I was listening to a lecture by Peter Thiel. He argued that "scientists never make any money", and are "always deluded into thinking they live in a just universe that will reward them for their work, and this is probably the fundamental delusion that scientists tend to suffer from in our society." It certainly is an interesting concept, and well worth some reflection by scientists and engineers. Is it true? Close to true? at 28:00 Video and transcript: http://startupclass.samaltman.com/courses/lec05/ Transcript: http://genius.com/Peter-thiel-lecture-5-business-strategy-and-monopoly-theory-annotated "We've lived through centuries of enormous amounts of innovation in science as well, and the thing that I think people always miss when they think about these things is because X and Y are independent variables. Some of these things can be extremely valuable innovations, but the people invent them, who come up with them, do not get rewarded for this. If you create X dollars in value, you capture Y percentage of X, I'd suggest that the history of science has generally been one where Y is 0% across the board. The scientists never make any money. They are always deluded into thinking they live in a just universe that will reward them for their work and for their inventions, and this is probably the fundamental delusion that scientists tend to suffer from in our society. And even in technology there are many areas of technology where there were great innovations that created tremendous value for society, but people did not actually capture that much of the value. So I think there is this sort of whole history of science and technology that can be told from the perspective of how much value was actually captured. And certainly there are entire sectors where people did not capture anything. So you're the smartest physicist of the 20th century, and you came up with Special Relativity, and you come up with General Relativity. You don't get to be a billionaire. You don't even get to be a millionaire. It just somehow doesn't work that way."