I recently read about Mark Zuckerberg’s baby vaccine and the reactions made me very sad.
As French, there are many things we are proud of. Some of them, we shouldn’t. Some of them, we definitely should. And I still think every Frenchwoman and Frenchman should be proud of Louis Pasteur. His discoveries helped to save lives and yes, vaccine helped to save lives. And by the way, Pasteur himself found his motivations for curing infectious deceases in the death of his children.
So what happened. I still remember when I was a kid, vaccine was something not just important but also seen as a great innovation. France being one of the very few countries where vaccines are mandatory was seen as a highly civilized place.
So what happened? Why now, even in France, on the radio or on TV, there are debates about vaccine?
Just like GMO may have saved countless lives, Mosento is now more like an evil than a hero: great innovation isn’t enough, the responsibility that is attached to it is equally important.
I remember a discussion I had few years back when I explained that it doesn’t make sense for me, and my girlfriend, to breakup: like many people, we “felt in love” in the beginning. As for me, it was love at first sight. I can’t really explain but I just “knew”.
The truth is: I didn’t “know”. What I felt is just some kind of excitement. The excitement of meeting somebody that beautiful, that nice, that smart. (The order here is important: no matter how good is a person, physical appearance is almost always what we see first). I wasn’t really rational. I couldn’t: I just don’t know her well enough.
But over time, excitement goes down. But we learnt to know each other better. And with time, we built a bridge of trust. This trust is extremely important: we never micro-manage each other. We are two independent individuals, with our own beliefs, with our own value but we create and share a common knowledge, some common principles and we agreed to stay together.
No, she doesn’t “need” me to live and I don’t “need” her to live. No one is forced to do anything. We choose to live together.
I see innovation like this too. When heard, read and see something new, I usually have this excitement. Almost irrational. My dreams or my own perspectives help to fill the gaps between what is really done and what’s not yet possible.
But excitement only lasts a short period of time. And companies, or people, bringing this innovation are now responsible to do something with it. This is where we are building a bridge of trust. As long as we are building it, reinforcing this trust, everything is good.
Don’t break it.
When you discover that your doctor highly recommended (= basically telling you that this is mandatory) to to give Hepatitis B to your new-born baby, and that this vaccine costs 3 times more than the actually mandatory ones (DTP), BUT “by chance” only Hepatitis B is “available” at that moment… what do you think?
No one is protected from conspiracy theory. Of course, they are great stories. And it’s an easy way out: it helps to find new excuses for our own failures or procrastinations.
The only way to get out of this, or to prevent to get into this conspiracy theory in the first place, is to maintain the trust, the transparency and keep a sincere education.
That’s the innovator’s responsibility.