The Fuller: A Unit of Humanitarian Invention Impact
Our goal is to have a large positive impact on many people; but time and money are always in short supply. How, then, to compromise on which projects to prioritize?
It is, of course, subjective; the best things in life are.
A team of inventors does not need to agree perfectly to usefully quantify impact. I hope in the future Public Inventors and other will have conversations like:
“Well, I agree your robot technology is a useful search-and-rescue idea. If it is worth 20 millifullers, then surely detecting contaminated drinking water, which kills 270,000 children every year, is worth at least 40 millifullers!”
“Yes, but free software for transparent accounting is equally important, and easier to develop!”
“Well, it may be easier, but it can’t be more important—let’s call it 30 millifullers.”
“Okay. But if we can do it in one year, that about 3.5 millifullers a month of value added to the world; that robot thing is going to take years. I doubt you will get more than 1 millifuller a month doing that!”
And so on.
Note that in our diagram, we have social inventions, such as Universal Suffrage, on the right, and physical inventions on the left. The world is broad, and there is room for improvement everywhere.