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Category: Strategy

Licensing May be the Best Business Model for You

March 20, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

Intellectual Property Licensing Business Model

Let’s face it, not every inventor, scientist, or engineer is cut out to be a great businessperson. If that sounds like you, then you may be better off employing a licensing model rather than a traditional business model for commercializing your intellectual property. Licensing puts the burden of commercializing your IP on somebody else’s shoulders. You will recall that earlier this week, in The Operating Model Just Might be Best for You, we explained the advantages of the traditional (often referred to as ‘operating’) model and promised to follow up [Read More]

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The Operating Model Just Might be Best for You

March 18, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

The Operating Business Model

In our last post, Your IP Gives You Two Business Model Choices, we touched upon the differences between a traditional operating business model and a licensing business model. In that post, we said that in the traditional model, the owner of the intellectual property commercializes a product that is created out of their Intellectual Property. Alternatively, a licensing model is used when the owner of the IP licenses the innovation to another party in return for royalties. The other party then owns the rights to commercialize the IP by manufacturing [Read More]

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Your IP Gives You Two Business Model Choices

March 14, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

Two Business Model Choices for Intellectual Property

You may recall a popular piece from September 2012, Licensing Your Intellectual Property for Fun and Profit. The point of the article was to describe the potentially lucrative, yet often overlooked business model of licensing technology to an independent company rather than building a company around the technology yourself. This post is the first of three that will cover the licensing vs. operating decision in greater depth. Here in part one we will give an overview of the two business models that owners of IP have to commercialize their technologies. [Read More]

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The Fallacy of First Mover Advantage

February 18, 2014 by Shyam Jha

The Fallacy of First Mover Advantage

“No one remembers the second man on the moon,” goes the marketing adage. “Or second to market.” Fans of Buzz Aldrin may disagree, but the fact remains that Neil Armstrong is the name that first comes to mind when thinking about the conquest of the moon. Being first to market is a much-hyped strategic advantage. Indeed, there are several cases of first mover advantage holders who created a new market space with a new product or service, and continued to dominate that segment. Think Ford in automobiles, Gillette in shaving, [Read More]

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How to Create a Compelling Customer Value Proposition

August 27, 2013 by Shyam Jha

Customer Value Proposition

When asked to describe their customer value propositions, most entrepreneurs start reciting a laundry list of product features. Features are near and dear to the hearts of most people close to the product, whether they are software and hardware engineers, marketing folks, or those in operations. But most customers do not care about features. They care about benefits. “Price is what I pay,” said Warren Buffet famously. “Value is what I get.” Value is what a customer derives from a product. Most companies are unable to articulate the customer value [Read More]

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Unshackle Yourself from Unprofitable Customers

January 15, 2013 by Akira Hirai

unshackle unprofitable customers

As we begin a new year, you might be drafting a list of resolutions to kick your business up to the next level. Here’s one place to start boosting your profits: weeding out unprofitable clients and cultivating a more lucrative customer base. When you’re new in business, sometimes any potential revenue can sound rewarding. The idea of discarding the less appealing customers might sound petty and pointless. But the reality is that you spend energy and money to attract and retain customers – and inevitably, some of them could be [Read More]

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7 Steps to Effective Corporate Social Responsibility

January 9, 2013 by Akira Hirai

Corporate Social Responsibility

Usually, when you launch a business, you funnel your resources and energy into your company – not into helping others. Yet we live in a time when many customers judge companies by their demonstration of compassion and integrity. This has become such a fundamental aspect of the business landscape that there’s even a name for such initiatives: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Check the websites of most major companies and you’ll see content highlighting the work they’re doing to protect the planet or support their local communities. That’s because smart businesses [Read More]

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Licensing Your Intellectual Property for Fun and Profit

September 28, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

Licensing Your Intellectual Property

You have a brilliant new invention. Congratulations! But now what? In general, you have two choices: you can build a company, or you can license your concept to another company and you can earn ongoing licensing fees. Most inventions, by themselves, are too small to be the basis of a company. Furthermore, if you’re like most inventors, you probably don’t have the resources or skills needed to successfully build a company. Thus, licensing is a sensible option for many inventions. This article offers a brief and hopefully entertaining introduction to [Read More]

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Making Money in Pizza

September 20, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

pizza restaurant business plan

My wife and I have eaten a lot of pizza this summer; way more than we usually eat. It’s not really a problem for us because we have gotten so much exercise hiking in the mountains. Our unusual pizza consumption occurred to me as I was evaluating a pizza restaurant concept that a prospective client presented to us for our evaluation. I’m not going to discuss the details here because it is proprietary, but I do have some thoughts on the pizza restaurant business that I wanted to share. In [Read More]

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Strategic Money is a Beautiful Thing

June 14, 2012 by Jimmy Lewin

Strategic Money is a Beautiful Thing

For years I have been advising clients to look carefully at strategic investors for new capital before looking for financial investors.  For those of you who are not bankers or business consultants, a strategic investor is an investor who invests for reasons other than an immediate financial return. That advice was once again confirmed late last month when our firm was hired by a Canadian client who in its 10th year is now going back to the market for a new round of capital.  This client, a technology company with [Read More]

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