Ever had one of those great ideas that just burns a hole through your brain? It’s all you think about. And now you’ve managed to get your closest friends worked up about it, too. But you’re not sure where to go from here: you don’t want to give the secret away to the wrong people, but you need to find out if the world thinks it’s as awesome as you think it is. And you don’t want to waste time or break the bank finding out how important this idea is to the world.
Where do you go next? VentureLab, to learn Customer Discovery: the process of interviewing potential customers before you invest time and resources into a “really cool idea.”
At VentureLab, we’ll help you perform excellent Customer Discovery, and we’ll also recommend you use another valuable resource: the Library. Before you invest time discovering customers and obsessing over an idea you’re trying to tease out of unsuspecting prospects, wouldn’t it be interesting to know that your idea is not already patented and licensed to Apple, Tencent, Medtronic, Caterpillar, etc…?
If you’re in Atlanta, make an appointment with Patent Librarian, Lisha Li – email@example.com. If you live in Georgia, you can gain access to the library with your student ID or Driver’s License.
The Patent section may be the most entrepreneurial-friendly section of the library! When you look at an issued patent, you’ll see who invented it, who or what owns the license (your competitor), and you might learn a few tricks you had not yet considered for your idea. That’s all on page 1 of the issued patent, a 2-minute read if you’re the diligent type. You will see detailed diagrams, business or university affiliations (businesses = competitors), creative use cases, and references to other patents.
So make a date at VentureLab and the library. It will save you time, money and put you ahead of the pack of wolves you are competing against.