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8INVENTING INCOME

Have a wild imagination? Or none at all? This could be your road.

Can you invent an endless stream of future income? I don’t mean by inventing—though that can work. Here you make an annuity-like future cash flow from something you create, own, or patent that just keeps spewing cash. A gadget, book, song, movie, or even experience.

Ever thought, “If only such-and-such existed, life would be better”? Then someone invents such-and-such, changes the world, and gets rich! Why them and not you? The big money is in getting rights, licensed or patented, for future reuse and generating reuse. This is how a very few writers get rich, or how successful song writers do it via publishing rights, like our Chapter 4 hip-hop friends.

THE TRUE INVENTORS

Yes, there are true “inventors”—folks who create things so earth-shatteringly life-changing you can’t imagine life without them, like the PC or polio vaccine. There are also mundane, everyday things. The trick is patenting it, so you collect every time your gadget is used or sold.

Everyone wrongly cites the guys who invented Post-it Notes (Arthur Fry and Spencer Silver) as classic successful inventors—striking it big with a mundane idea. Fry, a 3M chemist, wanted bookmarks to stay put in his choir hymnal. He used his buddy and coworker Silver’s adhesive—sticky enough, but not so much as to tear the page when removed—voila! ...

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