I read the book, The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss a couple years ago and one thing that stood out to me was this section on selling your ideas. In his book, Ferriss talked about what the guru of licensing your ideas, Stephen Key. He has a couple of books about licensing your ideas, YouTube videos, and a course. So, he is the go-to guy.
I think I’m like a lot of other people who always have some kind of idea. You know how you might have had some idea in the past and then the next thing you know, someone’s selling it on TV? Then, you wished you would have done something with that idea. I think most people have this story.
Because of this, the idea of licensing your idea was very appealing to me. So, I looked into it. I was also interested in the idea of generating passive income at the time. The idea of licensing your idea is also appealing because you don’t have to go through the next steps of developing a product, paying for a patent, etc. All you have to do is think of the idea, make a diagram of it, and pitch it to the right people.
One activity that is advised to be successful is to come up with at least 10 products a day. I will do this on and off and I think it’s a fun exercise, but when you really look at the statistics, it’s not very likely that you will sell your ideas.
It’s important to be cognizant of the likelihood of success when embarking on an endeavor. I think, even Stephen Key says in the beginning of his book One Simple Idea that, yeah, the odds are very low. I think the percentages were in the single digits, but he says if you work on it then yada yada yada. At least he is upfront about it. I also found a Reddit thread once, which (I will post a link, if I can find it) they basically just said the same thing based on their personal experiences.
This is tough, trying to license your ideas to these companies. It’s very difficult to do and for the average person it might not be worth your time. One thing that can increase your success though, is having relationships with people in these companies.
Although it seems like trying to license your ideas is probably unlikely to happen and may not be worth it for the average person, I think there may be some unforeseeable benefits of going through this process. You may strengthen your creativity, which may lend itself useful to another area of your life. Maybe you feel more fulfilled. Maybe you discover some untapped business potential. Maybe you gain some knowledge that is useful for your 9-5.
I don’t know. It’s just a thought. It seems to be often the case where a lot of successful people will look back on all their past failed ventures and see how those experiences prepared them for the success that came later on. It was only obvious in hindsight though.
I would say if you’re interested in it, give it a shot. Give it a shot for maybe six months to a year. If you do, record your experience along the way and let us know how it went.