If you don’t start the race, you’ll never finish.
I’m always amazed when I ask IP owners what they do with their IP. Most of the time, the answer is nothing.
Several years ago, I met a gentleman in a restaurant. He’d been sitting on a new trading card technology and didn’t know what to do with it. Since he had mentioned he was a soccer fan during our discussion, I suggested he license well-known soccer teams, which suddenly struck a chord with him.
He quickly brought me on board, and I helped him license the rights to use several European soccer team logos and player images on his trading cards. These licenses also opened the door to distribution opportunities, and he could get his trading cards placed in several big retail chains throughout Europe.
Awareness about what you have and what you can do with your IP often triggers action. Here’s one of the most manageable first steps to get your IP in action. Create an IP Inventory so you know what you have. Remember that your IP includes more than your products, services, or brand. It also includes your know-how, expertise, customer information, software source code, business models, databases, operations manuals, professional knowledge, and more.
Once you know what you have, you’re ready to take your next action steps. These include developing a licensing plan, building your IP value, finding potential partners, creating an IP profile, setting up a web page, and other steps to develop licensing deals.
Here’s a 3 part IP Profile “template” you can create right now to get your IP in motion:
- Identify Your IP Value – Is it faster, cheaper, or better? Does it revolutionize an industry, solve a big problem, or make life more convenient?
- Create a Value Proposition – Why would a licensing partner want to license your IP? Will they make a lot of money, gain the latest technological edge, or get a monopoly on the market?
- Determine Who Would be Interested – Is it a large company in a big market? A small company in a niche market? Or multiple partners in different markets.
The first step to taking action with your IP can be intimidating. But don’t let your lack of knowledge or understanding stop you. The most crucial action you can take is to get into action.
You can’t be the first to market if you never start the race. Remember, it’s not how good your IP is…it’s how good your ACTION is with your IP.