This post on techcrunch offends one of my basic writing tenants – avoid easy stereotypes.  And this opening passage indulges in one that is really stale:   

What’s a tech startup’s most valuable asset? It’s not the seed money. It’s not the workspace. And it’s definitely not the espresso machine or Ping Pong table.   

Ah yes, every start up is staffed with skinny jean wearing hipsters who work off their caffeine jitters by whacking around a ping pong ball.  The authors almost lost me with this.  But fortunately, I kept reading.  And I’m glad I did.   

The point of the article is worth keeping in mind.  And it is simply this.  Every start up (heck, every business) should lock up the rights to intellectual property at its inception.  Because you just never know.  As the band Dawes would say, “things happen”: 

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And if you don’t take that advice, – and you let it go, much like some people do with their will -- the techcrunch post suggests some milestones where you might want to revisit the issue.  Like before you fire someone, or when you make a new hire.    

As the authors rightly point out, failing to address the issue may expose you to Winklevoss like claims on your idea.  And who wants to deal with those guys?

Click here to view video.