034 – Inventing and Licensing with Stephen Key

034 – Inventing and Licensing with Stephen Key
Stephen Key - One Simple Idea author - with a tiger!


Stephen Key - One Simple Idea


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[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

Stephen Key - One Simple Idea author - with a tiger!

Stephen Key – One Simple Idea author – with a tiger!

Do you need a patent to make money on a great idea? What choices to inventors have to bring their ideas to market? Can you start a successful business as an art major?

Hey there, Innovation Nation! Today we’re talking inventing–one of my favorite subjects–and I just read a great quote by the business strategist Gary Hamel:

“As human beings, we are the only organisms that create for the sheer stupid pleasure of doing so. Whether it’s laying out a garden, composing a new tune on the piano, writing a bit of poetry, manipulating a digital photo, redecorating a room, or inventing a new chili recipe – we are happiest when we are creating.”

I agree whole-heartedly as does my guest on the podcast today, inventing coach Stephen Key. I just lose track of time when I’m creating something, whether it be a recipe I’m developing or a 3D design I’m making and printing in our 3D printing lab. I am truly happiest when I’m creating.

We believe this idea so strongly that we’ve built a whole company around it, including on of our favorite activities–Inventor’s Bootcamp. We fill a room with 3D printers, embedded processors, sensors, 3D design software, and computers for programming, and then set students free to discover that ever dangerous idea: I can learn on my own. In every class, several students are set free to discover the universe without the limits imposed by others.

To find out more about the Inventor’s Bootcamp visit http://inventing.zone or you can just visit http://www.TTInvent.com and click the Inventor’s Bootcamp button.

Our guest today is a well-known inventor and coach to upcoming inventors. His students have been on the television show “Shark Tank”, and most of us have probably used one or more products designed and licensed by Stephen Key. Today’s interview is a peak into the mind of a great inventor.

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About Stephen

Stephen Key is an award-winning inventor, a renowned intellectual property strategist, and a successful entrepreneur. 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. Stephen is the Chief Technical Officer of SpinLabel Technologies as well as a co-founder of inventRight, a company that teaches people how to license their ideas. His first book, One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams Into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work, has been translated into five other languages. He writes a popular weekly column for Inc.com and is long-standing contributor to Entrepreneur.com.

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Additional Notes



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Full Text Transcript – Coming Soon!

“I think I failed the second grade.” —Stephen Key (a successful entrepreneur


“Companies need us!” —Stephen Key (re: small time inventors and innovators)


“I was tested by the local college’s DSPS office, and the scores came back so low, they said, ‘Mr. Key, we don’t think there’s anything you can do in society to make a living.’ I kind of smiled, and I knew that the scores would be low. I had created my own world and was successful in creating ideas. I had to kind of chuckle…I think some people just learn differently.” —Stephen Key (a very successful inventor)

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