The next several blog posts will be about licensing your product.
Manic Monday in Memphis
It's Monday morning.
You arrive late to work because of a massive traffic backup on the freeway. Frazzled and annoyed, you are about to enter a scheduled 9:00 am meeting when your boss motions you into his office to look at a management email he just received. The title of the email – New Matrix Organization: Increasing Shareholder Value Through Nimble and Flexible Responsiveness – is corporate speak for layoffs.
A bad day just got worse.
To think you saw this as a secure, stable job with an executive track when you came onboard three years ago. Now you just hope to hang on, to stay afloat, to pay the mortgage each month and get your two kids through college.
This is not the life you imagined when you graduated from college.
In your precious spare time you have been tinkering with a consumer product invention idea, but you don't know if you'll ever get it “out there” into the marketplace. You daily life is so stressful, it is hard to consider the future beyond getting through each day, week and month. There has got to be a better life than this!
Flash forward five years…..
Mellow Monday – Mai Tai's in Maui
The crazy commutes, manic Mondays, and daily stress of the right sized corporate world are now a distant memory for you.
You chose to trust your tenuous vision of an innovative new consumer product enough to file a patent on it. You took one small step forward… then another … and another into the entrepreneurial, amorphous world of inventing.
For a long time, your journey to license your product comprised periods of frustration and futility. One company you presented to thought it was interesting, another thought it was really cool, still another company said it wasn't quite right for them right now. It was never cool enough or interesting enough or right enough for anyone to license it and commit it to production to get it into the marketplace.
You began to seriously doubt your vision – maybe it is not such a great product after all, you thought.
Then, through social media, you found a smaller company that was actively seeking new innovative consumer products. You decided to give your dream one more try – if this doesn't work, it's over, you told yourself.
But it worked!
The smaller company had big aspirations in the marketplace and your little product fit right into their plans. When you negotiated a licensing agreement with them, you and your wife celebrated with a special dinner and night on the town.
Months went by and nothing much seemed to be happening. But, behind the scenes the company was quite busy: setting up tooling, sourcing product, planning distribution and negotiating with retailers.
They rolled it out into the marketplace in a big way: distributing to thousands of retail stores, QVC, and catalogs.
Now your life is transformed.
It is Monday afternoon, dressed in a bathing suit and flip flops, you relax, your lounge chair gently sinking into the soft white sands of a Maui resort. You are sipping a Mai Tai. The rhythmic rivulets of waves soak your fleet as the incoming tide gently sweeps further up the beach. Your wife is fast asleep in her lounge chair.
But there is indeed stress here too. You will soon need to move your chairs and beach belongings further up shore or risk getting soaked from the incoming tide. You must reapply sunscreen soon or you and your wife will begin to resemble ruddy beach lobsters.
Memphis is good…. but Maui is great!
Time to get busy. Your Mai Tai is empty, time to get another frosty Mai Tai. Gotta move the chairs, the tide is almost in.
Monday is mellow.
Life is good.