In the internet economy more and more of the world’s assets are becoming non-tangible.
The value of hardware (tangible assets) is falling drastically. The value of Google is more in it’s brand and the algorithms that give you the search results than the servers and hardware that run the algorithms and host their website. The buildings of the Googleplex only make up a small percentage of the total value of Google.
As you will quickly learn about the web, it is very easy to get copied. When I had a mobile innovation startup seven years ago I used to see my ideas and text copied. It took me a lot of experimentation and “failures” before releasing something that worked – and pretty soon the few ideas that did work were copied. Even as I write these words that I have had to put some thought into eventually somewhere on the web these will be copied (I can already point you to places which copy some of my blog posts word for word).
In this interview Michael Lecther, an intellectual property lawyer, professor of entrepreneurship at University of Arizona and an entrepreneur himself talks about how to raise money for your ventures when you don’t have any money as well as ideas for protecting your intellectual property.
If you are in the creative business (and more of us are going to be making money in thinking rather than building) than you need to figure out how to build your brands and intellectual property so people don’t simply copy.
Or if people do copy than you still get some benefit. For instance, in many Eastern countries DVDs are copied so the creators don’t make an income. But if you are making a movie for DVD you could have product placement in your movie so that even people that copy the DVD end up buying something advertised within the movie.
In case you can’t see the interview above visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSZHGuAkpys
If you are looking for an advisor to help your organisation or country deal with Intellectual Property than I highly recommend you get in touch with Michael Lechter (http://www.mlechter.com) as you won’t find many people with the level of experience he has had in monetizing intellectual assets. For instance, he was an advisor to the Rich Dad, Poor Dad books which sold over 27 million copies and made millions of dollars in revenue.
Thinking and creating are fun. But you also want to ensure that “fun” also creates and income for you. Watching the interview above will give you a better idea of how to ensure you benefit from your creations.