Friday, October 26, 2012

The Commercialization Conundrum

One of the longest segments in the innovation continuum is the commercialization phase - how you a turn an invention into a patent and a patent into a product.  Or more bluntly, how do you use a patent to exchange money for stuff - the commercialization conundrum.

Inventors, entrepreneurs, investors and technology transfer professionals all need to answer important questions about the business model to get an invention to the marketplace.  There are lots of complex models analyzing different aspects of the product cycle, venture capital funding, sales and marketing and pricing but they are often at odds with the real world thinking that needs to go into creating a successful venture.

This week's book presents a framework for thinking about the business model - all aspects of the business model - who is the customer, not just one customer but all of the possible customers?  What is the market (or markets)?  Which market is most important? What are  all the aspects of the revenue cycle - the exchanging stuff for money part - and perhaps most importantly defining the value proposition -  why is this innovation-based product/venture better than what's out there now and how will it succeed?  Defining the value proposition is often the hardest part for the inventor and technology transfer and commercialization pros who have been steeped in the science and technology and the excitement of discovery.  Commercialization is about getting someone else to see the vision and doing all the things that it takes to deliver innovation to the market place.  This book will help you think about your invention and what you should do with it.  (And it's easy to read and has lots of places for making your own innovative doodles in the margins.)

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur — One of the chinks in the innovation continuum is the execution of good commercialization strategies that turn patents into products. Business Model Generation gives readers a way to think about what it is they are selling, who is going to buy it and what the value proposition is. Technology transfer pros and innovation entrepreneurs will find this an easy-to-use tool to refine and develop real commercialization plans.

See the Way Better Patents intellectual property and patent Reading List here.