at this time of your life and what did you learn from it? Was it worth to stand up for your beliefs?
In the end, it was definitely worth it. I consider my personal crusade as a success after all. Both the Finnish and global media wrote about me and they clearly understood where I was going with all this, the purpose of tin foil hats and everything. I think that a few start-uppers also got my point, eventually.

Just recently, I heard that AdWorld and AdWorld Masters picked up the documentary video of me sharing my philosophy. That just proves my point, the manifesto is still spreading.

But I also have something to learn about failing fast, an approach very dear to me. When I was a little boy, I came up with an idea for an information network, but I did not quite nail it the first time. It didn’t take long until people came up with something they nowadays call ‘the Internet’. I will continue sharing my message, alone. This is not the end of George Newstein, you better believe it.

What is your advice to the engineers and start-ups out there? What should they do with their ideas?
Don't share.

Wärtsilä believes in sharing

Even though we at Wärtsilä think that George Newstein is a lovable fictional character, we don’t share his views. With this successful campaign introducing George and all we wanted to do was to get the attention of the start-up community. And that we did.

We want start-ups to co-create together with us and build a better world for everyone.

Start-ups, apply for the SparkUp Challenge part one Smart Marine by end of January. 

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