Today, on the day of love, what could be more romantic than an article on intellectual property?  Roll your eyes if you must, but before you gallivant off for a lovely dinner with your paramour, consider the fact that, at their core, romance and intellectual property have something in common: passion.

Rich creative endeavors are fueled by passion.  The inventor who devotes his time and money to building a revolutionary gadget in his basement.  The small business owner who comes up with a brand that is both distinctive and deeply personal in meaning.  The novelist who spends years of their life perfecting their magnum opus.  Yes, all of these represent opportunities to make money, but at their core, they are fueled by passion first and financial gain second (or third or fourth or possibly not at all).

No actions of any great innovator, artist, or leader were ever driven purely for commercial gain.  Each, in their own way, were originally driven by the passion to create or achieve something.  Out of all the motivators, passion is the greatest of them all.  Passion will continue to drive you when your last dollar is spent.

Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook … the list goes on and on.  Yes, they are mammoth global conglomerates now.  But they did not just materialize into existence that way.  At the very beginning, each of them was a passion project of their founders, driven purely on belief and vision.  Each has a history of ups and downs.  Points at which, had their founders given up that passion, those companies would have never achieved the success they have today.

And when success finally arrived, it was the suite of intellectual property laws that allowed those founders to cement the reward for their faith and passion.  And now, having achieved a level of wealth which effectively renders materialistic concerns moot, passion is what continues to drive those founders.

Passion is the soil in which the seeds of success are planted.  And intellectual property laws are tools which help cultivate those seeds into a bountiful harvest.  But both of these things are useless without a gardener who diligently tends to his crops each day.

So on this day of love, take some time to contemplate the passions that drive you.  Envision where those passions could take you.  And, if you dare, plant some seeds tonight.