Pick up the average book about inventing and one of the things you will find is that the author will tell you, you cannot just sell ideas. Conventional inventing books lead us to believe that in order to license your invention, you will most likely need a working prototype (expensive) and granted patent (expensive), Stephen Key’s book, One Simple Idea offers a refreshing alternative option.
I have already experienced Stephen’s Keys steps to licensing an idea, as I have been taking his InventRight Course, but when I heard he had written a book I was interested to see how the method would be delivered in book form.
In One Simple Idea, Stephen Key talks through the way he has licensed many ideas over the years. The emphasis is most firmly on creating marketable ideas, where you do your research and then create a presentation in the form of a sell sheet. A sell sheet is a single sheet of information which show a drawing of your invention with a one line benefit statement and maybe some bullet points of benefits. In order to have some protection for your idea Stephen recommends the use of provisional patent applications ($110, if you file yourself) and using NDAs (Non disclosure agreements). Then after collecting your list of potential licensees you start cold calling them with your prepared one line benefit statement to ask if they will look at your idea.
What is great for anyone with a lot of ideas, is that the process doesn’t cost much other than your time and possibly the cost to file the PPA. One Simple Idea takes you step by step through each stage of the licensing process combined with anecdotes of how Stephen and his InventRight students have licensed their ideas.
Even if you have read other Books on inventing it is unlikely you have read anything like “One Simple Idea” before. If you want to try and license your ideas I would highly recommend you read it. If you are still not convinced, check out some of the free InventRight podcast by Stephen Key and his business partner Andrew Krauss.
Let me know what you think.