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It may sound counterintuitive, but here is my very best advice for entrepreneurs who contact me with their game-changing orthopedics idea…
“Share your idea.”
The reason why we don’t share
We feel like we have a stumbled on a secret and we want to protect our beloved secret. We are only comfortable sharing our idea with family and trusted colleagues. The end result is that you will accidentally smother your idea.
Others are afraid that one the of Big Orthos will steal your idea and run with it.
News Flash! The Big Orthos don’t know what to do with your idea. I promise.
- OrthoSpace could have sent all their ideas about biodegradable cuff balloon to Stryker. Nothing would have happened.
- Titan Spine could have sent all their ideas about improved cage coatings to Medtronic Spine. Nothing would have happened.
- Mako Surgical could have sent all their ideas about haptic robot surgery to Stryker. Nothing would have happened.
- Kyphon could have sent all their ideas about angioplasty and cement in the VB to Medtronic Spine. Nothing would have happened.
You get the theme here.
The most significant threat to your idea is obscurity. Share your idea with anyone who will listen. Nobody is going to steal your idea. File a provisional patent if that makes you feel better.
The Benefits of Sharing
The reason for sharing your idea is to test it, to validate it, to improve it, and to potentially attract resources for it.
Does your idea solve a real clinical problem?
Who would buy it and why?
Is it technically feasible?
How can you make it user friendly?
Is there a way to get paid for the product or service?
Is it scalable?
Is the timing right in the marketplace?
Can it be easily distributed?
Will your market position be defendable for a long time?
A Hard Pill to Swallow
Your IDEA is easy and has little value until it is tested, validated, improved and has attracted resources.
“I’ve realized that the key to being successful is not how good your ideas are, it’s how good you are at being able to find quick, cheap, and easy ways to try your ideas.” — Marc Randolph