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One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work Hardcover – March 15, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Key has successfully licensed more than 20 simple ideas that have generated billions of dollars of revenue. His “10 Steps to Bring Your Idea to Market” course, which can be found at www.inventright.com, has attracted more than 10,000 students around the world.

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Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071756159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071756150
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Stephen Key is an award-winning inventor, a renowned intellectual property strategist, a successful entrepreneur, and a best-selling author. The more than 20 products he has licensed over the past 35 years have sold in Walmart, 7-Eleven, and Disney stores and theme parks worldwide, as well as been endorsed by Michael Jordan, Alex Trebek, and Taylor Swift.

Along with business partner Andrew Krauss, Stephen co-founded inventRight, a company dedicated to teaching inventors, entrepreneurs, and anyone with an idea how to build wealth through licensing. Tim Ferriss, best-selling author of "The 4-Hour Workweek," was an early student of his. He is also the Chief Technical Officer of SpinLabel Technologies.

Key is the author of The Licensing Lifestyle, a weekly column for Inc.com, as well as a long-standing contributor to Entrepreneur.com.

His latest book is entitled "Sell Your Ideas With or Without a Patent."

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Chris Jaronsky TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I really like this book because it has opened up a whole new avenue for me, and showed me with simple descriptions all the areas where I was doing it wrong. I almost felt stupid that I did not know about provisional patents. I thought the only way to protect your ideas was the traditional patent route, and the 10-20 thousand dollars that route can cost. I did not know that a simple provisional patent, that can be filed for $110 would give me even more protection than a patent the first year I filed it. And that I could get a company to pay for my patent when they license my idea! How can you not love this book?

Stephen Key walks you through the steps of taking your idea from birth all the way through getting some company to send you royalty checks every quarter. You come up with the idea, then follow the steps laid out to getting paid for that idea. You do not need to have really brilliant ideas either. A simple product improvement can be licensed. A manufacturing change can be licensed. A procedure change can be licensed. The list is pretty endless in regards to what you can do. Can you take an existing product, change it slightly, and use it for some other non-related use? Yes you can, and you can get paid to do it!

Here is how this book will help me. I started writing ideas down in a small five inch notebook on may 4, 2004. I date all the ideas, my memory is not that good. I have 7 of these notebooks filled with ideas, changes, upgrades, etc. I take notes on a voice recorder in my car because ideas always pop in my head while I am driving. I know a lot of people get ideas in the shower, but I was on a nuclear submarine a long time ago and got in the habit of taking very fast showers because we can't waste water.
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72 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Bevers TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
One Simple Idea is a practical, real-world guide that will help you take your ideas and get them to market with minimum investment of time and money. It is a great read that motivates the creative genius inside to think outside of the box, dream big, and get paid for it. One Simple Idea is a 5 star book and a steal for anyone interested in turning ideas into cash.

Part 1 focuses on how nice it will be once your ideas pay off and you are earning extra income.

"Find Your Million-Dollar Idea" (Part 2) really kicks off the valuable information in the book. This section offers great advice on what makes an idea valuable and marketable. Key emphasizes simplicity and how small ideas can make big money. While this part is good, I think it's also the weakest section in the book. Key only offers three creative thinking methods to come up with ideas . . . each just a paragraph long. He focuses on other idea generation methods that are simpler, but creative thinking techniques can unlock tons of great ideas in my experience. Going in depth here would make this book too long, but it would have been nice to include some additional recommendations for idea generation. For a book that is really strong in this area, check out Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition). It makes a great companion to One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work

Also in Part 2, Key gives an "idea litmus test" (70-73) to measure the ideas that you dream up.
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105 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Il on August 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So I read this book about 5 months ago. After I finished it, I started writing a review but got sidetracked. I was just looking up new books to read and saw that this book had 111 undeserving 5 star ratings, so I am now re inspired to finish my review and caution others. Unfortunately I can't remember all of the things I wanted to say about it, but I do remember finishing the book and being completely unsatisfied. This review is based off what I could remember and the notes that I took.

I had a few a few ideas that I was hoping to bring to the marketplace. With all of the 5 star reviews I thought for sure this book would be enlightening and the "key" to my shortcomings. Unfortunately I was completely wrong. The only way this book can be that great, is if you've never heard of provisional patents or that you can license an idea. I was not that familiar with licensing, so I could appreciate that concept alone. Basically you come up with an idea, file a provisional patent and present the idea to a licensing company who handles all of the production, marketing and sales. You receive a royalty from the sales and you now have more time to license more ideas. If you've never heard of provisional patents, look it up.

Idea Lab's comment about the book's repetitiveness is completely accurate. It's like a 7th grade essay that repeats the same points in the same manner to drive a point home. Here's a list of the redundancies you'll read:

-The most marketable ideas are usually simple ones; small improvements to existing technology
-He has 20 licensed products under his belt
-The conventional way of developing and licensing an idea is dumb and unnecessary, i.e.
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