You’ve undoubtedly heard Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous line, “Build abetter mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”Unfortunately, when it comes to the reality of the business world, it just isn’ttrue. It takes a lot more than a great idea- or even a great product-to besuccessful at bringing a new idea into today’s marketplace. The purpose of this module is to familiarize the business counselor with the various stages aproduct must go through, some of the barriers inventors should be preparedto face and overcome, and some of the resources available.Dr. H. Randall Goldsmith and the Mid-Continent Technology Transfer Centerhave developed a model that demonstrates in clear, understandable termsthe steps involved in the innovation/commercialization process. This model,called the “Commercialization Process Model” will be the framework for ourdiscussions in this module.
There are two basic ways to commercialize a new product: either the clientlicenses it to someone else to produce and/or sell or the client does the jobthrough his or her own venture. Most other options are variations of thesetwo possibilities. Both of these strategies have implications the client willneed to consider.
The Licensing Option
Licensing means to grant to another person or company the rights to anintellectual property. This idea appeals to many inventors because theamount of money as well as the amount of tasks, skills, and people requiredseems considerably less than what it would take for the client to set up anew business. There are some pros and cons to licensing the client shouldconsider.
The Cons to Licensing
The inventor will lose control of the technology.
Usually totalcontrol, for a long time, and often forever.
The inventor’s involvement is reduced.
In most cases, the inventorwill have no further direct involvement at all. He or she may stay aroundas a consultant to the licensee, but usually for a limited time.
Finding the right licensee is tough.
There are a lot of inventors tryingto sell ideas to a lot of companies-the competition is fierce and companiesare jaded, tough and like to call the shots. Persistence is called forbecause the right company may make the inventor rich; but caution is