Site icon Duncan Bucknell

Ready, Fire, Aim – does this work for IP Strategy

I was in Sydney recently at the AIM Convention in honour of the incredible Peter Drucker.

Tom Peters was his characteristically provocative self and used the ‘ready, fire, aim’ quote to illustrate his point about ‘just doing stuff, seeing what happens, and then doing some more’.

I’ve seen that approach work pretty well in many business situations (particularly the entrepreneurial) – but does it apply to IP Strategy?


Try playing chess with the ready, fire, aim approach. (It’s an interesting way to quickly imprint some of the patterns in your brain and an excellent way to learn, if you can afford the luxury to get things wrong.) However, you won’t win a given Chess game by playing this way against someone who is thinking strategically and 10 moves ahead of you.

Just like in chess, if you get an IP Strategy issue wrong, you often have little or no chance to fix it. The world has changed, you are now at a (strategic) disadvantage which you have to try and deal with.

There are always exceptions, of course. For example, filing a trade mark application after you launch the product may work out just fine, as the reputation you build in the brand in the meantime may actually help you obtain registration. Of course, to be cute, that won’t work so well for patents (except in the US and Australia).

What do you think – can you see situations where ‘ready, fire, aim’ works well in IP Strategy? Is there a place for it at all?

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