Developing and investing in Intangible assets

Nowadays we see many examples of how IPs (intangible assets; simplified, assets that can not be "touched") increase in value and how you, as the owner, can manage, buy and sell different types of IPs. A clear example that we all encounter next to every day is movies and books that often change owners and develop into other products. We have also seen how mobile games like Angry Birds can evolve into movies, books, etc. Many who are not familiar with the industry of movies, books and games, or who have not been particularly involved in intellectual property, might not know that the rights of every movie and ideas, like books and games, are owned by someone. As in the case of many films today, companies or individuals often own the rights to these and the value of the brand or idea can be sold or in other ways earn money. This can be valuable, especially if you have an idea or intangible asset that is unique, popular or may have sold well in the past or as another product.

 
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why focus on IP?

One of the most common reasons why you choose to make movies of a game or book is almost exclusively for economic gain. Many times you see a greater value in expanding an IP's market than writing a new book or developing the next game. A new product under the same IP will often reach a new audience or otherwise exploit it's already established customer base to boost its revenue from an already existing product. One example is the books you make a movie of, the book sells the movie but the movie also sells the book to those who did not read it. Another strong advantage of intangible assets is that you can collaborate with companies in other industries to take their IP into a new market without having to invest resources in development and production costs of a new product. A clear example is Angry Birds whose owner made stuffed animals to further capitalize on Angry Birds and the movie they released during the same period.

A brand can therefore be incredibly valuable. Look at Star Wars who Disney owns or why not Swedish examples such as, "The man called Ove" or "Men who hate women. A perfect example on an IP is Valerian, a movie I wrote about some time ago. The horizon has become much broader and today you can see opportunities where you would not otherwise think that a brand or IP could fit, much thanks to great successes like the ones above. This has in turn increased the understanding and importance of protecting intangible assets. You should never underestimate the value of your intangible assets and take a day or two to figure out how to protect and use them to your advantage. I am convinced that we will see a greater willingness in expanding and protecting IPs in the future and that can only be good.

For more information in Sweden, please visit: Patent- och registreringsverket

For more information in the U.S, please visit: USPTO

And as always, thanks for visiting.


The launch of Spacex - Falcon Heavy

So the Falcon Heavy launch was a success today and with that a commercially viable system for space exploration has been launched as well. This is a great feat and a big step towards a more economic space launch system than before. In the long run, this will make space exploration  a bit more environmentally friendly and that is a nice addition as well.

The reason to why this is a such a big step forward towards space tourism and potential colonization of the moon and maybe Mars is because of the many applications a system like this will have. The main reason is because it has the potential to be cheaper for the customer to use but it is also an investment with a potentially huge payback for Spacex. Imagine having to buy a new car after each costumer as an Uber driver, even if you got enough money per trip to sustain that business it would not be a viable option for your clients (or you). The only reason to why space tourism and satellite launches are so expensive is simply because there has not been any way to re-use a rocket (except for the Space Shuttle that was decommissioned in July 21, 2011) and this has now changed. You can read more about the possibilities this gives space exploration on Spacex.com.

I wrote a post about Spacex in 2017 about the potential they have and how they work with re-usability. One thing I would love to see in the future is to have people not usually interested in space exploration or space in general to acknowledge and getting more interested in the incredible work behind these rockets. We might not see this now but this launch is one small but important step for future science in medicine, environment, economy and overall stability in the world.

Thanks for your time.


Valerian numbers and a second movie

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Background

Valerian was released in August 2017 and I thought we could go through the numbers a bit and see how it went in hindsight and how a potential second movie might happen in the future. I wrote about Valerian when I wrote about pre-sales, that might be of interest to you as well.

First of all, even though Valerian has a quite bad rating on RT and OK rating on IMDB it is not a bad movie. Quite the opposite if you ask me. The movie is a high quality sci-fi movie with some bad acting and some holes in the plot but it is high quality. So with that out of the way, the movie was a financial flop with not much upside for the investors and producers. However, it was not all bad and might be a big upside later on; I will get back to why that is soon.

Budget

With a budget of around 180 million USD they put themselves in a tough situation without a well known IP. However, if the plan was all along to make a second and a third movie, this might have been a perfect investment instead. The thing is, you don't invest in something unless there is (or will be) a market for it. The movie Valerian is based on a magazine and that is usually a good start, look at DC Comics or Marvel... That's what Valerian could be in the future. That is, if they use their IP in the right way and that is the upside.

They have invested a lot in producing and marketing the first movie and it's assets, now would be a bad time to close the books and go on to do other things. Instead they should (and I think they are) use the momentum to sell a second movie but with a much smaller budget, maybe half the budget or even a forth. With the right strategy and distribution, this could easily be a valuable strategy for the IP.

Update: Collider writes about a potential second movie in this article.

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Elsa Keslassy has written two interesting articles in Variety about the financials around Europa Corp. and Valerian. Well worth your time if you came this far. You can follow Elsa Keslassy on Twitter for more updates.

EuropaCorp Deputy CEO Ousted Amid ‘Valerian’ Crash

Luc Besson, EuropaCorp Face Day of Reckoning With Shareholders Over Flop of ‘Valerian’

Thank you for visiting.


Quick thoughts about VR, AR and MR

today's problem

I have yet to see indication that VR, AR or MR are getting the same "confidence" as other new products are getting. We see investments pour in but the consumers are failing. This is not very surprising since the market is small, maybe even non-existent today, it is also expensive for a family to purchase a VR-headset and a computer. What happens instead is that the same family buys a google cardboard instead to try "VR", the experience is not what they thought and that's where VR is failing big. The large companies are still waiting for the consumer influx in VR before they want to venture into unknown lands, the consumers will come when the market matures and can deliver on it's promises. Film and TV-series are a proven market whereas VR and Mixed Reality as a medium is not and I feel it is not suited as a regular entertainment system. VR will start to find it's place in 2018 and after that, we will see where it will take us. What I am sure of though, is that the "experts of VR" need to be more understanding of their market and potential users. Most of the time, the people involved in new industries, especially tech are hard core nerds not thinking about the consumer first and I believe that is the main problem today.

Take a look at Google, they have some things in the works that might invite more users to try VR.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Whale Augmented Reality Magic Leap

The other major problem is that most VR companies today does not know how to get paid. Many of the companies I meet look for investors and financing without having a way of monetize its product. That is plain stupid and crazy, not naming anyone but one person has asked me several times on different occasions to invest in their projects for a "good cause" by helping the VR industry grow. That is a big problem, if you don't expect to get your or an investors money back, that industry is dead.

On a positive note

Not everything is bad though, we see increasingly better experiences and hardware, the prices are being lowered and the usability is steadily getting better by the day. What people thought would take two years just took longer and I think that is fine as long as investments continue to grow the industry. Most of the "experts" will also decline and the number of quality productions will increase as well. Right now, the only way VR and AR are being used most efficiently is in the military. As with everything else, the military will probably be first to fully use VR and AR, consumers come second.

As always, thanks for visiting.


SpaceX is pretty remarkable

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Lowering Cost

SpaceX has had quite a year, or maybe a few years now with naysayers time after time proved wrong. The launch of the OTV-5 mission was another success in SpaceX relatively short history.

For each rocket SpaceX successfully send to space, the potential cost of a transport to low earth orbit will be lower than ever before. This will prove to be extremely important for ambitious companies with space as a business. Today, the cost of sending satellites and humans to space is still a costly endeavor and the only way to lower the cost, today, is to use reusable rockets. SpaceX continuous work to re-use their rockets will lower the prices this will be extremely valuable, not only for SpaceX as a company but for every human being in the long run. Deep space mining companies don't have any choice but to follow SpaceX example. Space tourism will come as a bi-product of low cost launches and hotels in low earth orbit is starting to become a thing that actually can happen.

Take a look at the launch of the OTV-5 mission. It is pretty remarkable how flawless it all looks and it's easy to understand how fast the prices will drop.

SpaceX and/or Elon Musk decided to put up a video with the not so successful launches. That too is pretty interesting to watch, not because of the explosions but it gives you an idea of how many things can go wrong. Behind every successful launch (and landing) there are many many crashes, explosions and other mishaps.

Update: SpaceX changes the mindset of not only the space industry but also the U.S. Air Force. In an article by Mike Fabey on SpaceNews, the U.S. Air Force take notice of the changes Space X is making and implements that in their own strategy while at the same time becoming more effective.

If you want to find out more about Space X and their work, check their site or their social media channels: Twitter and Instagram. I will keep my eyes on SpaceX and update as soon as we have other breakthroughs happening. That breakthrough happened in early 2018 with the launch of Falcon Heavy.

As always, thank you for reading.