How can I become an idea person, as a professional title?

Can I take an passive role in a business - I want to found a startup but don't want to do the interviewing. My passion is idea generation...Do I have to start a company myself or are there other alternatives to realizing these ideas.


One word: Royalties

This means you generate the idea and develop it enough to look interesting to a larger company who would be willing to pay you a royalty for your idea. This happens all the time. Rock stars, authors and scientists routinely license their creative ideas to other companies who pay them a royalty. Anyone can do it.

Your business, therefore, would be a think tank. You (and your team, if you have one) would consider the world's problems, see what kinds of companies are trying to solve those problems, and then develop compelling solutions that they can license from you.

You have to be able to sell your idea and develop a nice presentation, a little market research and an understanding of basic trademark and patent law.

The nice thing about doing this is that if you develop enough cool ideas you will have royalties coming in from a lot of different sources, this creates a stable, passive revenue stream that requires little or no work to maintain.

Start in your spare time and plan on the process taking 3-5 years. Set a goal to have a few products in the market that provide enough revenue (royalties) to cover your basic living expenses. Then you can quit your day job and dedicate more time and increase the momentum. A good idea business should have dozens, if not hundreds of license contracts generating royalties.

It's possible to pull this off. And it is a fun job (I'm speaking from experience).

Answered 10 years ago

I understand what you're asking because those exact words came out of my mouth once or twice in my career.

First of all: Never say or write this again. While I'm sympathetic, 99 percent of the people who hear or read you will dismiss you as lazy. Your ideas are only as good as the admiration and respect people have for you and if you want those ideas to go far, you'll need many strangers to trust you immediately. Your hard work and track record of success is what builds that trust.

One fact you must face: If you want to be the "Chief Idea Officer," you must accept the role of chief salesperson. Idea people are only valuable when they can convey their ideas and persuade others to join in making the reality. You will have to sell your ideas to your colleagues, employees, and vendors. You will have to sell your ideas to your clients. You must be the person who learns to speak, tell stories, and teach better than anyone else on the team. This is valuable stuff that most people are afraid to do. If you're afraid to do it, that's OK as long as you are more courageous than afraid.

My advice: 1. Make a commitment to be that rare combination of inventor and salesperson. 2. Find partners for your start-up, people who complement you. 3. Invest in education, networking, and training to become a master at making amazing ideas and selling them to friends and strangers alike.

I'd be happy to visit with you some more about this over the phone. More details would certainly help my answer.

May your vision become a reality! Make it so!

Answered 10 years ago

As long as you're willing to give people cash, they'll implement your ideas for you.

Otherwise, you're probably just day dreaming. An idea is worth very little to people in comparison to hard work and know how, since those people have creative ideas of their own already.

Experience and expertise are in demand too; but if you're reluctant to "do the interviewing", then you're probably averse to getting to know consulting clients, which involves a great deal of interviewing.

Sorry to be critical. Realistically, I think you'd need to hire or invest in people if you want to passively watch someone else implement your ideas.

Answered 10 years ago

Will you permit me to be really frank with you? One of the things I get paid by clients for is Ideation consulting. But ideation is a specific process, not randomly brainstorming ideas.

Here's the frank part, you're looking for a very lazy way out... which means you're already lost.

Yes, you can take a passive role in a business by investing cash in them OR by providing such extraordinary value one time that they give you equity for that value exchange.

You also said you want to found a startup but not do interviewing. What does that even mean? You don't want to interview employees?

Answered 5 years ago

To become an Idea person starting a business will be best, because that way you can propagate your idea in the world. Here are few steps to become an Idea person:
1. Examine what is closest to you: What do you do day in and day out that can be improved? Perhaps something currently takes 5 steps, but could be reduced to 3, saving time and money. Just because it has always been done one way, does not mean that it canā€™t be changed.
2. Read widely: If you read of a case study about a company similar to yours or that of a client about how they fixed a problem with success, think about how you could modify what they did to capitalise on the same success in your position.
3. Understand your organisationā€™s mission: You need to know, live and breathe your organisationā€™s goals, easier if itā€™s your business of course. Always remember who your job touches and how it impacts people.
4. Always have a fresh idea at hand: Before you go into a meeting or brainstorming session have some ideas in your back pocket. It is great to be prepared and awful to be called upon to contribute and have nothing to offer. This is a great opportunity to wow your colleagues, boss, or clients with well thought out positions and ideas.
5. Offer solutions, not problems: Creative people do not whine about the problems that they are faced with, they do something about it. Your clients and your boss are much more likely to listen and take on board your positive solutions and feel better about their interactions with you.
6. Get people on board with your ideas: Introduce your ideas in a public setting, that way its clear that it came from you. Do not worry if people poke holes at your ideas, just because your idea is shot down it does not mean that you are. A good way to offer ideas is by saying ā€˜can I have your opinion on this.ā€™ You are not attached to the outcome and are more likely to get buy in.
7. Realise that not every idea will go through: Sometimes there is a business reason why ideas just cannot go through, it could be the technology or something to do with your customers. So, understand that being an ideal person means that some of your ideas will be rejected.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

- With a proven track record... period!
- Idea person, from my perspective, means that you are not only able to come up with ideas, but can bring idea-2-concept-2-productization.
- And once you do this enough times, you will turn back, and look at your history as a proven track record.
- At that point, more than words, accomplishments will speak for yourself. The rest will come by itself!

Answered 2 years ago

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