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Why join The Curiosity Vine?

Updated: May 10

Why should you be a contributor to The Curiosity Vine and be part of our innovation-first mindset?

The short answer is - if you desire an environment that:

  • Develops, fine-tunes, improves, accelerates, and supercharges your innovative mindset, and,

  • Positions you to command Angel and Venture funding, then

Please come join us!


To more fully answer this question, we must begin by comparing The Curiosity Vine to peer-reviewed academic journals. 


PhD and research psychologist Adam Mastroianni said:

Psychology might be a big stinkin’ load of hogwash and that’s just fine”


Certainly, Psychology is not the only academic discipline under the scare of the replication crisis. All academic disciplines are struggling to replicate results.


Go to Google Scholar and search the term ‘replication crisis.’ You’ll get no less than 640,000 articles. You may ask “Why are many of the results of our esteemed academic journals being invalidated?”  Great question!


It comes back to the illusion of precision and the incentives of those responsible for academic journal articles.


The academic journals are businesses, not much different than others. They stay in business by selling journals. They sell journals containing high-impact, refereed articles and submissions. These articles and submissions are the raw materials necessary to pay the journal's bills.


So you would think that if an article has been refereed, that means it has gone through a rigorous process of data and model validation at the core of any empirical work done to support the article's thesis and conclusions.

That is the illusion.

The truth is that the referees and the journals' incentives point to a very different outcome and at the heart of the replication crisis. We already spoke of the journal's incentives concerning revenue. Now let’s explore the referees. First, the referees are not paid very much, and they have research and teaching priorities separate from their referee responsibilities.  However, as a lower-priority side hustle, they will do some refereeing. This is where the trouble starts. Another challenge is that the referee is usually anonymous. This means that neither the author, nor anyone else, knows of the referee's identity. So, if they do a poor job refereeing, no one knows with the possible exception of the journal. The referees' incentives are aligned with the journal, their incentives are to do as little as possible to earn their meager refereeing flat fee. The referees' incentives also include meeting the journals’ objective of presenting new research with an appropriately provocative theme. “Appropriately provocative“ is part of the journal's marketing narrative. The referee generally spends very little time, if any, digging into the data used to support that provocative theme. This "trust but DON'T verify" approach leads to unsurprising results. Many journal articles from prestigious journals have not been able to be replicated. Many more invalidations are likely to occur in the future. Psychology is a major academic discipline thrust into this unsettling spotlight. More will come. Results that fail to replicate mean the validity of the journals' “provocative theme“ may be dubious at best.  


To be fair, some referees work hard at their jobs and in the spirit of validating the submission. However, those referees represent the minority, and they are swimming upstream.


Now, let’s explore the incentives of the academic author. The academic incentives include hiding their good ideas. Why? Because there are fewer good ideas than there are academics. If they broadcast a good idea, they run the risk that another academic will steal it and beat them to the publishing deadline. Then, their competitor gets the credit and the tenure-enhancing citations and not them. So this means the academic is not getting as much submission feedback as one would expect. The referees are effectively a rubberstamp, and the journal is publishing articles that are more frequently being invalidated because of the lack of replicability. The perfect storm of when incentives lead to unwanted outcomes.

Ironically, the banking industry went through a replication crisis of its own. It was called The Great Financial Crisis that occurred in 2008-2009. Many of the effects are still felt today. The banking replication crisis centered on statistical models to decide the expected losses and capital requirements for the nation's mortgage portfolios. The models decidedly did NOT validate during the crisis. According to MIT, the total loss to the taxpayer is estimated at $500 Billion. The statistical model failed to identify the massive embedded credit risks found in the nation's housing stock. The lack of credit model accuracy was one of the big causes of the crisis.

How was the banking replication crisis solved? In a word: REGULATION. The OCC, the FHFA, and other bank regulators issued regulations like "Supervisory Guidance on Model Risk Management” conveyed by OCC Bulletin 2011-12, “Sound Practices for Model Risk Management: Supervisory Guidance on Model Risk Management.”

Maybe academia needs a regulator - or a governance framework addressing independent, consistent pre- and post-publishing study replication. As it stands, it is clear academia's structural environment and incentives are not conducive to solve the replication crisis on their own. Academia is getting what they are (not) paying for.

The Curiosity Vine is different! We are all about transparency. Our review process comes in the bright light of the public domain. Millions of people have viewed thousands of entries that have been published on our idea incubator. The point is to generate feedback to make improvements to those ideas. Ultimately, we have incubated several transformational, innovative businesses that started on The Curiosity Vine. We don’t worry about the stealing of ideas. Why? Because the magic is not in the invention. The magic is in the very difficult process of innovation. By extending the innovator's network, they are able to attract other ideas - leading to idea updating and achieving market acceptance. That’s where we shine.


Invention and innovation are different. Consider the light bulb and Thomas Edison. The invention of light delivered via a filament-based mechanism was inevitable in the late 1800s. All the science and materials existed to deliver the light invention. Strictly speaking, the invention was not a challenge. It was the innovation to deliver light in a cost-effective, scalable way that met consumer needs. Edison is credited with saying the innovator's mantra:

Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration

Innovation is a process compared to the product focus of an invention. Successful innovation comes from hard work, grit, luck, testing, network effects, market understanding, operational risk management, capital relationships, and a commitment to change. Typically the invention is only the starting point. 


So, if you desire an environment that:

  • Develops, fine-tunes, improves, accelerates, and supercharges your innovative mindset, and 

  • Positions you to command Angel and Venture funding, then

Please come join us!



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