Why every entrepreneur needs an innovation plan
Startup companies differ from traditional businesses in two characteristics:
- They aim at developing a viable business model around an innovative product or service, oftentimes to disrupt traditional markets.
- They seek rapid growth, sometimes with the aim of selling the company after a few years.
In the early stages, a startup typically does not own significant “real” business assets, such as production machinery, raw materials or inventories.
Instead, the value of a typical startup is almost entirely based on its innovation potential, which is embodied in “soft” assets such as know-how, technology concepts, or branding.
Without proper management and protection, these intangible assets cannot be owned and controlled — “Thoughts are free”.
It therefore strikes me as odd how many entrepreneurs focus entirely at all sorts of plans:
- a business plan
- a (lean) product development plan
- a marketing plan
- a growth plan
… but do not think about planning and managing their most important resource: their innovation assets.
Intellectual property rights are one way of transforming these intangible innovation assets into concrete business assets that can be owned, valuated, sold and rented — hence the name intellectual property.
It should thus go without saying that every entrepreneur needs to have a plan to turn the startup’s intangible innovation assets into well-defined intellectual property to maximize its business value.
When properly planned and managed, the startup’s intellectual property gains immediate business value. This can in turn lead to significant benefits, which I will cover in one of the next articles.
Originally published at bastianbest.com on August 30, 2017.