• George

Be Careful With Your Ideas

Years ago i met the daughter of an inventor, and she told me how her father had two monumental ideas. He came up with the Mickey Mouse Watch and the Mickey Mouse Camera. He presented both items to Disney and here's what they deal they offered. They would make and market both items, but he could only keep royalties from one, and he chose the camera. Maybe he figured that everyone would want a Mickey Mouse Camera to capture their experience at the Magic Kingdom, and since cameras cost more than a watch...the royalty checks would be bigger. Now for those of you who are not old enough to remember when people wore watches, this watch was a huge success with kids and even more of a hit with childish adults and it was everywhere. I've never even seen a Mickey Mouse Camera. I didn't know they existed until she told me. Maybe the camera wasn't pushed as heavily as the watch or maybe people didn't feel as excited about showing off a camera , but whatever the case - make your decisions wisely with your project. Protect your ideas and think them through. If it sounds like I'm knocking this guy, I'm not. He made a big cultural impact and a decent living for his family. But you have to do your homework. In simpler times it may have been easier, before patent trolls and conglomerates. My great-grandfather was a ferrier and had his feet injured by draft horses ,so he used steel strips and leather to make supports in his shoes. He then took the idea to a company that made orthopedic shoes and sold them the rights and he was able to retire while he was in his forties ! The moral is, there is no moral...just be careful with research and marketing and deal with trustworthy people.

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