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One Simple Idea

Updated & Revised

I poured everything I knew into the first edition of One Simple Idea: Turn Your Dreams Into a Licensing Goldmine While Letting Others Do the Work. Something seems to have worked: Since it was published in 2011, OSI has been translated into five other languages and is still a top seller on Amazon.

But what gives me by the most pleasure, by far, is hearing from people who have licensed their ideas simply by reading the book. They haven’t wasted their money paying for expensive patents. Sometimes they haven’t even built prototypes. They’ve exclusively relied on the ten simple steps outlined in OSI book to get it done. These strategies work!

Why a second edition then?


Things have changed a great deal in four years. The opportunity to license ideas has never been greater, because open innovation is that much more popular. This edition contains new details and an even greater level of specificity when it comes to licensing ideas. For example, it includes the new strategies my students are using to get in to potential licensees, like video sell sheets. It details how to get in by attending a trade show (cheaply). It teaches readers how to work with freelancers to bring their ideas to life with 3-D computer graphics. It explains what the new patent rules mean for inventors, as well as how to use intellectual property strategically from a business perspective. It further lays out how to negotiate so that everyone wins. It’s never been easier to stay current, to be inspired by what other creative people are doing, and to find the right home for your idea.

— Stephen Key

Available at or your local book seller.

Here are a few people that brought their product to market after reading One Simple Idea.Click an image to view their story.


What Others Are Saying About One Simple Idea!

tferrissfingers"Ever heard of Teddy Ruxpin or Lazer Tag? Both have Stephen Key's mark on them. He is the Yoda of "renting" ideas for serious passive income. From how-to to war stories, this is a great book."

Tim Ferriss, author of the bestsellers, The 4-Hour Work Week, 4-Hour Body & The 4-Hour Chef

mvhansen“My friend, Mr. Key’s brilliance, wisdom and insight will make you rich. Buy this book!”

—   Mark Victor Hansen, Best Selling Author and Co-Creator of “Chicken Soup For The Soul”, over 110 million copies sold.

josher“Stephen knows how to make money from simple ideas and his book is a terrific guide for anyone who wants to be a successful entrepreneur."

—   John Osher - Innovation guru.  Sold Spin Brush to Procter and Gamble, Stretch Armstrong and Spin Pops to Hasbro Toys, and Quattro Titanium Trimmer Razor to Schick.

kharrington"Tired of working for corporate America? Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? "One Simple Idea" can teach you how to add a few zeros to your income. Buy this book and live your dreams now!”

—   Kevin Harrington, Infomercial King & Featured investor on Mark Burnett's  "Shark Tank" - the hit show on ABC!

Garydpetrock“Since the successful marketing of the Pet Rock in 1975 I have talked with thousands of hopeful inventors who seek help in getting their ideas to market.  Stephen Key has written a book which is overflowing with the all-important information that inventors need; a step-by-step guide through all that goes into a successful product introduction.  It’s a book I wish I would have had available to me.  It’s a book that would have saved me a lot of time and money.”

—   Gary Dahl, Pet Rock inventor

llangemeier“Get off the couch and turn your ideas into millions. Stephen’s book "One Simple Idea" will show you how.”

—  Millionaire Maker Loral Langemeier, CEO/Founder of Live Out Loud, international speaker and best-selling author.

tmonosoff“If you are ready to change your life…buy this book! Stephen Key turns conventional inventing “wisdom” on its head and clearly outlines how anyone can earn a meaningful income with "One Simple Idea".”

—  Tamara Monosoff, Founder of Mom Invented® & author of "The Mom Inventors Handbook" and "Your Million Dollar Dream: Regain Control & Be Your Own Boss".

"Whether you are a “CREATOR “ or a “CONNECTOR” this book, One Simple Idea, will help you turn your ideas into a fulfilling, profitable career, read it and WIN!"

—  Patrick Lonergan, Former Vice President & General Manager, 30-year veteran with Johnson & Johnson. Current President/Partner of NUMARK Laboratories, Inc.

jferrell"Stephen Key has a rock-your-world passion for going large with even the most simple idea.  Buy this book, grab you hardhat, and hang on."

—  John S. Ferrell, Esq., Co-Founder, Carr & Ferrell LLP, Rated by San Francisco Magazine as one of Northern California's top lawyers.

wtuttle“Stephen has an uncanny and successful knack for simplifying the licensing mystique. “One Simple Idea” provides a road map and confidence to those who follow his proven approach.”

—  Warren Tuttle, Product Scout Lifetime Brands – North America’s leading resource for nationally branded kitchenware.

jsmith“I've had the great pleasure of working with Stephen Key through several television appearances, and he is an incredibly positive and powerful force. If you are looking for the inspiration, confidence and know-how to transform your one simple idea into moneymaking reality look no further than Stephen Key.  He has the right stuff to successfully launch you into the marketplace.  What are you waiting for!”

—  Jennifer Smith, 30 year veteran journalist and news anchor for ABC affiliate station NEWS10

tina125"This is an incredible book. I can't say enough good things about the book and Stephen Key, inventRight. Life changer. They helped me bring Bait Butler to life. Now you can get it at Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, Amazon. I tell everyone that will listen, if you have an idea inventRight can put you on the right path. I needed my hand held, because I was afraid of everything."

—  Tina S. Inventor of the Bait Butler

Here are a few readers that have benefited greatly from One Simple Idea.

Hi guys. I read your book and followed your videos. I patented my first product and it is now on all major box store shelves that sell sporting goods. The very first company I pitched it to took it! I am a patent engineer and now gift your book to all new private inventors. Thanks Mr. Key!

Kevin H.

It was an absolute privilege meeting you in Minneapolis at the Inventors Network event last week! I have been a huge fan of yours for a long time, and accredit much of the success I've had with licensing LintCard to you and your teachings. I was even more impressed by your humility, and openness to help others succeed - the world needs more people like you.

Raph T

Your book served as one of my guides when I did my latest licensing deal. Thank you for that. My next move is to get Professional sports team licensing. Ideally, it would be great to work with a company that already has the prof. sports team licenses with already-established distribution.

Jessica M

Dear Stephen, I applied the general principle of renting the rights of my idea and the producers accepted it! I wouldn’t have been able to formulate my simple counter offer if I hadn’t read your book. Forever appreciative of your work!

Alex V.

Stephen Key’s book “One Simple Idea” has been an incredible resource. I’m sure my story is a bit different than most posting here. I purchased the book years ago and just browsed through it at the time. Looking back it’s easy to see, though intrigued by the licensing topic, I was too distracted with work and starting a family to pay attention.

Fast forward to just over a year ago, and my world was rocked by a health crisis. I quickly shifted gears from working full time to being... Read More

Brian M

Stephen Key’s bestselling book "One Simple Idea” is definitely my favorite “how to” book for anyone wanting to understand and master product licensing. I have read several books on the subject of inventing and making money from your ideas and this book is by far the best one. There are several reasons why "One Simple Idea" is at the top of my list but perhaps the most important to me is that it is actionable, meaning that it simply and concisely outlines a process that produces results.... Read More

David B

Three years ago I came here in my quest to conquer the US baby market. We are now in Toys R Us, Kohls, Barnes and Noble, JC Penney, Amazon as well as several independent stores. When you work in a business, it feels like slow progress but on reflection we have gone a long way. I still think Little Sport Star has much further to go.
Thank you Stephen. It all started with your book “One Simple Idea".

Nick F.

Thank you Stephen! I bought your book two years ago and I am licensing me second product this month.

Melvin B.

What a great read. Stephen, thanks for all the great information.

Sal L.

Even when I am on vacation, I travel with my copy of One Simple Idea-I have read the book cover to cover several times and every time find something new I can use. Every other page is dog eared and has my writing in the margins! Here is a picture taken just this morning, on vacation. Below my picture is my testimonial about the most important book I have ever read…in my life.

OSI Reader

I wanted to thank you both both for your amazing books and videos. I learned so much from them and was able to license a game last year that will go on sale in mid 2015. Thanks again for the amazing materials you guys produce.

Andy G.

It was a pleasure speaking to you because I find your publications amazing. You have shared business strategies and detailed instructions that not only guide individuals through the process, but also empower them to move forward with their ideas. Some of my ideas have generated $2000 in a month and some only have generate $200.00 in a month, but I now have the formula in place to launch any idea after reading One Simple Idea. I was able to get my product on the shelves of retailers like... Read More

Gilda B.

Reading Stephen Key’s book’s showed me quickly and easily how to present new products ideas and those of my clients to outside companies for licensing consideration. Stephen showed me step by step how to protect new products for as little as $300.00 without the use of an attorney, create a simple sell sheet to explain the product and how to submit them to the largest companies on the planet. Now instead of living in fear that my ideas will be stolen, I shop them around in confidence to all... Read More

Eric Z

A couple of years ago, I was working on an idea for a new product. I saw your book, picked it up, and followed your instructions. On August 15th 2015, my product will be going in 500 Home Depots! Thank you, for your help.

Stephen, your book provided a great blueprint. Highly recommended! Here is an amazing new product which is being offered exclusively by The Home Depot! I purchased the first one in Tennessee yesterday. If your local store doesn't have it yet, please ask for it!... Read More

Bill Shipp & Nancy Clark Shipp

Stephen Key changed my prospective on business. Stephen opened my eyes to licensing and I am perfect for this way of business. I have alot of ideas and would not be good at running a business because I get bored easily and want to move on to something new. This is a weakness I am embracing with licensing. This book is great as well as the free inventRight YouTube videos which are gold! I licensed my first idea to a pet company within 1 year of reading this book. Now I'm working on my second... Read More

Mikey K.

The best decision I made. Truly enlightening to hear your wisdom first hand. Joyous and Inspirational. Devouring the book! I have such fun doing what I love to do and now I know how to do it so much better. Thank you Stephen

Anne C.

I must say that "One Simple Idea" has helped me all the way thru the process of getting my own idea out there. I have already gone thru one patent with no success. With "One Simple Idea" I got all the information I needed to go step by step to move forward. I saved so much money and many mistakes just by reading Stephen Key's book. On November 12, 2015, I signed my first Licensing Agreement with a large Manufacturer that produces Yard and Garden material. In fact they are test marketing my idea... Read More

Ernest Kalani Makainai

About Us

inventRight is the world's leading expert on product licensing. Cofounded by Stephen Key and Andrew Krauss in 1999, it has since helped people from more than 60 countries license their ideas for new products.

Contact Us

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