Some ideas “smell” like research. The concept is incredibly nebulous and I’m not going to attempt to offer a definition beyond what they’re not: straightforward business ideas or products that one could hire a team of engineers to build. Some researchy ideas fit neatly into academia: that interconnected system of labs, papers, and grants that dominates the research landscape. However, many do not, for one of a thousand reasons. These ideas need a different institutional structure (another nebulous term that is roughly some system of answers to “how is the work organized? How is it incentivized and funded? What does winning look like?”) to gestate within and become something that affects more than just the people working on it.