Successful AI founders do these 3 things with their IP. Here’s how you can do those things, too:
Good founders know that strong AI businesses are built on intellectual property.
But how do they act on that knowledge?
1. They own their foundational IP.
Foundational IP is the ideas, information (code, models, etc.) and data that is important to your value proposition.
Why? Your valuation depends on the IP you own. Customers, traction and technology are worth zero – unless you own what you built them on.
How? Ownership needs contracts. Otherwise, IP will be owned by whoever created it. Co-founders, consultants, academics, vendors, collaborators. But not you.
⚠️ Watch out! Paying for the work to create the IP means nothing. The only way to transfer ownership is with a proper contract.
2. They have an IP strategy.
That’s the part of a business strategy that addresses how you manage your foundational IP.
Why? If you don’t know what your objectives are, or how you’ll achieve them, how likely is success?
How? You can develop your own. Identify foundational IP, then optimize how you leverage it. Check out my recent posts!
⚠️ Watch out! Your business is unique, and your IP strategy needs to suit it. Copying someone else’s strategy won’t be right for you.
3. They don’t put IP off until later.
IP is foundational – and foundations must be built before you build the rest on top.
Why? Can you protect a secret after you published it? Can you get ownership back after you gave it away? Timing is everything.
How? You can plan ownership and strategy even before you generate IP! Some steps like filing a patent might need to wait until your product develops, but it’s never too soon for IP thinking.
⚠️ Watch out! As you generate new IP, some will be foundational. Review on a regular cadence.
IP is ideas, information and data – and your business is built on your ideas, information and data. In other words, your IP is your lifeblood.
Adopting these 3 simple IP practices will help you get ahead of the pack.