2015 was a busy year at PSG and for our clients as well. I dropped in on technical conferences and workshops ranging from food innovations, Medium Voltage Motors, to the Chicago Toy Fair. I was also invited to speak to entrepreneurs at PeopleFund and Startup Law Austin. Plus, I added two new consultants to complement our business strategy services (details below). But, by far the most rewarding part of 2015 was seeing our clients use our research to move their businesses forward…before they invested large amounts of resources.
PEARSON STRATEGY GROUP’S STRATEGY AND INNOVATION BLOG
I’ve noticed a recent trend that is worth consideration for some new ideas: Copyrights seem to be moving into the money-making spotlight. At the same time, there is less talk of patents as financial security.
With the help of some casual market research and my brand of Patent Analytics, I can paint a broad picture of patent activities around different toy families (dolls, trucks, music and the like) that may show up on a Christmas list for Santa soon.
Mood rings were groovy, “Jaws” was playing at the movies and the Vietnam War was ending. It was 1975 and a new television show called Wheel of Fortune debuted its first spin. That wheel is still spinning and being stuck in 1975 must work for Pat and Vanna since they are still solving those puzzles and recording new shows today. Are you stuck in 1975, too? When you value your company, how much do you think your Intellectual Property is worth? When I talk to inventors, entrepreneurs and others, they often cite 15 or 20 percent, roughly the same as in 1975! And I was under the same mistaken impression until I read a new report.
Can something be simultaneously alive and dead? This is the question posed in the famous thought experiment conducted by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. This same debate might also be applied to the many inventors, attorneys and companies involved in deciding when a novel idea is really (substitute “effectively” if you wish) confirmed as being novel. Why should I care? I’ve noticed that many people consider their idea to be “patented” as soon as their “provisional patent” (their terms) has been filed. A number of people are planning on getting a “world-wide patent” (again, their terms) something which does not exist.
Loyal readers (and anyone caught in an elevator with me) already know my passion for Patent Analysis. Inventors, entrepreneurs and other innovators should pay close attention as the process is low risk and the results are always educational. As a quick recap, Patent Analysis takes statistical advantage of the roughly 5 million patent applications and granted patents being published around the world annually
Did you catch the grand finale of the TV show “BattleBots”? I wouldn’t have missed those whirling, fire-spewing, armored fights to the death! These latest technology-infused games are a far cry from my 1970s era Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots® and the contrast got me thinking about where robots and entertainment are headed next. Let’s take a quick peek at the history of robotic entertainment to see whether it has fueled any innovation. Can we predict the future marketplace? (Hint: I think the key might be the level of human interaction.)
What do big companies have in their R&D toolbox that smaller companies often overlook? Competitive intelligence – what some might call snooping on the competition. Competitive intelligence research is a powerful strategy for any size company, so it pays to know more about your options. In the latest issue of Texas CEO Magazine, Steve Pearson, founder of The Pearson Strategy Group, reveals five strategies that can be used by companies of any size. He also explains how acting without research can open the door to poorly executed innovation, expensive strategy missteps, unrecovered R&D costs, risk or legal entanglements.
This week I saw an interesting television show “Farnsworth vs. Sarnoff” about the invention of the modern version of television, one that’s all electrical. It was a David versus Goliath story that made me want to cheer for the underdog…in my mind at least. Like many, I had heard about Robert Kearns who invented and patented the delay system for windshield wipers, but ended up in court fighting for money owed to him. However, this was the first time I heard that television also had a contentious start. The show talked about Philo Farnsworth as the inventor of modern television. He had conceived the critical portions of television when he was only 14, built the first functional TV system at 21 (1927) and had 165 patents to his name when he died.  All incredible accomplishments to be sure.
Corvettes are legendary for state-of-the art speed technology, but some of GM’s non-speed related equipment can get drivers like you and me into trouble faster than you can say “street legal.” Check out this video (taken from a Corvette’s built-in camera) showing a group of Houston Vette owners recording their exploits. I’m sure the local police appreciated their help with documentation for the arrests. The idea of built-in cameras and other gadgets got me to wondering about GM’s innovation focus these days. How much relates to the incredible combustion engine technology used in Indy cars to produce up to 700 horsepower at 12,000 rpm?