The best books for inventors with big ideas

Who am I?

The traditional way of commercializing an invention — patenting, prototyping, then marketing it — doesn’t work very well and never has. When I found an easier way to share my creativity with the world, it changed my life, because the feeling you get when you hold something in your hand that you first imagined in your head is second to none. My 10-step process breaks down barriers so that everyone who has an idea — young or old, rich or poor — can get in the game of bringing it to market. I’ve published 5 books, 1,000 articles, and more than 700 videos to help others take advantage of the power of open innovation.

I wrote...

One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams Into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work

By Stephen Key,

Book cover of One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams Into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work

What is my book about?

Do you have ideas for new products? Do you enjoy designing solutions to problems? Are you motivated to make improvements? Whether you’ve invented a must-have kitchen tool, pet toy, or automotive product, this book will teach you how to transform your creativity into recurring passive income. The beauty of the licensing business model is that you don’t need to write a business plan, raise money, or quit your day job to launch your product ideas onto the market.

Instead, One Simple Idea teaches you how to minimize risk and maximize your likelihood of success as you learn the right way of protecting, designing, marketing, and pitching your invention ideas quickly. This book is beloved by the inventing community because it’s enjoyable to read and offers detailed, practical strategies that work. It is based on the real-life successes of author Stephen Key, the inventor and IP strategist, and his many clients.

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The books I picked & why

Magic of Thinking Big

By David M. Schwartz,

Book cover of Magic of Thinking Big

Why did I love this book?

Being a creative person is a journey, that’s for sure, and not an easy one. It’s tough and it takes courage, but you can get there. Along the way, how do you prevent yourself from getting discouraged, especially when you’re focused on bringing a big idea to life? Reading this timeless book on the importance of mindset never fails to motivate me. Follow its advice, and you will be able to climb the highest of mountains and pick yourself back up when you get knocked down. A must-read for inventors, entrepreneurs, and anyone with an idea.

By David M. Schwartz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Magic of Thinking Big as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than 6 million readers around the world have improved their lives by reading The Magic of Thinking Big.

First published in 1959, David J Schwartz's classic teachings are as powerful today as they were then. Practical, empowering and hugely engaging, this book will not only inspire you, it will give you the tools to change your life for the better - starting from now. His step-by-step approach will show you how to:

- Defeat disbelief and the negative power it creates
- Make your mind produce positive thoughts
- Plan a concrete success-building programme
- Do more and do…

The Obstacle Is the Way

By Ryan Holiday,

Book cover of The Obstacle Is the Way

Why did I love this book?

Part of the reason why I’m such a fan of this book is that I was able to implement what I learned from it immediately. For me, the biggest takeaway has been why and how I should look at the problems that frustrate me as opportunities rather than obstacles. For example, my business partner and I have a history of disagreeing. In the past, I would allow that to frustrate and upset me. Now I approach our relationship from the perspective that any problem he is experiencing is actually my problem too. Inventors face many obstacles on their path to market, making this book a priceless companion.

By Ryan Holiday,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Obstacle Is the Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We give up too easily. With a simple change of attitude, what seem like insurmountable obstacles become once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Ryan Holiday, who dropped out of college at nineteen to serve as an apprentice to bestselling 'modern Machiavelli' Robert Greene and is now a media consultant for billion-dollar brands, draws on the philosophy of the Stoics to guide you in every situation, showing that what blocks our path actually opens one that is new and better.

If the competition threatens you, it's time to be fearless, to display your courage. An impossible deadline becomes a chance to show how dedicated you…

Book cover of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Why did I love this book?

This book continues to be a #1 best-seller on Amazon because it fundamentally changed the way people think about their work, freedom, time, and how to make money in the global, digital economy. I can never thank Tim, who was one of my earliest students, enough for including me and putting me on the map. It is an excellent guide to the concept of passive income. If you want to monetize your creativity and have the freedom to live anywhere you want, this resource deserves your time and attention.

By Timothy Ferriss,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked The 4-Hour Workweek as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new, updated and expanded edition of this New York Times bestseller on how to reconstruct your life so it's not all about work

Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan - there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, this book is the blueprint.

This step-by step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches:

* How Tim went from…


By Matthew McConaughey,

Book cover of Greenlights

Why did I love this book?

This is the best book I have read on how to live your life without regrets. It’s all about making mistakes and moving on, which are two things that inventors must embrace. Along your journey to commercializing your invention, making mistakes is inevitable, so getting comfortable with moving on quickly is key. That said, you don’t have to make every mistake yourself. You can and should learn from experts.

By Matthew McConaughey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Greenlights as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Academy Award (R)-winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.

I've been in this life for fifty years, been trying to work out its riddle for forty-two, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last thirty-five. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less.…

Book cover of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cashing in On Your Inventions

Why did I love this book?

This is the best book I have read about how to become a profitable toy inventor. Richard Levy, the toy inventor responsible for the Furby and many other massive successes, is the real deal. His inventing tips and advice are absolutely priceless. He is the perfect example of the right person to take inventing advice from! By that I mean, he is an inventor who has achieved repeat commercial success.

By Richard C. Levy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cashing in On Your Inventions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Presents information on how to successfully market an invention covering such topics as licensing options, negotiating deals, patents and trademarks, and copyrights.

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