Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Potatoes and Patents


Patents, Potatoes and Pomegranates 
“I remember thinking- there cannot be anything clever in delivering beans…”  That was the reaction of Lucy Wojcik in 2014 being interviewed for the job of IP attorney at Ocado, an online supermarket company in the United Kingdom.
It does furrow eyebrows when considering the part, if any, IP would play in a company that grows vegetables and fruits and then distributes them as meals, but now Ms Wojcik has a decidedly different view, https://patentstrategy.managingip.com/Articles/110?from=daily.  As she came to find out even in the supermarket business, “… as soon as you have problems that need solutions and engineers, you are generating IP.”
The Ocado and its emphasis on IP serves as today’s model of how to maintain a competitive presence today and tomorrow.  With very few exceptions, a company today needs a strong R&D/IP culture to survive.  It must be an integral of the conduct of business, a primary consideration in company strategic planning.  It should be the source of new, competitive products and services as well as the mechanisms for protecting those products from competitive inroads.  A comprehensive tour de force for the “how to” is Perpetual Innovation™ A guide to Strategic Planning. Patent Commercialization and Enduring Competitive Advantage by Hall & Hinkelman available at Amazon and Lulu.
Perpetual innovation™ Patent Guide & Patent Primer: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/SBPlan

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Yeti, cool ideas and lots of patents

Yeti has a rather cool new cooler out, the Hopper(r) M30 uses a magnetic seal. Although it might be a bit gimmicky, it should work much better than the heavy (klunky) zippers. They say that it is nearly leak proof. GearJunky does a nice review of the M30. For $299.99 at high quality sporting goods stores like Dicks, you too can have one.

Yeti is a $2.5B market cap company, up about 70% from its IPO. It is hard to maintain a premium brand in an era of knock-offs. But Yeti is and continues to do so.  I got in on the IPO, sold half at a good profit, and held on through the couple rough patches for a consumer product like this. They came out early for better (sane-er?) gun controls, and had NRA members making a spectacle (viral videos) of throwing Yeti coolers in the dump. (That was an ugly couple days for the stock.)

In Sept. 2019, Yeti has just introduced a major line of coolers for "everyday bags" adventures and the Urban crawler: Crossroads(tm) backpacks and totes! Press release at Reuters. Big purse or a backpack. Not sure if it will replace your Prada, but it should keep your beer in the office cold. (Maybe that's one reason why Yeti stock popped about 8% on 9/4.)

"We already offer premium bags designed to excel in harsh outdoor conditions. But even the world's most extreme adventurers need something durable and comfortable to keep them organized during their daily commute," says YETI CEO, Matt Reintjes. "Our Crossroads bags offer YETI's signature durability and performance, but are designed for your everyday adventure." 

Yeti is a premium brand with a premium price, and everybody likes to do knock offs. Trademarks are helpful. A big patent portfolio is one way to keep the knock-offs at bay. Here's Yeti's patent page by product.

PatentBuddy summarizes Yeti patents:
YETI COOLERS LLC AUSTIN, TX
257 active patents, with 34 applications.
Updated 9/5/2019.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

FinTech unicorns are taking out some BIG bank Donkeys

Here's a great InfoGraphic about the FinTech market and the unicorns ($2B startups) that are hanging out, and disrupting, in the Financial space.
Natania K brought it up on LinkedIn:
Our Global Startup Heat Map showcases 4 top asset management solutions, ready to impact the energy industry: http://bit.ly/2L2FlfE
I love this "Innovation Map" and the unicorns are proof positive that the addressable market of some of the slices of new Fin Services are addressable and viable (now or soon). So the trillion dollar question is: what does the brick and mortar (BnM) have in store. BnM are looking in the rear-view mirror, and they have low visibility of the future. The reason that they have low visibility, is because -- after a couple hundred years of doing business in the office -- it is hard to change the stripes on a donkey.
But the changes they are a come'n, and the storefronts will be a closing.
FinTech unicorns are going to be taking out some BIG bank Donkeys that are hanging out on every major business corner.
What do you think, what FinTech services are most disruptive?

Monday, April 8, 2019

Here's a article about Borophene that could be much more promising than graphine... using boron atoms not carbon.... The technology is all about the future of smallness for computing and more.

Making flat layers of atoms has interesting applications. But Borophene seems to allow for crystal-type layouts that have lots of interesting properties. It should handle heat well, it is flexible, and it conducts electricity. The applications are for computers, of course. Seems extremely promising for various types of batteries, starting with Lithium.

But the many other possibilities include the fact that Borophene can attract and hold hydrogen atoms, at a rate of up the 15% of weight.

Borophene is new, really only available since 2015.
Very cool technology. Lots of work to be done before it is prime-time.

Can't wait to see where this technology leads us.