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Flash of Genius

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Jake Larson

MKT 300


Flash of Genius

Throughout the semester our class has covered many spectrums of what being an entrepreneur is all about. The class lectures and readings have covered many tactics of business and in many cases, the essential mindset of many different successful entrepreneurs. The movie we watched in class called Flash of Genius was very closely related with many of the topics discussed during the semester. It was fun to watch a movie that showed the lifestyle of a true entrepreneur. However, it was an extreme case it displayed what it's like when someone goes out all on their own. It also showed how in the literal blink of an eye an invention can be made that would immediately change the world.

Flash of Genius is primarily about Robert Kearns journey to receive recognition for his work. Kearns, who was the inventor of the first model of interval wiper motor in every vehicle today, lives a wild entrepreneurial lifestyle. He quits his job to manufacture his invention for Ford motor company and then gets thrown under the bus when the industry steals his invention. An entrepreneur is at risk to problems like this because usually they represent themselves and aren't backed by a big firm of lawyers and people to protect them, so other companies may feel that they are a push over. This is exactly what happened to Robert Kearns with his windshield wiper motor. This related to the class because we discussed patents in chapter nine, we talked about patent durations, rights, and protections. This was something Ford was trying to use to their advantage in the movie. They were waiting for the patents to run out. A patent acts as a contract or a shield someone can stand behind and prove that they were the first with the idea or product. If the infringement is close enough in the eyes of the law, then the owner can be awarded dues.

There was a lot of information in the movie that supplemented what we discussed in class this semester. For instance the example of "nay Sayers," that is essentially people around the person with the idea telling them that it won't work. This is seen in the movie when Kearns wife and the ford motor company don't think that Kearns can manufacture the product. This can happen in reality whenever anyone has a good idea. Imagine if the person who the MP3 player had an influence in their life that said "that's stupid, how would you even do that, there is no market for that." Maybe there was but he didn't listen to them and continued on his quest to success. Kearns was no exception he worked very hard to find a way to change the speed of the wiper blades. Once he figured that out, he worked very hard to prove that the idea was his.

It was discussed this year that being an



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