Collaborative Invention: A Lower Risk Way to Invent
By Nancy Zwiers
Imagine how we can grow the industry with a larger pool of successful inventors!
It can take a lot of time and money to take an idea from a vision in one’s mind to a compelling piece of tangible expression that is truly license-able.
The quickest, cheapest forms of tangible expression (2-D renderings) aren’t often compelling enough to make the sale. Creating a works-like model helps. Creating a looks-like/works-like model is even better. Creating a fully fleshed out brand that leaves less to the imagination is even better--and what’s more, a brand invention helps establish a longer tail of royalties versus a one-off feature. All it takes is time, money, and an impressively multi-dimensional skill set.
Many would-be inventors make a few attempts to get their ideas into the invention marketplace, but often give up because it is too costly, too time-consuming, and too risky. Further, even if you’re successful, the rewards are too delayed.
Working on a speculative basis is fine if you don’t need to make a living at the same time. For this reason, I expect there are many ideas rolling around in freelancers’ heads, needing a home, while they focus on making a living with work-for-hire projects.
The Collaborative Invention model we created at my company, Funosophy, has the potential to unleash a whole new reservoir of underutilized talent and creativity in service of innovation—the lifeblood of our industry.
Just like the movie studios who bring many different experts together to complete a creative project, the Collaborative Invention model does the same. It offers manufacturers a brand they can “pick up and run with” and it requires a team of different experts, not just a single inventor. Luckily, our industry is teeming with individuals with deep expertise in a variety of development and marketing related areas. From high-tech inventors and programmers, seamstresses and face painters, to strategic marketers and packaging designers, the list of specialties goes on and on. Why not bring individual’s respective talents together into a single focus to create truly visionary products wherein we share the work, share the risk, and share in the rewards?
It can start with a brand concept that inspires a feature—or it can start with an amazing feature that inspires a brand. As a brand-builder, we started with the brand concept at Funosophy. Here’s how it worked:
During the 2008-2012 period, Funosophy generated over $1 million in advances/royalties—all through Collaborative Invention. So, all you ambitious independent consultants and freelancers with a seed of an idea, create your own team of collaborators, get into alignment on roles and royalty sharing, and get started.
The brand Fashion Marks, pictured above, involved five team members.
To request a free copy of my boilerplate contract that can help you form your own team of collaborative inventors, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I welcome you to follow me on Linked In…I’m here to help!
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