Probably not the answer you're looking for, but companies have so many unimplemented ideas that the likelihood of partnering to implement someone else's idea is really low. And besides which, the idea is not something that has much value in and of itself.
If you're passionate in the idea, build it yourself. That's the only way you can have leverage.
Sometimes a large company can't make money by offering more add-on services, but they can offer more services (not minor features) to customers from a partner/outside provider. This gives them two advantages - retain customers this way and make some money through a shared service deal with the smaller service provider. So if your idea could be suitable for something like this, you can present this idea as the possibility of becoming the partner to them. This only works if you have the credibility and you can actually build it out and make it work. They can sometimes even fund you to develop this. Always the danger that they "steal it", or more likely, don't get excited about it (probably because it's on their internal list of things they thought of, but can't get to).
Dear Idea Person,
A lot of tough love on this one!!!
Here's the deal - ideas are the most common thing on the planet. Ideas are basically worthless until they are proven practical. Take it from me, I'm a crazy inventor who has had to learn this lesson over and over again.
Here are some strategies:
1. Get them to sign a non-disclosure on the idea (this probably won't happen because big companies say 'you are not giving us any ideas we do not already have'. And they are usually right!
2. Make it look like a full product or service and sell it. Get the order and then build it to suit them.
All big businesses are in the game of taking other peoples' ideas and profiting from them. But you are wrong in thinking that they want to squash you -- they have no time to even think about that. That is your fear for not taking action. Ideas and business models get "stolen" all the time. Big investors will never sign a non-disclosure for the very fact that they might "already" be working on your idea and would want to avoid any legal troubles of signing to hear your "idea".
If you are going to approach a big company, put in all the footwork first, get your intellectual property protected.
Why not contact 1,000 people and pitch your idea. Maybe some one will steal it. Maybe someone will deny you. Maybe someone will say, "we love it, how do we start?".
Get a them to sign a NDA. This will not guarantee that they will not squash you, but it will help.
Always specialize and find a niche. But do not find a ditch instead of a niche. Let me explain.
You can actually find several or even 100's of niches and specialize in each. Note that this very different from trying to appeal to everybody with the same product. However, nobody on here will be able to tell you the gaps in the software development market. But, I can tell you how to find the answer to your question. You can do this through testing, pre-launching, and launching. Your potential customers will give you the answers if you follow the techniques below.
Test, test, test. You should run several split tests using different videos within the campaign and drive customers to take some concrete, measurable actions. This action can be signing up for a newsletter, buying a product, signing up for a White Paper, signing up for a free bonus, etc. But you have to key each of these along with the video to make sure that the actual video is driving the actual action.
I am sharing other information from my other posts below in hopes that this also helps you.
Boot Strapping or Million Dollar Marketing. Here is the formula.
I am adding information below that I have shared with others.
If you were looking for a doctor, you would go to a hospital. If you were fishing you might use worms even if worms disgusted you. You would not use ice cream to catch a fish even if you yourself love ice cream for obvious reasons. The fish nor the customers don’t care what you like or what you want. They only care about what they want. Customers instinctively think “What’s in it for me?” Understanding this is the key to marketing. And understanding marketing is the key to get whatever you want in life or business.
For investors, try contacting owners of existing similar companies. They have more money and experience than you. Have them sign an NDA when possible before discussing your business proposition.
So, here are several of my marketing solutions:
Here is $10,000 worth of information for free and in a nutshell. (each of these proven concepts could actually be worth millions of dollars in the right hands).
I like your idea. As a matter of fact, I will go so far as say, it is a great idea. So...don't give up. But don't keep beating your head against the wall either. You have to get over the wall.
You have to quit focusing on marketing and sales tactics and focus on a strategy. How do you to this? You have to come up with a really solid USP. Why would a customer choose you over others similar companies? Find the answer to this before you continue with your marketing strategy.
Secondly, you need an irresistible offer.
Thirdly, you need to offer an unbelievable guarantee. By doing this and following the directions below on pre-launch and launch you should be a lot closer to getting real solid customers.
I didn't actually invent the pre-launch or the launch. Concert goers are very familiar with winning concert tickets by calling into radio stations or winning VIP treatment, or back stage passes, lunch with a star, the list goes on.
Likewise, if you look at "professional wrestling" or boxing, or MMA, the whole fighting before the fight is just a pre-launch. Unfortunately, even heroin dealers use a pre-launch technique better than most business people. PT Barnum was doing this for circus goers over 100 years earlier. And I can only imagine the pre-launch of the Romans for the Gladiator Fights.
In more recent history, every type of business from Retail Stores to Real Estate companies have used multiple pre-launch techniques. Believe me; tourists are bombarded with Condo deals when they visit Disney Land.
This is similar, but different from lead generation, another power marketing concept along with backend sales techniques (I don't have the enough space to discuss these and other powerful techniques here). But I use these techniques in my own businesses including offering free information packed newsletters and encouraging my clients to move up my sales ladder because it is best for them. Most do move up the sales ladder as their ambition and drive increases. Some move all the way up from the very beginning. Both benefit from this, one just takes longer to receive the benefits. Others will never take a chance on becoming successful.
Okay, to pre-launch campaigns for SaaS platforms, a startup, or any product or service. Simply, come up with a taste of what you have, ask a serious question and answer it. At the end of the end of the first "answer and solution" set the potential client up with another problem that is very familiar to them. Convince them that you have the answer. Follow this technique several times. Most do this repetition 2 or 3 times, but a famous golfer has sent me literally dozens of how to videos in order for me to take the bait.
You might think that giving the answer to a solution makes your product less valuable and your opinion less valuable. If you think that…then you would be wrong. Heck, look at what I have given out in this answer alone. But, this is just the microscopic tip of my business and marketing knowledge. My experience is if you give you will receive. That is…if you know what to give, how much to give, and how to receive.
I am not trying to convince you to call me. Frankly, most people cannot afford to call me and I am very selective about who I accept as my clients. Besides, I am pretty busy with my own businesses and consulting with some very high paying customers. However, I would need more info from you before I could have a greater impact in helping you.
Most solutions involved this: Ask, Ask, Ask, then Ask again.
Concentrate on the 3 M's of Marketing. I have come up with 7 M’s of Marketing, but 3 will do for now. These are Market, Message, and Media. They come in that order.
Who is your target market (customer, clients, buyers, users, etc.)?
Tailor your laser focused message for this target market.
What is the best media mix to get your message to that market?
Here's what you do...first, take steps to make sure that you are actually selling something that a hungry crowd wants like a baby wants milk, then…make an offer that is so incredible that they cannot resist. Secondly, do all the work for them. Make it so easy to make the purchase now that they can do it virtually without effort. Thirdly, give them an incentive to act right now. Fourthly, offer an almost unbelievable guarantee. Fifth, offer a bonus for acting now. There are many other incredible steps in my playbook, but these steps should help the novice to the professional sell anything.
Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, you have to focus on selling to only one person. You can actually sell to one person at a time while selling to millions at a time. These are one and the same. Don't get off track. What we call digital marketing selling is just selling in print. And that has not changed since in the last couple of thousand years.
The secret to success: I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with some of the biggest names in business, celebrities, actors, entrepreneurs, business people, and companies from startup to billion dollar operations. The number one reason for their success is doing what they know and love while doing it in new, creative, and innovative ways.
Ask, Ask, Ask. Have thick skin and learn from each "mistake." In a short while, the market will tell you what you need to do and who and what you need to ask. But get started now, even if that just means asking a contact on LinkedIn.
While you are thinking, you might as well think really big and think of something at least 1% better, newer, or different. And being cheaper is not a winning strategy.
Make decisions quickly and change decisions slowly…unless you are actually going off a cliff.
Remember these two 11 letter words...persistence and consistency. They are two of the most important tools ever invented.
Even better yet, remember my 411 Rule of Achievement – It consists of (4) eleven letter words for super achievement (also an 11 letter word). Here it is, my 411 Rule of Super Achievement:
Consistency can change even the smallest
Possibility into a big time
Persistence + Consistency =
By the way, I get a lot of people asking me if I can take phone calls for free (a free sample). Sorry, I can’t. I respect Clarity.fm and what they are trying to accomplish. And I wouldn’t if I could. The information that I offer is just too valuable to give away for free. I used to give information away for free and nobody used it. I found that when I charge $3,000/hour people paid attention and actually used my unique techniques, strategies, and tactics. Without taking action on this incredible information or paying someone to take action, you will not succeed no matter how “lucky” you may be.
Treat everybody you talk to and everybody you meet (including yourself) like each is your number one million dollar customer.
Remember this for most people who really want to achieve a dream:
First: Your dreams are important and those who don’t support and believe in your dreams either don’t understand your desire and ambition or they have some other reason (many times reasons they themselves don’t understand) for not wanting you to spend the time and effort necessary to achieve your dreams.
Secondly: If you haven’t achieved your dreams and goals so far, it is not your fault. I know that this goes against what you usually hear, but it is true. Stop blaming yourself. You have a whole world of obstacles that are truly to blame. You only need to figure out how to go over, go under, go through, go around, or go with these obstacles in the direction of your dreams.
Thirdly: Fear is normal, but don’t give into it. Use it to motivate you and guide you.
Fourth: You are right; there are probably some people who don’t want you to succeed.
Fifth: Keep this in mind, there are people competing to get there first, do more, have more, invent what you are considering inventing, or simply trying to win. Believing in yourself and what you are doing is part of a powerfull strategy for winning over your competition.
I also always suggest that everybody at every stage work with a coach, mentor, or consultant. Heck, it works for Tiger Woods, every team in the NFL, the NBA, and etc. We all need guidance and support.
Best of luck,
Take massive action and never give up.
Michael Irvin, MBA, RN
PS – Many people have “Upvoted” my answers. Thanks to those who do this. I really appreciated.
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That's a tough one. Although you may be presenting your idea to an honest executive, most likely there will be a team of people that would get involved in the decision process. It is more likely than not the company would execute the idea without you, assuming, of course, your idea has merit and would pencil out. Not all companies are self-serving, however. Maybe you'll find the right one to speak with?
Ideas/concepts are not worth as much as a proven model.
Now, if your idea is such that you are the rare talent or have the secure connections required to execute, that's a bit different. Yet, even that is not a guarantee.
Is your idea able to be patented? Is it a widget, formula, etc?
I would consult a corporate attorney with your idea to see if he or she is able to help.
I've been in the same position for the past year. Ultimately I decided to build out my projects independently rather than risk losing control (and remuneration) to a larger, more established company. That's what I'm doing; so I'd personally echo the recommendations of others here.
The world out there is already a cauldron of ideas, every one possess one. What differentiates successful and not so successful individuals is courage to speak, share, and execute ideas. It's one of the biggest myth that somebody will steal your idea. Since, it's your idea no one else can understand the DNA of the same as better as you. The world out there wants a business model to copy than idea.
If you feel a "Non Disclosure Agreement" might prove to be the much needed panacea then you're already on a path to achieve euthanasia. So, rather than focusing about copy cats, focus on how you should present it as an opportunity. All the best!!!!
Some really good perspectives here. All a great. If you are determined to leverage a large company, you can try try this approach. I brought several small companies into IBM with big ideas and a couple leveraged the IBM machine to build sizable companies in a similar way.
First, find people who will pay for your idea. Research all sides of the solution. What other technologies can be incorporated in your idea. If your idea requires other software components, professional services, and hardware, you have more points of leverage. Approach a large company with your idea and back that up with a list of people who will pay for a delivered solution. If you present a solid case with paying customers, most large companies, like IBM, have people who can make an investment and prime a solution. Of course, there are many things for you to worry about here, but it can be done; I lived it.
This only works in the enterprise software business. Since we do not know what your idea is, it is difficult to be more helpful. I offer this up because anything is possible. :)
Best of luck.
To give it to them and mutually profit, without them just taking the idea and squashing you keep in mind these following steps.
Step 1: Gather Information
Yes, it is the information age which means the more info you are armed with, the better off you will be. Licensing your idea is no exception. Before you even consider approaching prospective companies to sell your idea, be sure you are clear in the following areas:
1. Know your market. This means gathering as much feedback as possible on your own invention idea. Focus group testing, even among friends and family, is one good way. You should also compile data on similar and competing products--info on what is out there, what is selling and who's producing it, for example.
2. Do some legal legwork. Go as far as you can to determine if your invention is patentable or if it can be produced without infringement on other filed patents. A preliminary patent search on www.ustpo.gov will get you on your way. Also, the more information you can gather about regulatory issues or necessary legal steps, the better.
3. Look into production. Learning about the production process can be extremely helpful, particularly if your invention calls for unique materials or unusual manufacturing techniques.
Step 2: Prepare a Professional Presentation
After you have gathered all the relevant information, you will need to present it to potential licensors. Along with your most effective tool--a three-dimensional prototype model--you should develop a simple sell sheet to convey all the information you have gathered.
Your sell sheet should be a one- or two-page document that clearly states the following:
1. The problem, challenge or need the product meets
2. The product's features and benefits
3. Your product's market
4. The legal status of your invention (i.e.: patent pending, copyright or trademark info)
You should also develop an introductory letter to accompany your sell sheet, which introduces yourself, explains why you are contacting the licensee, and sets a time when you plan to follow up.
Step 3: Pinpoint Your Targets
You've gathered and prepared your information. Now what? Your next step is to determine the most appropriate contacts for this awesome new business opportunity. As a first step, I recommend you create a list of at least 50 prospective targets. As with any type of sales, the more prospects, the better. It is a numbers game, and most companies will turn you down for one reason or another. Also note that a more focused list will bring you more effective results.
So how can you identify companies that might make a good fit? If it is a consumer item, it's as simple as a shopping trip around town. Go to a store where you would expect to see your product sold and jot down the names of manufacturers who produce similar products. You may also be familiar with many of these companies from your prior market research.
Another way to identify prospective manufacturers is to identify the trade association that serves the industry in which your product will fall. Visit their websites and look for member lists. Some trade associations list the manufacturers scheduled to exhibit at their upcoming trade shows. Online databases can also be a great resource. Local public business libraries are often linked to database systems that allow you to search for companies in specific industries. And, from your own computer, you can visit www.hoovers.com, a great online database that provides information about many large-sized companies. The site even enables you to find companies that have specific key words in their description.
Step 4: Qualify Your Targets
Once you've generated your list of 50 or so companies, you'll want to prioritize them--or "qualify" them based on which will make a best fit with you and your product. There are a number of factors to consider when qualifying prospective licensees:
1. Size. Large companies are easy to identify and generally have terrific distribution. However, small companies might stand to benefit more from your invention--and often make better prospects. Small companies generally have less "in house" product development staff and are less burdened by red tape and multiple layers of bureaucracy, which can make them easier to deal with.
2. Geography. While you do not need to limit yourself to local companies, they do offer advantages. Companies in proximity allow you to leverage any contacts you might have locally and set up face-to-face meetings (which is always valuable).
3. Similar product line. The closer your invention matches a company's already existing product line (as long as it isn't directly competing), the more sense it probably makes for them to take it on--especially if it gives them a product that competes with a rival company.
4. Access to a decision maker. The more easily you can identify and directly reach the decision maker, the more efficient your contact with a prospective licensor will be. (Note: if after several calls you cannot determine who the proper contact is--or get in touch with him/her--you are better off focusing on other targets.)
5. Company policy. Some companies' policies for accepting submissions are more inventor-friendly than others.
6. Manufacturer reputation. Find out the company's track record for working with inventors, and if possible, get personal references from those who have gone before you.
Step 5: Make the Sale
You're now armed with information, presentation materials and a hot prospect list. How do you know you are getting a good deal? Understand there are no set rules or terms when it comes to negotiating a licensing agreement. The perfect agreement is one that gives both you and the manufacturer exactly what you want. Therefore, the terms are completely negotiable and can vary dramatically. However, do keep the following points in mind as you are negotiating your deal. First, set realistic expectations. In other words, do not expect a million-dollar deal--it is doubtful you will retire after licensing your first product. Second, go for the gusto. Most ideal for you, the inventor, is to get as much up-front cash, as high a royalty, and as high an annual minimum payment as possible. Of course, the manufacturer will be gunning for less risk--which means a lower up-front payout, lower minimum payment requirements, and as low a royalty percentage as possible. But what exactly do these terms mean, and how can you get the best deal for your invention idea?
1. Up-front payment. This is the money that the licensee pays the licensor up front, before development or sales even begin, for the assignment of the rights. This can be an outright payment, but most commonly takes the form of an advance against (future) royalties. The amount of up-front payment varies. However, it's not unusual for an inventor to seek an up-front payment that covers the cost of her patent filing. Another way to come to an agreeable sum is to base your payment on projected sales expectations for the first year.
2. Royalties. These are the payments made to the licensor based on a percentage of the licensee's product sales. So, if you make a 2% royalty, that means you'll receive 2% of the wholesale price of each unit sold. The typical royalty range tends to run from 2% to 5%. Again, the further along or more proven the invention, the less risk for the manufacturer and the more likely you will get an up-front payment or higher royalties. From my perspective, the royalty is the most important element of the agreement, because if the market responds to the product, the manufacturer will do well, and the inventor can earn a good revenue
3. Annual minimum. This is the contractual term that requires the licensee to pay the licensor a minimum amount of royalties, irrespective of the actual royalties due from sales. To me, the purpose of annual minimums is to ensure that the manufacturer places sufficient effort and resources behind promoting the product. Therefore, I believe that annual minimums are most important in the initial years of the agreement--when the product is being launched--to ensure that the licensee adequately prioritizes this item when deploying sales resources.
4. Exclusivity. Most manufacturers will want to have exclusive rights to distribute the product globally. However, this is subject to negotiation. Depending on each party's motives, the agreement could divide up the markets in many ways.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath