You’ve worked damned hard to grow your brilliant idea into the tangible form of a product or service. What protection do you have to prevent others from copying it? Is it worth the trouble to seek copyright, patent or trademark protection?
If you’ve done your homework, and strongly believe that your idea is unique, then it’s worth taking a look at having your intellectual property legally protected. It could be worth the cost because your brilliant new product or service gives you your entry into the marketplace as well as a competitive edge. Continue reading “What you need to know about protecting your ideas”
Before sunrise the wind was blowing so strong that I knew we couldn’t take our diving vessel up the coast to dive for diamonds.
I didn’t bother to get up. I had grown up in False Bay and when the wind blew this hard we wouldn’t risk going out fishing on our ski boat.
Here on the isolated West Coast the Atlantic Ocean would smash tons of water against the shore when the sea was big and dangerous.
I heard knocking on my door. It was my fellow diver who announced that we were going to sea. I had better get up and come down to the jetty in a hurry. I told him this was crazy and that I’d tell this to our boss. His face told me that I was looking for trouble. Continue reading “This SOB boss taught the wrong way to be tough”
When the price of mall barbers became too much to finance from my current account I stepped down several notches and patronised the local community barber shop.
Things went all right the first few times. The barber, a young man with a faint resemblance to dapper looking Clive Owen, cut my hair. A soft-spoken, friendly person good at his job, he soon became a favourite with the ladies. I was passed over to another barber.
Now, let me tell you I like to think I’m broad-minded so I let this new barber cut my hair. She looked and dressed worse than Kelly Osbourne ever did. Even in her most rebellious days. But I mean, to be dressed like this in your very late 30s. Come on, even Kelly has cleaned up her act for reality TV (though I suspect mum Sharon has had a hand in this but I could be wrong as she’s never really tidied up Ozzy’s act).
The problem: not only did this barber look weird but she had an attitude. A chip on her shoulder so big that I trembled climbing into her chair. She looked more intimidating than Edward Scissorhands when she held her shaving razor to my neck.
Sitting erect in her chair, I couldn’t imagine this barber ever playing with Barbies. Instead, I could imagine her sticking pins into a rag doll and pulling off its ears.
The worst of it was that she was sullen, unfriendly and spoke to me with a sneer. Foulmouthed beyond what you’ve ever encountered in a low-class London pub. Worse than a weirdo spiked high on drugs stumbling and mumbling filth outside King’s Cross station.
Goodness knows, just to save some money on a haircut, was this really worth it? I mean, on Saturday mornings you want to relax, do some shopping and get on with your day. I knew the owner of the barber shop but I wanted to at all costs not complain about her lest something untoward happened to me. Continue reading “Save me from this brutish barber”
Coming up with new business ideas for products and services involves observation, listening especially, especially to gripes, and reading in your chosen area of interest. These are the tools we all have, some more developed than others, and that with effort and imagination we can spot opportunities. This is particularly so when we make connections between unrelated or random thoughts, concepts, ideas, and objects.
But what should we do when we are stuck or simply need to explore ideas? This is when we can use idea generation tools to show us new possibilities for products and services. Using idea-generation tools and techniques we will be able to come up with more ideas than we can use. This increases our opportunities for coming up with better ideas and perhaps even breakthrough ideas.
Let’s look at a simple example to highlight the value of generating ideas in quantity. Top commercial photographers for high-readership, quality magazines take many photographs before they find one that will perfectly illustrate their subject of interest. In National Geographic’s “50 Greatest Pictures” some of the behind-the-scenes secrets were given. One sentence shows just how much trial and error goes into shooting iconic images:
Reading, watching a movie or overhearing someone complain.
Let’s briefly go through the abilities all of us have to find ideas – observation, listening and questioning.
Observing for ideas
Observation is something we do all the time. We watch people; we observe what they do, observe how they are dressed and see what they buy.
From our observations we connect ideas with those we see to form new and better products and services.
We may, for example, come across a flower delivery service. Then observe at another time home-made chocolate being made, connect these two ideas and fuse them into something like a delivery service for chocolate gifts on special occasions. Continue reading “How to get ideas”
Do you need to come up with new business ideas fast?
So urgently that it feels that you’ve got a gun against your head?
I’ll let you into the two main ways to come up with money-making ideas for products and services even if you have no experience.
Are you ready?
Let’s get started.
You can use idea-generation techniques to come up with your own original ideas. For people wanting to generate ideas for products and services this can be the most risky approach. Why? Because original ideas may be too far ahead of your potential customers.
We’re not talking about an original recipe for a new chilli sauce here. These condiment products have been on the market for decades. Think of a product such as James Dyson’s bag-less vacuum cleaner. It took years for such a new invention to be accepted by the marketplace.
New and original often equals big money on educating the consumer or business person. Idea-driven start-ups face difficulties in trying to make money. It’s not impossible but it’s best that you are warned up front about the obstacles you’ll battle against. When you need income in a hurry, you can’t wait for years to develop and have your new product or services accepted in the market. Continue reading “How to avoid getting lost in the idea-generation woods”
Why are ideas so important to our lives and particularly for our business ventures?
Ideas are as essential to our lives as is breathing. Just think about how many ideas you come up with in a day at home, at work and at play.
For small business owners and those who want to form start-ups to sell and market their own products and services idea generation is absolutely vital for competitiveness and to make money. We need ideas because we are living in times that are changing, dynamic and challenging.
You see it all over the place: in shopping centres, on websites and blogs, in magazines and newspapers and on radio and television. People are coming up with new business ideas all the time to provide products and services to prospective customers so that the value that they create is bought by customers and that the business owners are able to bring in income. Continue reading “New business ideas – why should small businesses care”