Innovation Help For The Frustrated Executive

Executive Needs Help

Sometimes executives know exactly what to do and just can't make innovation happen internally in their organization. Common symptoms might include your blood boiling as you pound sand in futile efforts pitching ideas that go nowhere with senior leadership or you feel like you have run out of runway, finding yourself at a dead-end in your organization. When your barriers to successfully advancing your innovative ideas become your Legal, Finance, or the flat-earth society members in your IT department, take this as a sign your ideas might be too disruptive for your organization and better developed, and piloted faster and more efficiently in the tech community.

Bring your business need into our Innovation Lab in Atlanta. We will patent protect your idea and develop a solution for you. Working in an innovation lab environment has lots of advantages including:

      • Working around your internal barriers and with external experts who don't have your organization's innovation constraints;
      • Giving your tech talent a new home to work from. Innovation Labs in the tech community provide the perfect environment for workshops and team meetings. The labs are also a great place for your Associates to be around entrepreneurs and work remotely.
      • Encouraging senior leaders to meet offsite in a more innovative environment helps them focus, hear from entrepreneurs first-hand, and gain an appreciation for how the tech community can speed the development of innovative solutions.

 

Be your own startup with us. We also like to partner with executives transitioning (or thinking of transitioning) out of corporate who have great ideas of their own. In a similar manner, we can bring your idea into the innovation lab, create intellectual property to protect it, and then develop, pilot, and help you grow your business opportunity.

Ways we can help you:
      • Drafting, filing, and prosecuting patent applications
      • Embedding with innovation teams to harvest, refine, and protect ideas
      • Identifying patentable ideas within startup technologies
      • Landscaping markets to identify new opportunities
      • Developing patent strategies for products and startup
      • Managing the patent creation process from concept to product launch
      • Searching ideas for prior art patents
      • Reviewing prior art patents with product development teams
      • Building IP for VC/PE portfolio companies

Learn more at www.Gr8BigIdeas.com

 

#patents #patentengineering #startups #entrepreneurs #breakthrough #intellectualproperty #corporateinnovation #innovation

Protect Your Idea From Your “Friends”

Friends
Patent Services for Startups, Entrepreneurs, and Innovative Companies

"My idea ... became 'our' idea"

When I meet with entrepreneurs to talk about their idea, often a concern they have is how to go back in time and document that they were the original owner of their idea. Why? So "friends" like family, business associates, and product developers don't start calling it their idea too. It is a valid concern and often the entrepreneur has come to this realization a bit too late.

"I had the idea and engaged some developers. Now my developers think it is their idea too."

Entrepreneurs often pitch their ideas to those around them to get feedback. Then to test out an idea, many entrepreneurs assemble a skilled team to build a prototype, website, marketing plan, develop a software application, and so on. Suddenly, usually about the time, the idea gets close to product launch and revenue generation, things change. Some of those people who were in the loop or doing the work become vocal about their contributions and perceived ownership interest in the idea. It can create a real worry and a big mess for the entrepreneur.

I wish I would have protected my idea before...

Sharing

Assembling a development team

Working with manufacturers

Pitching to investors

Pilot testing

Taking that meeting with what now looks to be a competitor

Public presentation at a trade show

Offering it for sale

To mitigate the risk of your idea getting away from you, consider filing a patent application. In particular, the US Patent and Trademark Office has a type of patent called a provisional patent. The provisional patent is low cost to file, provides a documented filing date, and perhaps most importantly establishes what the idea is and who owns it.

The provisional patent gives you a patent-pending status for a twelve-month period. Easy to prepare, the application only requires a cover sheet that identifies the inventors (and a few other things) and a description of the idea.

The application can be filed online at the US Patent and Trademark Office website. The filing fee is $70US, $140US, or $280US depending upon your filing status. Most startups and entrepreneurs fall into the $70US micro entity or $140US small entity filing status. The applications are held in secrecy at the Patent Office. They are not examined and do not mature into patents (There is a different type of patent application for that).

Need help protecting your idea? Patent services tailored to startups and entrepreneurs is what we do.

 

Ways we can help you:
      • Drafting, filing, and prosecuting patent applications
      • Embedding with innovation teams to harvest, refine, and protect ideas
      • Identifying patentable ideas within startup technologies
      • Landscaping markets to identify new opportunities
      • Developing patent strategies for products and startup
      • Managing the patent creation process from concept to product launch
      • Searching ideas for prior art patents
      • Reviewing prior art patents with product development teams
      • Building IP for VC/PE portfolio companies

Learn more at www.Gr8BigIdeas.com

 

#patents #patentengineering #startups #entrepreneurs #breakthrough #intellectualproperty #corporateinnovation #innovation

33 Missteps for Corporate Innovation…

Making Rockets

I came across a hilarious list of things corporates try when they want to look more innovative. Sadly, you know the list is true if you are in Corporate Innovation and that's what makes it so funny. Credits to Tristan Kromer @ the Grasshopper Herder Lean Startup Blog for the list, with a few of my edits.

Might I suggest an alternative? Working with our Corporate Partners, we help them set goals and create an Innovation Roadmap around solving their challenges by leveraging the Tech Community. Then acting as a community facilitator for them, we tailor and facilitate events, accelerators, knowledge-building workshops, tech scouting, patent creation, and talent engagement opportunities to drive successful innovation outcomes in the tech community to meet their goals.

Enjoy the List:

1. Start an accelerator.

2. Buy hoodies for everyone in the accelerator!

3. Do a “find-and-replace” for the word “strategy” and replace it with an “innovation thesis.”

4. Anytime anyone on your team uses the word prototype, correct them with “MVP”.

5. Have the CEO talk about failure without actually admitting failure.

6. Create a stage-gate innovation process for the accelerator, but call it “metered funding.”

7. Rename the accelerator into an incubator.

8. Have the CEO talk optimistically about the incubator's innovation pipeline of new products, then fire an incubator team member or two because their roles have been eliminated.

9. Hire a consultant. And while you’re at it, hire another one.

10. Hire a Vice President of Innovation to oversee the incubator, but under no circumstances hire a President of Innovation.

11. Drop the phrase “Innovation Ecosystem” into random sentences. E.g. “The coffee makes for a great innovation ecosystem.”

12. Fire the consultant. And while you’re at it, fire the other one too.

13. Rename the incubator an Idea Lab.

14. Underfund the Idea Lab. It increases creative pressure.

15. Refuse to continue funding products from the Idea Lab because they don’t align with strategy. When asked what the strategy is, create a distraction, and run.

16. Now that the Idea Lab is up and running, create an Innovation Ecosystem consisting of two high potential employees and an intern.

17. Run a hackathon – no wait…make it an idea jam.

18. Change the floor plan in your office from cubicles to an open layout.

19. Assign all innovation team members to a minimum of 6 business-as-usual projects because “innovation is everyone’s job.”

20. Ensure that all workplaces are ergonomically optimized by using copies of the Lean Startup to adjust the height of everyone’s computer monitors.

21. Buy a lot of LEGOs.

22. Change the open floor layout by building cubicles out of LEGOs and insist it increases productivity.

23. Make sure all the office walls are covered in important-looking post-it notes.

24. Organize a safari to Silicon Valley. Wear hats and bring sunscreen.

25. Create a canvas. Insist that it is better than the Business Model Canvas.

26. Hire a different consultant.

27. Talk about embracing a culture of failure, then fail at embracing a culture of failure. Repeat Step 27 if necessary.

28. Test all ideas in one week with a design sprint. Don’t allow any extensions. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they probably could’ve done it in a week if they tried harder.

29. Implement a four-year plan to get rid of four-year business plans.

30. Go back to using the Business Model Canvas.

31. Train innovation catalysts, but give them no projects to work on.

32. Align the fiscal calendar with Eric Ries’ birthday, author of the Lean Startup book.

33. And lastly, hire McKinsey. No one ever got fired for hiring McKinsey.

VC & PE | IP Creation For Your Portfolio Startup Companies

Innovation Strategy

There are always more ideas than money to protect them. Instead of spending a bunch of money to protect a few ideas why not try an approach that brings an in-house capability to protect all your ideas, on a shoestring budget, in true entrepreneurial bootstrap fashion.

We welcome the opportunity to work with VC and PE firms and their portfolio companies to identify, capture, and protect breakthrough opportunities.

Step 1: Marco Trends & Patent Landscape

Collaboratively, we'll study your area of interest and build a storyboard that identifies key trends, patents, and opportunity areas. The storyboard will be used as part of an ideation session with your team to harvest new products and services ideas.

Patent Trend Map

Step 2: Idea Harvesting & Idea Map Creation

Ranking and scoring the harvested ideas we'll create an idea map that will identify patenting opportunities, inform a vision, and zero in on high-value business-impactful innovation opportunities.

Bundling the strong ideas we'll collaborate with you to develop an IP creation and patent strategy which will protect the company's core innovations, position ideas for licensing, and introduce blocking disruption to derail competitors.

Idea Mapping

Step 3: Building Strategic IP

Inventing differently, an in-house program is flexible and can be designed right into existing innovation processes. Bringing the creation of patent applications closer to the technical team doing the work gets them involved in the process which in turn makes better quality patent applications. Our Bootstrap Patenting approach shortens the distance between conceiving and protecting breakthrough ideas. Patent more, pay less, break the by-the-hour law model.

Bootstrap Patenting

Ways we can help you:
      • Drafting, filing, and prosecuting patent applications
      • Embedding with innovation teams to harvest, refine, and protect ideas
      • Identifying patentable ideas within startup technologies
      • Landscaping markets to identify new opportunities
      • Developing patent strategies for products and startup
      • Managing the patent creation process from concept to product launch
      • Searching ideas for prior art patents
      • Reviewing prior art patents with product development teams
      • Building IP for VC/PE portfolio companies

Learn more at www.Gr8BigIdeas.com

 

#patents #patentengineering #startups #entrepreneurs #breakthrough #intellectualproperty #corporateinnovation #innovation

3 Steps To Jump Start Your Innovation Program

Free spirit

It's a new game now. Were all in lean startup mode. Time to re-invention everything. How have the events of the last few weeks, with the virus outbreak, changed your industry, business, and customers forever? Let's Find out!

Jump Start Your Innovation Program

Step 1: Marco Trends & Patent Landscape

Collaboratively, we'll study your area of interest and build a storyboard that identifies key trends, patents, and opportunity areas. The storyboard will be used as part of an ideation session with your team to harvest new products and services ideas.

Patent Trend Map

Step 2: Create and Innovation Roadmap

Ranking and scoring the ideas we'll create an idea map that will identify patenting opportunities, inform a vision, and zero in on high-value business-impactful innovation opportunities.

The deliverable will be an innovation roadmap complete with a proposal to organize entrepreneurial talent in the tech community to develop and pilot the solution.

Innovation Roadmap

Step 3: Develop & Pilot A Solution

Let us show you how the tech community accelerates innovation. We'll do the patent creation work, organize the talent, and develop and pilot a solution for you. We can get your idea patented and piloted this year!

Entrepreneurs

Ways we can help you:
      • Drafting, filing, and prosecuting patent applications
      • Embedding with innovation teams to harvest, refine, and protect ideas
      • Identifying patentable ideas within startup technologies
      • Landscaping markets to identify new opportunities
      • Developing patent strategies for products and startup
      • Managing the patent creation process from concept to product launch
      • Searching ideas for prior art patents
      • Reviewing prior art patents with product development teams
      • Building IP for VC/PE portfolio companies

Learn more at www.Gr8BigIdeas.com

 

#patents #patentengineering #startups #entrepreneurs #breakthrough #intellectualproperty #corporateinnovation #innovation

10 Ways Patent Engineers Can Improve Your Innovation Success

Engineering Innovation Success

fractional-patent-expertiseWhile you have your smartest people working hard on the new product, stop and think about what is getting left behind. Who harvests the ideas and diligently examines how each can be used to create a competitive advantage for your company?

Of the many ideas your team generates, they select few to pursue. The team most certainly had other ideas some of which might trip-up the competition's future innovation opportunities. Who is tasked with evaluating ideas to license or block the competition operating in your innovation space or markets?

There is a better way, while driving product development, to effortlessly use your innovation team's ideas to create a broader competitive advantage for your company.


Patent Engineer | A clever entrepreneur cloaked as an engineer, with patenting skills, who enjoys embedding with innovation teams to harvest ideas, refine concepts, and create patent portfolios which block competitors, create licensing opportunities, and protect products and services.


Patent Engineers (the good ones) have the uncanny ability to speak multiple business languages like marketing, engineering, finance, IT, and corporate executive to draw insights out of people, refine them into breakthrough ideas, and effectively communicate them within an organization.

With a carrot and a stick, Patent Engineers can herd the organizational cats when needed and use patent strategies to lead consensus to strong patentable ideas that create a competitive advantage for the company and bundle other ideas into licensable or competition blocking patent portfolios.

Remember in patent law, a patent gives you the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling. It follows that  the more ideas you can exclude your competition from making, using, or selling in the spaces and markets you do business in the better.

I have put together a list of 10 reasons you should embed a Patent Engineer in your innovation team and leverage their skills throughout your innovation process:

TCH-bulbLEARN What's Possible

1. A patent strategy should be an active part of your innovation process and happen as close as possible to the innovation team doing the work. Legal functions that house lawyers or rely on outside counsel is not the same as an entrepreneurial Patent Engineer leading meetings and being an active innovation team member.

2. Letting ideas slip away | The more groups, within an organization (i.e. engineering, marketing, finance, IT, etc.), that are working on a project, the more likely it is that some of the best ideas and business models will slip away through the cracks. A Patent Engineer works cross-functionally to gather, refine, inventory, and protect not only ideas but business models that are of value to all groups.

3. Avoiding surprises by proactively reviewing competitor's patents that could have an impact on projects, markets, products, and the company. When needed working with Legal counsel and the innovation team to make sure the freedom to operate is maintained.

EXPLORE The Best Approaches

4. A Patent Engineer can embed and work closely with an innovation team harvesting ideas, mentoring team members on strategic innovation, and refining small concepts into big ideas. While most people on a team have ideas, often not every idea gets heard, and not every team member is good at presenting their ideas compellingly and convincingly. Patent Engineers can work with every team member ensuring that every voice is heard and idea captured.

5. Facilitated workshops, done well, bring groups of people together and in an organized fashion explore opportunity areas. With a Patent Engineer on the team, workshops can happen more frequently and be wide-ranging, such as to seek new product ideas, to identify industry-disrupting ideas, sessions to harvest licensing ideas to adjacent industries, or workshops which harvest ideas to out-right block competition. You get the idea.

6. While the new product team is heavily engaged in a project, lots of sub-ideas fly around, many can be on how to make the product or service better in future versions. A Patent Engineer can capture, inventory, and consider if and how each idea should be protected. After all, your team is only working one version now when there are likely many future versions in their heads.

7. Making choices | During design and development, there is often more than one approach, product solution, or business model to choose from. Companies tend to select the configurations and models that don't disrupt or cannibalize current product lines. These might not be the best choices your customers want, but rather just selected to create organizational compromise. Consideration should not only be given to the best and next best alternatives but also to which are patentable and afford a competitive advantage even if not selected to be pursued into a commercial product or service at this time.

ENGAGE On All The Best Opportunities

8. Picket fences | Executives often talk about creating picket fences of patents to protect and defend against competitive threats. The term picket fence is a reference to creating patented idea boundaries to prevent unwelcome entrants into your innovation space or market. This work should be done in a cost-efficient manner by a Patent Engineer who is entrepreneurial and very crafty. You need someone who will spend as much time as it takes to fully map and develop the patent portfolios which create the most valuable fence.

9. Creating patents for licensing | Often discussed but seldom acted upon, consideration for licensing to other non-competitive and adjacent companies should be undertaken. This can entail market research, developing a company target list, inventing ideas that might align nicely with a target company's products, and good old fashion outreach and relationship building, including working with Legal counsel and company executives. This work and relationship building is something a good Patent Engineer enjoys.

10. Bootstrapping just makes sense | To scale a patent program you have to have an approach and strategy to patent more ideas at the lowest possible cost. An In-house program led by a Patent Engineer to cost-efficiently harvest ideas, refine concepts, and create patent applications is an ideal way to build portfolios of patents that most likely would otherwise be cost-prohibitive using external pay-by-the-hour options.

 

Ways we can help you:
      • Drafting, filing, and prosecuting patent applications
      • Embedding with innovation teams to harvest, refine, and protect ideas
      • Identifying patentable ideas within startup technologies
      • Landscaping markets to identify new opportunities
      • Developing patent strategies for products and startup
      • Managing the patent creation process from concept to product launch
      • Searching ideas for prior art patents
      • Reviewing prior art patents with product development teams
      • Building IP for VC/PE portfolio companies

Learn more at www.Gr8BigIdeas.com

 

#patents #patentengineering #startups #entrepreneurs #breakthrough #intellectualproperty #corporateinnovation #innovation

Wreck Your Competition, Forecast And Patent Their Future

Crystal Ball

Here is an innovation strategy your organization can use to protect breakthrough opportunities and mess with competitors

Companies constantly seek, for themselves, ideas for next-generation products and services but often stop short of seeking ideas of interest to their competitors.

Why not seek ideas your competition and future industry disrupters are likely to develop, for their next-generation products, and wreck their futures by patenting them yourself? A good offense is a great defense, right?

Said differently, why not organize your idea harvesting efforts into anticipating all of your industries' next moves and patent everything? Throw some ink in the water. This is also an important first step if your planning to go into the tech community to working with entrepreneurs and startups. After all, if you don't own the intellectual property (IP) around the idea, you won't own the product IP and if you don't own the product IP, it's likely those you work with will eventually do business with your competitors giving them access.

Here is a technique I have developed to capture breakthrough ideas which I combine with a bootstrap patenting approach to protect lots of ideas on a shoestring budget.

The Process

+ Conduct a patent and macro-trend study of an industry or technology. I start by developing an understanding of how an industry has evolved. Organized into a storyboard along a timeline, seminal patents inform how innovation has evolved. I then link macro-trends that have and are shaping the industry/consumer behaviors to forecast what is likely next. It works great!

Capture Breakthrough Opportunities

+ Idea harvesting workshops identify technical areas of opportunity and dive deep to generate lists of ideas and business models.

+ Converting the raw ideas into an idea map highlights where bundles of patentable ideas exist within the space.

+ Bootstrap patenting techniques are used to exclude weak ideas, bundle strong ideas, and patent protect as many ideas as possible to block competitors, create patent portfolios for licensing, and protect products that you elect to develop. For external innovation in the tech community, ideas are protected before engaging with entrepreneurs and startups to prevent giving ideas away. This patent strategy is discussed further in the video.


 

Ways we can help you:
      • Drafting, filing, and prosecuting patent applications
      • Embedding with innovation teams to harvest, refine, and protect ideas
      • Identifying patentable ideas within startup technologies
      • Landscaping markets to identify new opportunities
      • Developing patent strategies for products and startup
      • Managing the patent creation process from concept to product launch
      • Searching ideas for prior art patents
      • Reviewing prior art patents with product development teams
      • Building IP for VC/PE portfolio companies

Learn more at www.Gr8BigIdeas.com

 

#patents #patentengineering #startups #entrepreneurs #breakthrough #intellectualproperty #corporateinnovation #innovation

If You’re A Corporate Seeking To Innovate In The Tech Community Then You Will Likely Need These Capabilities

Startup Wall

Your organization has decided this is the year to embrace innovation in the tech community!

Can I suggest holding off on making the pilgrimage to Silicon Valley to blow your budget sitting at events and meeting startups that are making stuff that nobody wants? This is just "looking" innovative and likely will not net you what think it will.

Instead, focus on starting with your business needs and "being" innovative to find and foster solutions from the tech community that drives reaching your innovation goals. To this end, there are several capabilities you will likely need to turn business needs into successful innovation outcomes that should be at the core of your innovation framework. Learn more about corporate innovation and these capabilities at www.Gr8BigIdeas.com.

Capturing Breakthrough Ideas - Are you ready to anticipate your industry's next move, find new business models, build a story to sell internally, or identify a competitive advantaged position ahead of your competitors? Done well, facilitated invention capture workshops are a great way to explore opportunity areas that are important to a business.finding-breakthrough

Bootstrap Patenting - Your business needs a patent strategy. Protecting ideas before sharing or scouting in the tech community maintains your ownership rights. An in-house program is flexible and can be designed right into your innovation processes. Bringing the creation of patent applications closer to your technical team gets them involved in the process which in turn makes better quality patent applications. Shorten the distance between conceiving and protecting a breakthrough idea. Patent more, pay less, break the by-the-hour law model.

Open Innovation Tech Scouting - Scouting and Innovation outposting are open innovation strategies that put (low cost) tech talent interns to work on your innovation challenges. Use them to establish a global tech-scouting presence in startup-rich tech communities and at top-tier institutes.

Co-Creating Accelerators - Different from other accelerator models, co-creating accelerators organize a company and at least one of their partners, customers, or clients into a cohort to co-create together around a strategic focus area by articulating business needs that are converted into innovation challenges and scouted using an open innovation network seeking knowledge, talent, and solutions.How Micro Acceleration Works

Product Development - Organizes entrepreneurial talent from the technical community to build, deploy, and as needed operate the solutions. In sourcing talent from the technical community, such activities can be organized to support a company’s women, inclusive, or other entrepreneurship initiatives.

 
 

Ways we can help you:
      • Drafting, filing, and prosecuting patent applications
      • Embedding with innovation teams to harvest, refine, and protect ideas
      • Identifying patentable ideas within startup technologies
      • Landscaping markets to identify new opportunities
      • Developing patent strategies for products and startup
      • Managing the patent creation process from concept to product launch
      • Searching ideas for prior art patents
      • Reviewing prior art patents with product development teams
      • Building IP for VC/PE portfolio companies

Learn more at www.Gr8BigIdeas.com

 

#patents #patentengineering #startups #entrepreneurs #breakthrough #intellectualproperty #corporateinnovation #innovation

Coca-Cola ‘Red’ Talk On Ideas

Coke Red Talk


 

Ways we can help you:
      • Drafting, filing, and prosecuting patent applications
      • Embedding with innovation teams to harvest, refine, and protect ideas
      • Identifying patentable ideas within startup technologies
      • Landscaping markets to identify new opportunities
      • Developing patent strategies for products and startup
      • Managing the patent creation process from concept to product launch
      • Searching ideas for prior art patents
      • Reviewing prior art patents with product development teams
      • Building IP for VC/PE portfolio companies

Learn more at www.Gr8BigIdeas.com

 

#patents #patentengineering #startups #entrepreneurs #breakthrough #intellectualproperty #corporateinnovation #innovation