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Millions from the Mind

Alan R. Tripp

Is There a "Right" Way?

In the American educational system, and in the minds of many graduates of some of the best business schools, there is a shibboleth that all problems have answers. And the answers should be clear-cut, right or wrong. People have developed a multiple-choice mentality.

The art of invention does not work that way. As was the case with Sir Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin, success often comes only when an inventor throws away preconceptions and understands what he or she has actually uncovered, albeit not the thing he or she was looking for. Similarly, many great inventions defy prior wisdom as to "what will work or not work."

The business side of invention has this in common with the invention process itself: Success almost always requires going imaginatively away from the beaten path, the conventional answers.

Montague found a way to finance his foreign bicycle production by getting Letters of Credit from his American distributors. Dean created a combination licensing/franchising format for his concrete blocks. Hickman found hard scrabble ways to sell enough Workmates to demonstrate that all the corporate executives who had turned him down suffered from marketing myopia. Sarich had the guts to walk away from a sure sale of a four cycle engine when he decided that only a breakthrough in two-cycle engines would keep his company viable in the long run.

No matter how wonderful the invention may be, getting the company to start up and stay up requires a unique lift in either financing or marketing or manufacturing--or all of them. Not just writing a good business plan with beautiful spread sheets but a unique execution.


 "Millions..." Pages

Excerpts Menu

» Contents
» But First, This Message...
» A Tradition of Ingenuity
» What Do Winners Do Right?
» Reality in Raising Money
» Trademark Asset Management
» Is There A "Right" Way?
» The Human Side of Invention

» Millions Home

» Excerpts Main Page


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