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Is There a Picasso in Your Basement?

Over the summer, a museum in Evanston, Indiana discovered a multi-million dollar piece of glass artwork by Picasso that had been gathering dust in their basement.  It had been in storage for nearly 50 years.

It makes one wonder how a museum, with curators who are experts in art, could not have known that a Picasso original was literally under their nose.

Yet, this happens all the time in business.  Sometimes, you have to know not only where to look, but what lens to use when analyzing what you see.

Witness the 3M engineers who developed a glue that wouldn’t stick when two pieces of paper were pulled apart and thought they had failed in product development – until, they thought of an entirely different use…Post It Notes.

Or my client, an aspiring video game developer, who had yet to publish that multi-million unit seller (or achieve significant outside VC capital), despite some truly ground-breaking ideas and developers who were also at the top of their game.

I kept pushing them over and over to tell me what made their games uniquely special, other than their stellar ideas and top-notch team.

“Well, there is this one feature we developed,” they said, “which allows users to get game fatigue less frequently. Our games now utilize infinitely changing music streams that never repeat and that match the mood of any game environment.”

Why is this important?  It turns out game developers usually skimp on music composition, and gamers who enter different rooms, or areas of a game, have to suffer through loops of music that repeat as often as every 45 seconds.  They get tired of listening to the same thing over and over again and quickly grow “tired” of playing.  And, on a game where users purchase access on a subscription basis, this severely decreases revenue.

I recommended putting game development aside for the moment, and focus on patenting this audio technology and licensing it to the one million game developers and game developing companies.

After all, their audio technology will solve real problems for the video game industry:

  • It will reduce game fatigue, thus increasing subscription revenues and generating more positive word of mouth recommendations among gamers
  • It will reduce music composition and royalty payment costs even further

The result – this former game developer, now a new “middleware” company, is now in advanced due diligence with a Venture Capital firm for their first round of funding.

Are your company’s “hidden assets” also hidden under your nose?  And, most importantly, are you looking at them with the right lens to make sure they are being deployed in a way that will maximize your revenues?

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