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Got a New Idea?

If the answer is "not really," don't worry; just buy the rights to someone else's invention and reap the profits. Now that's a bright idea.

By Don Debelak

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The Entrepreneur: ChrisLawson, 35, founder of Lawson Hammock Co. in Raleigh, NorthCarolina
Product Description: The LawsonHammock, a one-person, off-the-ground tent for campers thatfeatures a mosquito net
Start-up: $25,000 in 1997
Sales: Approximately $150,000for 2002
The Challenge: To marketsomeone else's invention when you lack your own million-dollaridea
Chris Lawson didn't have an invention of his own, but thatdidn't stop him from finding one and bringing it to market. Howdid Lawson do it?

Steps toSuccess
1. Find the ideal product.Lawson felt most comfortable selling a product in a market he wasalready familiar with. He hoped to find an invention significantlydifferent from others in the market; identify a small base ofcustomers ready to buy the product; ensure there was potential forlarge orders, which would secure sales growth; and hold downexpenses with a product that could be easily outsourced.

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