Week #18 || Invention, Intellectual Propery, and Income


1. PART 1: Development


How to license an invention, and how to create a business model from it?


To begin with, I must already acknowledge the Fab Lab as a perfect environment for prototyping. As far as business models go, I tend to believe that a model can or should not precede a tangible product. I thought of my mushroom growing project at the beginning of this year, and I can not believe I got as far as I did now in just a few months. It is only possible because of the knowledge and technology available through a Fab Lab. So the process of learning how to do something (how to make almost anyting) and actually applying it, gave me that important business insight.


The core of that insight is that there is a huge gap between an idea, and a sellable product. I have now come as far to produce a first prototype, but it is so far removed from any commercially applicable model that it is currently non-sensible to plan that in detail. So how do I proceed?


2. PART 2: The power of working together


Doing everything alone is nice, but it creates a lot of pressure and difused focus because of the amount of different tasks. So my first step in further developing the Mykonos project, would be to try to find a partner to work with. Both for the design and prototyping, setting up a commercial model, but especially because two brains can accomplish so much more when working together well.


Though I am quite a loner when it comes to work, and important part of creating a business model for me would be to find a partner. However, I will always be a loner, that is to say 'independant'. My view of a modern business is not an employer with employees, but people working together equally, independant as freelancers, creating their own income out of common work goals.


3. PART 3: Licensing

I hav been doubting about how I would license my invention. The biggest questions were of course about being open source. Before Fab Academy, I didn't feel to convinced about open source. I thought it couldn't work commercially, and everybody would just end up copying and stealing everything. But I forgot to think positive. Most people contribute, learn from, and re-create using open source models. I have realized I would not have learned 5% of what I know now if it wasn't for open source knowledge and projects.


I will for sure choose an open source license for all the work I do during the development trajectory. All knowledge required to build a model similar to that of the current and future iterations of 'Mykonos' should be reproducable in a Fab Lab or similar place. I quite like the Creative Commons license, so let's go and make one:




The result:   Creative Commons License
'Mykonos' by Mamotok is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


3. PART 4: Unleashing the mushrooms


As I mentioned, it is too early to think about a detailed business plan. But what I would surely consider as a main option for this project, is crowdfunding. I would rather call it product testing though. Because Mykonos is a consumer electronics appliance, it would make a lot of sense to first launch it on a page such a Indigogo or Kickstarter. I like the model, because the people that are attracted to it are likely to be progressive people open to new technology and models, like Mykonos could become.

But before something like that can happen, it's time to see what I need to work on before I can even think about launching!