Many letters and phone calls I receive go something like this: "Ms. Edmark, I have this great idea, and I just know millions of people will buy it. If you develop and market it, I'm willing to split the profits with you 50/50. What do you say?"
I always say, "No."
Those letters and calls always remind me of the story of a man in New York City who was selling apples on the corner for $100,000 each. When asked how he expected to sell any, since his apples were so expensive, he answered, "But I only have to sell one."
The apple vendor is as unrealistic in his expectations as any entrepreneur who thinks a potential buyer would agree to develop and market a product for just 50 percent of the profits. The entrepreneur who thinks up the idea has provided only one piece of a very complicated and time-consuming puzzle.
An idea is worth very little if it is nothing more than a concept and has not yet been proved. The good news is, there are plenty of things you can do to make your idea more valuable--and thus more likely to be purchased by a buyer or licensee.