We need to innovate to grow our companies. And, as I have always believed and averred, businesses, governments, and non-profits need to be creative and innovate on a regular, almost continuous, basis. It’s what I have tried to do when I have been a division head, a “skunks works” leader, or CEO/COO of an enterprise.But, not all companies (or governments or non-profits, to be sure) understand this. One of my first employments involved a “discussion” of the assignment of patents to my employer. I refused to agree to provide a blanket patent assignment to the company. The CEO felt I was being unreasonable. When I asked him how many products (patents) he expected from his good technologists, his reply was 1 to 2 every few years. (Trust me, that number was probably higher than his expectation, but I did not argue with the number.) My position was if I were to develop one new product a year- that should be the company’s. But, any developments beyond that should involve special compensation to me. And, the company would get to choose which one it wanted each year. He eventually agreed (only after there were multiple products in the pipeline and no patent assignation on file from me)- and we parted company soon, thereafter.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to share my grandson’s special day- his second birthday party. He was amazing. (What? You expected a grandfather to say something different?) He was happy, he was generous, he was patient, and he was verbal. He would run around the house (one of his favorite past-times), announcing “I am running around”. He announced what he was going to do next- play with his fire truck, play with his plastic dog, or dance. He made sure everyone knew what he planned to do.
I have been participating in a discussion with other LinkedIn members about the valuation of new entities over the past week or so. Clearly, there is no hard and fast rule to this process- and, that’s mostly because we have no hard and fast ability to determine who is going to succeed in the long term. It’s a little easier to evaluate a going business, as long as we don’t try to discern how much the future will impact the value of the company right now.
We are going to try something new today. There is no music, but there is audio. Just a PowerPoint presentation. Please let me know if you like it. Thanks!