Falling in love with your IP; escaping the sunk cost trap


Some startup companies are running with blindfold on.

They have found a little white space (freedom to operate) in a certain field. They create a niche solution. They patent it.

Then, they spend months (or years) in development.

They stubbornly will not ship a product that doesn't include the patented IP.


So they never ship.

They keep taking on investor dollars. They keep reporting quarter after quarter, "this is a hard problem to solve, but we have smart people on it."


All the while the engineers and designers have their hands tied.

Designers want a usable product. Customers want a convenient product. Engineers want a simple to manufacture product. Founder wants a wild idea that he has patented.


Sometimes the stars align and the final design aligns with pre-filed IP.


But a filed patent does not mean an idea is good.

I get it, people have invested a lot of money in the patent filing. But that's the root of the problem.


The founder fell in love with some idea. Now they want to get that money back. Typical behavior of someone stuck in the Sunk Cost Trap.

Focus on the customer and usability. What do they want? Do they want your solution? Do they care that you have a patent?


Hint, it might not be an app.

 

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