It’s not Beverly Hills, Manhattan, or the South of France. The most valuable real estate in the world is the SIX INCHES BETWEEN YOUR EARS!
It’s called IP – Intellectual Property – and you own it. Every human invention and every successful business is created and birthed inside someone’s six inches. Your six inches may be the most trapped, untapped, undervalued, underutilized, under-capitalized, and under-monetized real estate in the world. Your “intellectual” assets are a rich and fertile source of personal, spiritual, and financial wealth.
Don’t believe it?
For the first time in human history, the world’s richest man doesn’t own mines, mills, refineries, lumber yards, or factories. Yet he’s worth tens of billions of dollars.
How did he get so rich? The answer is that great wealth no longer depends primarily on the control of physical assets. We are in the midst of a new industrial revolution. If you have not been paying attention, you missed the signs.
A huge shift in wealth creation is taking place, and you may have hardly noticed it. Through most of the twentieth century, the wealthiest Americans were those who controlled hard assets. They controlled industrial materials (steel, aluminum, and chemicals), transportation (cars and shipping), dirt (real estate), and, most of all, energy (oil). About 50 years later, Forbes 2010 list of the richest Americans reflected major changes – half of the richest Americans are now on the list because of technology and intellectual property. In fact, intangible assets now account for over 70 percent of the value on corporate balance sheets.
The most successful and highly valued companies today are those that effectively manage and monetize their IP assets. These include Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, among others. This trend is accelerating, and it’s predicted over the next 10 years, most successful CEOs and business owners will be those that understand how to transform their business from the make and sell to a create and license model. These companies will morph into a more collaborative form, focusing on their core IP assets and leveraging them to create income and a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
According to World Bank, every person in the US has access to $734,000 worth of intellectual assets! Intellectual property (IP) is inside almost every product, service, and technology. Your knowledge and wisdom, idea or invention, method or system, recipe or formula, gadget or concoction might be worth a small fortune. You may be overlooking a pot of gold. You could be sitting on a hidden stash of cash, waiting and ready to be turned into money-making products, services, and technologies.
More and more inventors, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and operating companies worldwide are using licensing because it’s one of the surest ways to get their IP into the market and generate revenues.
Licensing is the process of managing and make money with intellectual property. It is a skill set that, once mastered, gives you the unlimited ability to generate wealth with IP. Like the shift that occurred in the Industrial Revolution, wealth is being accumulated by those with the new skills of making money with IP.
Many of us have great IP but don’t know to make money with it. And it’s not just inventors and small businesses. According to a report by Forrester Research, US companies annually waste $1 trillion in underused intellectual property assets. The biggest reason for this waste is the lack of understanding by business owners and CEOs of how to manage and make money with these IP assets.
For many IP owners, it’s a question of what you’ve been taught and “the way it’s always been done.” And still, others keep on doing things the same old way because it’s easier. Imagine what would happen if you learned the licensing skills to steer your IP in new directions–and drive wealth-creating opportunities in new directions?
Just about all intellectual property education today focuses on the legal side. Visit the website of most law schools, and you’ll find courses in IP law. But what about the business side? A survey of top business schools worldwide revealed that most had no intellectual property management (or licensing) courses in their core full-time MBA programs.
Often the real roadblock to making money with your IP isn’t the problem itself but the path you take to finding the solution. It requires a new way of thinking about your IP and your business. For example, it may mean shifting your business model. Instead of using your proprietary business process to sell your product or deliver your service, you license it to others and become an innovator business, developing better and more profitable ways to deliver that service or product. GE is a good example of this with its Six Sigma product development process. They license it to management consulting firms and focus on new ways to improve the process for current and future customers.
IP management and money-making skills are no longer just for some with IP. The rapid pace of change in IP laws worldwide and the recognition by governments, corporations, and investors of the value of intellectual property assets has made IP literacy and licensing the new, indispensable skill set of the 21st century. These are critical skills for today’s business owners, CEOs, startups, and inventors.