Recession says “Your wish is my command”

I know you just read Recession in the title and just want to run away read something less stressing. Just hold it’s right there!

The fact that there is a crisis, a pretty bad one, is undeniable.

HOWEVER

people, and in particular entrepreneurs and venture capitalists (VCs) have bought it so much that they just take it for granted. Before they even have felt any damage or impact on their venture they already accept the fact that things are going to go bad, that it’s going to be tough, and that there is nothing they will do about it.

This conduct is tremendously dangerous. First, the bad things they are going to experience may not even be related to the recession, crisis, crash…call that how you like. The recession is just going to be a pre-maid and commonly tolerated excuse for failure in those whom have a hard time standing firmly and face problems.

It’s also dangerous because it creates a feel of frustration, that coming from the fact you don’t control everything anymore as if there was a supernatural force acting against you.

By accepting bad times before they really occur, you just make them exist out of lack of confidence and pessimism. Whatever you believe in strongly will realize with an incredible accuracy with the depiction you made. All the more if everyone is convinced so. That wave, that picture, that signal vibrates in chorus and the result is out there soon.

So if that thing you picture is Recession (bad times, running out of money, employees leaving for a better salary) then recession says “Your wish is my command”. This sentence will be very familiar to those of you who have read about or watched the Law of Attraction.

I welcome whatever may come with my arms open. May it be a real bad recession or something at last not that bad.

IF RECESSION THERE IS, look at the good side of things ! Speaking particularly from an entrepreneur point of view, if you go through (and with determination you are likely to do so) you’ll be able to face anything. All engineers in France whom went through those 2 years of (extreme hell) preparatory school know something about it.

IF RECESSION THERE IS, be standing out there as the one optimistic in a crowd of people that are less in the mood for getting involved in something new, people less creative, less dary. There is a real opportunity to get an edge over potential competition, and maybe particularly over existing established competition. Those will be the busiest with other things than creating new value: restructuring…which basically means firing useless people, cutting down useless costs, suing your bank, and trying to get the money back from CEOs you overpaid.

IF RECESSION THERE IS, there’s an opportunity for hiring talents. They may actually come from those established companies that suffer more than your intended startup. People with skills and experience would be less picky than in prosperity…prosperity here means when you think everything is going fine but you are wrong. It’s only going fine for those who know it’s going to smell bad soon but whom won’t be affected much : namely irresponsible traders and their irresponsible hierarchy’s management.

IF RECESSION THERE IS, you’ll probably filter your projects through a finest net than usual, thus letting only the most likely to succeed to through.

IF RECESSION THERE IS, there will be problems, giving you new material to think about and maybe to solve. I talked to a conference organizer that was telling me that with the recession times will be harder for him than usual. Companies indeed cut costs. Although his conferences seem to be really insightful, on the short term, ordering a conference is more an expense than something that pays back fast. Right away, my answer was “Why don’t you make a conference using the recession to your advantage and create value for your audience?”. Something like “How to Survive in Recession”. He’s good, I am sure companies would be seduced.

Also, recession has very valuable virtues, it removes a lot of either stupid or costly or useless processes (or people) in all organisations. This will undoubtedly be beneficial after the crisis, shall there be one.

All this is just to say, always think in a positive way, allow in your imagination and brains only the picture of what you want to achieve.

Whenever something bad comes in, hold your feelings (I know it’s hard), find a way to go around it, or at least minimize the damage, and ultimately make that issue act to your advantage.

Whether you think you can or think you cannot, either way you are right.
Henry Ford.

How to commercialize your invention

In this excellent article published in Fortune Magazine, Chuck Huff (Invention Marketing Expert) and George Davison (Product Development Manager) bring their lights and advice on the key steps to commecialize an invention. To a wide extent, this approach can be applied to business ideas that don’t rely on a patent, especially the last part on how to sell the idea/product/licence to interested companies.

In brief :

  1. There is 2 ways to make money on an invention: manufacture or sell license
  2. Document your idea (specifications)
  3. Conduct market search and look for competitors
  4. Conduct patent search
  5. Fill-in patent application
  6. Identify potentially interested companies, approach them with:
    • Maximum awareness of the company’s strategy
    • Non disclosure agreement (must-have)
    • Presentation
    • Working sample (ideally)
  7. Keep track of contacted companies

Not to forget that last fact that my ex-flat’s owner in Orsay France (a successful patent owner/entrepreneur in industrial robotics) made very clear to me in the past: very few inventions end up bringing in money. He mentionned the very exact same percentage : about 2%.

Wishing you a good reading 😉

How to commercialize your invention

Licensing a new product successfully can be tough. Do your due diligence.

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(FORTUNE Small Business) — Dear FSB: I work for my family caulking business. The equipment we use is top dollar, but the designs are poor. If I had a better idea, and did not want to manufacture the product (but instead just license the idea) how would I go about it? What should I know before starting the process?

– Justin Lovell, Richmond, Va.

Dear Justin: There are generally two ways to make money on an invention. The first is to manufacture and distribute the product yourself.

Most people, however, don’t have the technical or financial resources for this approach, says Chuck Huff of Dallas, Texas-based Invention Marketing Services.

So many inventors seek to license their ideas to a company who might want to manufacture and distribute their products, Huff says.

Start planning your approach by first taking some time to document your idea. “That’s one thing most inventors don’t spend enough time on,” Huff says. Describe its function and include drawings. It may help to approach this task by creating a user manual, Huff says.

Once your idea is fleshed out, conduct some market research and identify any competing products. Huff suggests doing preliminary work on your own, before you spend money to bring in the professionals.

“Say you’ve invented a new toothbrush,” Huff says. “Go to Google (GOOG, Fortune 500)’s ‘Images’ section, type in toothbrushes and see what comes back.”

After you vet the market and decide your concept is worth pursuing, you’ll want to conduct a patent search. You can do a preliminary search by visiting the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.

Or, you can bring in a professional patent agent or attorney to conduct a search for you at a cost of $600 to $900, Huff says.

Filing for patent protection before you shop your idea around will give you credibility with interested parties, Huff says. You’ll also want to draw up a trade-secret or non-disclosure agreement so that you feel safe discussing your idea with potential investors and companies.

The next step? Pull together a presentation and identify target companies that might be interested in your idea.

Companies like Huff’s will help you package your approach and also compile lists of target companies that might bite on your product. For example, Huff’s basic service package costs $3,250.

At this stage, you’ll also want to build a working product sample, says George Davison of Davison, Inc., a product development company based in Pittsburgh.

A good prototype should demonstrate your intentions to key decision makers and inspire others who lack your vision.

“This is by far the best way to communicate with a target company,” Davison says. “You need to communicate in the company’s language.”

Research each potential partner’s mission statement, branding and pricing strategies as well as its manufacturing processes, Davison says.

Understanding this will help you streamline your presentation and approach. “This way your idea will be more easily understood and accepted by people who will have input on the acceptance or rejection of your product,” Davison says.

Huff adds that aspiring inventors need to develop a method to track the companies that they’ve contacted and follow up with them.

Ultimately, keep in mind that it’s a tough world out there. “What nobody wants to tell inventors is that 98% of these new product ideas are never going to make a nickel”, Huff says.