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11/21/13
Entrepreneurs. 10. Pitching, Patenting and Principals
Filed under: Observ. Trends, Alternate Career Paths
Posted by: site admin @ 2:08 pm

Where does a new company begin?  Too often we begin
with a great idea that everybody needs.  In the chemical
enterprise or technical fields, this may not be the only
way.  Knowing things about ‘adoption curves,’ experience
and ‘feedback loops’ is essential for adapting to the
marketplace of ideas.

MARKETING THE IDEA
Well, first let’s go with an initial idea, concept or product
innovation that will disrupt the product or service space
Much of the literature suggests that it is appropriate to
start small and in fact begin a marketing campaign earlier
and on a different time line than the production/service
rendering and sales plans. 
The marketing scheme markets the core idea to mentors
and backers first.  Then, a subsequent plan markets to customers
often and in different ways.
With technical ideas we need to seek out mentors to consider
implications and unanticipated outcomes and even experienced
patent agents or attorneys.  One outcome could be infringing on
someone else’s patent or someone infringing on your patent
or trademark.

I thought John Greathouse of Rincon Ventures offered
some ‘first rate advice’ on how to act prudently to avoid IP
catastrophes and minimize IP legal fees without
jeopardizing trademark or patent ideas.
-  Consider a single patent with fewer, yet comprehensive,
claims
-  draft your own protectable claims (with suitable
examples)
-  focus your initial patent application to where you expect
early sale opportunities to be, not going for large range
and costly international scope.

Protecting your investment is not an area to overlook or
seriously cut corners on in the initial marketing of the idea. 
So, Pitching and patenting go hand in hand.

PRINCIPALS
The person who ‘takes the first plunge’  and founds a
business provides the original idea.  (S)he can come up
with the initial gameplan, insight, customer group, yet
others may help “scale” repeatable business and growth.
Conflicts can arise when members of this secondary
founding team wish to wrest “control” from the founder.

Either they recognize their strengths and the organization’s
needs or they decide that a new role is needed, that of a
CEO. 

Steve Blank outlined an intriguing pattern where a person
who is “first among equals” emerges to allocate resources.
We see an example of this with the way Google had
a business minded technical leader, Schmidt, assume leadership
from Brin and Page.

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