Transforming Nickel Ideas to Dollar Innovations


As part of my “Magic and Innovation” series, here is a 3-minute video blog, “Transforming Nickel Ideas to Dollar Innovations: The Danger of Excessive Valuation of an Invention.” In it, I discuss one of the innovation fatigue factors that stem from the innovators or inventors themselves when they think their early-stage invention or embryonic innovation is far more valuable than it really is. This brief lecture includes a sleight-of-hand effect in which a nickel coin is transformed to something more valuable. No trick photography is used.

It’s so easy for a prospective innovator with a great idea, an interesting product, a cool gadget, or a new software concept, to do some calculations and come up with gargantuan valuations. “Let’s see, everybody in the world eats bananas. If as few as 20% of the North America buys my new automatic banana peeler and slicer at $15 each, that’s $1 billion for North America alone! So all I want is $50 million and you can own my provisional patent application. And I’ll toss in my non-functioning plastic prototype for free. ” Inventors and entrepreneurs need to look through the same “Lens of Risk” that potential licensees or acquirers must use. Going from a nifty “nickel” concept to an innovation that succeeds in the market involves numerous risks that must be overcome for the transformation from nickel to dollars to occur. Until you help your prospective partner or licensee have a genuine reason to believe that success will come, the value of your brilliant concept will be painfully low. But there are things you can do to enhance its value and help overcome the hurdles to success. This includes building the diverse intellectual asset estate we discuss in the book, completing your “Circuit of Innovation™,” working with partners to overcome various hurdles, and making iterative changes to address feedback from the market place. It’s not easy, but when done right, you can greatly increase the odds of success and experience the magic of successful innovation.

From (Jeff Lindsay’s Magic Innovation channel): “Magic and Innovation: Transforming Nickel Ideas to Dollar Innovations,” August 14, 2009. Recorded in Appleton, Wisconsin. All rights reserved.

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