woensdag 28 december 2011

about innovation monetization

In order to get a grasp of the game of licensing, the following two books may be very useful: "The Patent" by Robert Bruce Kennedy and "One simple idea" by Stephen Key.

When you are not familiar with any of these books, it is recommended to first read "the Patent", a terrifying story about what could go wrong in finding a licensee without having a thorough knowledge of the licensing trade. Kennedy gives an excellent insight in theft of invention and to what consequences that may lead.

The general message from Kennedy's book can be sublimated to "protect your ideas well"

The second book is a great eye opener in how to best license ideas. This is a very hands-on guide in how to bring ideas and inventions in ten practical steps to successful licensing contracts. In Key's book the essence in successful licensing resides in solving the question: "will it sell?". The sooner this question is answered the sooner the bad ideas can be separated from the good ones and time, effort and resources can be more efficiently be dedicated to the good inventions. A good protection, prototyping, production, logistics, raw materials, search for investors etc. etc. all is made subordinate to this question. What is needed is a proper sell sheet, and a powerful benefit statement.

The general message from Key's book is "protect your ideas with minimal effort and find out if it will sell".

In this light, a relatively new development is taking place that is able to answer the question “will it sell?” before production and development of the idea have started. This development is known as crowdfunding.  On most crowdfunding initiatives, a project requires a certain sum of money, a threshold which should be reached within a certain time. Some initiatives allow an overshoot, some don't. Most crowdfunding websites do not pay out when the threshold is not reached. 

At the moment, the most successful initiative available in the United States is Kickstarter. Over 10 000 projects have been successfully sourced, only in the last three years. For all of the successful projects, the answer to the question "will it sell?" was affirmed. We do need this fascinating new “bringing inventions to the market” in Europe badly. 

Therefore I appeal to Kickstarter to open up its European branch as soon as possible!


[1] R.B. Kennedy, "The Patent" (2008).

[2] S. Key, "One Simple Idea" (2011).

[3] www.kickstarter.com

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