Inventing is a Form of Gambling: Consider The Odds of Success

Understanding how to value a bet can help in making better decisions about when to press ahead with an invention and when to walk away. A lot of guessing is involved:

  • How big is the market?
  • What percentage of the market might actually be penetrated?
  • How likely is that to happen?

There's no way to know for sure. But even with very rough guesses it helps to have a framework for thinking through whether or not an invention bet makes sense.

Invention City founder Mike Marks explains:

Why did we think that 0.1% odds of success rather than 50% or 10% or or 0.0001% was reasonable? Because our friend was credible and we valued his recommendation (he said that the remedy had helped many people) and, at the same time, we respected the opinions of our doctor friends. 0.1% was a wild guess that felt conservative.

Here's more on how bets are valued:

And Kenny Rogers explains:

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