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 6 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 6 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 6 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 10 months ago

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