The NEW Game of IP™ – 8 Key Distinctions That Transform Information Products into Intellectual Property

Guest post by , featured expert faculty at the Digital Publishing Online Intensive.

Screen Shot 2013-02-28 at 8.44.30 PMThe game has changed. The old game of “ip” (information products) is transforming into The NEW Game of IP™ (Intellectual Property).

Here’s a quote from my 2006 Keynote at the Systems Seminar that illustrates what I mean:

We’re not in the information business. We’re in the wisdom game. Wisdom is IP, Intellectual Property. The NEW Game™ is delivering nuggets of wisdom and building our IP net worth.

IP is the NEW Economy, the NEW wealth creator and the MOST valuable capital asset in the world.

IP represents the largest percentage of corporate wealth, and the fastest growing source of personal net worth. IP produced $5 trillion of revenue, $775 billion of exports, 27 million jobs and $600 billion in royalty income in 2010.

Information products are pocket change in the IP wealth game.

The emergence of IP and the convergence of content, marketing and digital technology create a NEW 21st century gold rush. Every business is in the publishing game, and most need content and IP.

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The following 8 key distinctions transform information products into… profitable Intellectual Property:

#1 – Abundant, Competitive, Price Sensitive vs. Scarce, Unique, Value Priced

Information is abundant, competitive and price sensitive. Anyone can copy an information product, re-arrange or repurpose it. They can make it different, better or more digestible than the original. With so much content free, and so many for fee still using the old 8x hard cost model, information is very price sensitive. Information is now a commodity.

Your IP is uniquely yours. Your wisdom, recipe, system or formula is scarce, unique and more difficult to knock off. IP is not locked into 8x cost or range pricing – $49.95 to $99.95 or $97 to $497. When you have something unique and one of a kind, the intrinsic value commands higher extrinsic real world value.

Because it’s rare, scarce and unique, you can value price your IP and charge more for it.

#2 – Create, Develop, Build… Then Sell into Sell… Then Create, Develop, Build

You bear the cost of creating, developing and building information products. You have to sell them to capitalize and monetize your investment. Even a digital product has real development costs, plus time. How much do you love to sell? How well do you know how to sell information products? If profit is your game, you better be good at selling or have someone who is.

I know too many people with valuable IP but limited selling skills frustrated they aren’t doing as well as their colleagues with average products and better selling skills. In the products game, it’s not the best information, but the best marketers and sellers who win.

What if instead, you first “sell” your IP, prototype or proof of concept? You get a business, company or organization to pay you to create, develop and build a product for their audience. You license it back and give them a sweetheart deal to use, distribute and/or profit. I got paid to create and produce my IP, and pre-sold most of them for profit.

Find one group to buy your IP, prototype or proof of concept. Get one customer, and it’s easier to sell your IP to others.

#3 – Pre-Packaged Form (Your Way) into… Custom Solution, Private Label (Their Way)

When you package something into form, you sell that form. Publish a book, and you sell the book. If you package a coaching program, you sell the coaching package. Most buyers don’t think to ask if they can get your IP a different way. They assume your package is the form you deliver.

Who’s way is your packaging?

It’s YOUR way!

My IP packaging is plain vanilla. I want you to create your own delicious sundae. You like sprinkles, chocolate syrup and a cherry? Yes! You want to put your name on the cover or wrapper? Yes! You’d like to add a special message on the inside? Yes.

How do they want the IP packaged?

They want it THEIR way!

Shift from delivering pre-packaged information products your way to custom, private label IP their way.

#4 – Overhead, Inventory, Expense into… Cash Flowing Capital Asset

In the old game we produced hard information products that cost money and took up space. They were expenses and liabilities until we converted them to cash. Digital technology alters the profit equation. It reduces middle line expense by eliminating inventory and warehouse costs. With no additional marginal cost of goods except bandwidth, you can value price digital IP. You bring more value to the customer and higher profit to your bottom line.

Even in digital, information products are rigid, fixed and too price sensitive to offer a sustainable long-term advantage. IP is a fluid, flexible, fungible asset that can be capitalized, monetized and actualized beyond one form or package.

I trans-formed one recorded seminar into $150,000 of IP income because I did NOT package it. What if you shift your thinking from packaged product to cash flowing asset? Ask,

“How can we capitalize, monetize and actualize this IP in the highest and best way for all?”

#5 – Vendor = You Sell It, They Buy It into… Partner = Cooperative Collaboration

When you sell information, you’re a vendor on the other side of the table. You sell it, and they buy it.

When you engage in cooperative collaboration, you’re a profit partner on the same side of the table. Together, you seek the highest and best use of your IP for the good of all involved. If selling is not your best game, it’s easier and more enjoyable to be a cooperative collaborative IP partner than an information products vendor. It’s more profitable too!

#6 – Zero Sum Decision (Yes/No) into… Endless Possibilities

Selling a product is a zero sum game; a person buys or she doesn’t. Trying is not buying. When you sell information products formed and packaged, the decision to buy is yes or no.

With IP, there are endless possibilities. Cooperative collaboration creates all kinds of real value for exchange from whole cloth.

Transform the zero sum game into endless possibilities.

#7 – YOU Profit (Me, My) into… Everyone Profits (We, Us)

You sell information products to serve people and earn a profit. Until your customer earns back her investment, your profit is her expense. We all have information products we haven’t opened or used.

With IP, everyone profits. We don’t sell a form or package. We collaborate to find the highest and best use of IP. Together, we capitalize, monetize and actualize the most valuable real estate in the world…

The six inches between your ears!

#8 – One Person at a Time into… Multiply Your Message to Millions

Chances are slim that your message will reach masses of people selling information products. IP can reach farther, make a bigger difference and multiply your message to those who want to hear it. Here’s my 3-step “IP Content Capitalism” formula:

1 – Sell to (customers)

2 – Sell through (distributors and affiliates)

3 – Rent Your Content™

We sell to… someone. Maybe you also sell through someone like partners, distributors and affiliates.

Renting your content is the next NEW Game. If you really want to make a big difference and multiply your message to millions, find organizations that already reach large numbers of people who would love to have your IP. Then “rent” your content to them, and let them give it away.

You’ll make money, a massive difference and multiply your message.

Use these 8 keys to transform your information products into Intellectual Property.

You’re a player. You can change the game.

I look forward to meeting you on The NEW Game of IP field again soon.

Digital Publishing Online Intensive

Mitch Axelrod
Mitch Axelrod, author of The NEW Game of Business™ has licensed millions of dollars of his own IP and generated $3 billion for his clients.
Mitch Axelrod
Mitch Axelrod


  1. If only all businesses will practice this kind of ‘game changer’ strategy, I can’t imagine the impact it will bring in the business sector. Thank you for this very informative article!

  2. Mitch, I can’t wait to hear more about this at the Intensive! This is such an intriguing concept and is so very different from the same-old-same-old we are all used to hearing about creating and selling information products.

    • I can’t wait to share it Ellen. IP is a real”game changer” that impacts across all global markets and personal economies. We all possess IP, but we trap it inside form because we fall in love with our products and services.

      The NEW Game is about falling in love with serving people. We deliver our greatest value when we are fully engaged in loving and serving people. IP is the ultimate service currency. The Digital Publishing Online Intensive is all about seeing, valuing and liberating your invisible assets. Thanks for inviting to play. 🙂

  3. Hi Mitch,
    I love intellectual capital, that’s where I have most of my wealth between my ears, LOL, but great article, which incidentally was given a little commentary on our platform. One of our curator’s mentioned it which is how I found it. Thanks!

  4. This is definitely different than most (maybe all) other models out there as you mentioned. It make sense, but also opens a lot of questions. The biggest being what kind of people organizations do you look for to collaborate with/create with if most people are used to we package, they buy? Thanks for offering this topic.

    • Cheyl, it IS a new way of thinking I call “NO Box” thinking. You throw away the box. You “throw away” the book, metaphorically. You look at what’s inside your book, the underlying IP is far more valuable than the package you choose to put it in (book).

      Your real “product” is not your package. Your real product is the result or outcome your package delivers.

      More and more content buyers will want it “their way” to customize or private label. They will pay for it. Look for companies, orgs, non-profits, businesses large or small who have as customers people who would value in your IP. Collaborate with them on the highest and best way to deploy and deliver your IP, as an asset everyone cashes in on. Use your IP to become a preferred content provider. Sell to them, sell thru them and rent your content. Make one deal. Then make another.

      It’s hard to transform our thinking from the tangible info product to the intangible IP. Funny that… because the tangible product actually came from the intangible IP.

      Sometimes the best way forward is backward.

      Go backwards from form and return to essence. Info product is form. IP is essence. How can you put your knowledge, wisdom, system, formula, recipe, model, etc. into motion to create profit for all parties?

      It’s a collaborative conversation we’re not used to having, with ourselves or our buyers. It’s different and new. It’s powerful and game changing. Thanks for your great comment. Look forward to being with you at the Intensive.

      Best, Mitch