“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” Eleanor Roosevelt – US Diplomat & Wife of President Franklin Roosevelt
As an entrepreneur, I helped create companies which achieved two IPOs and two trade sales totaling $385 million. During those same 15-years, I made innumerable mistakes.
Entrepreneurship is best learned experientially, both directly and through the experiences of others. Hopefully this article and the accompanying six-minute video will help you avoid learning these mission-critical lessons the hard way.
1. Attempt To License An Idea
Rationale: My idea is so mind-blowingly fantastic, I can sit back and collect licensing fees while someone else does all the work required to turn my idea into a successful business.
Fallacy: Ideas are worthless, while skillful execution is priceless. Value is created through diligent hard work. Commercializing an idea involves defining and validating an economically viable value proposition. Once you prove that a substantial number of people are willing to pay more for your solution than it costs you to provide it, you can then consider licensing your underlying technology.
2. Secure Your Intellectual Property Too Early
Rationale: My idea is so mind-blowingly fantastic that I must immediately spend some of my precious capital to protect it.
Fallacy: Startup ventures tend to evolve, especially after you begin speaking with pesky customers and demanding partners. Thus, only spend significant time, effort and money protecting your intellectual property when it is clear what you should protect.
3. Perform China Syndrome Market Analysis