Thomas Frey: Somewhere around 5:30 am each morning I roll out of bed and roll up to my computer. Blurry eyed, before I brew up my first cup of tea, I grab the mouse and check Google, searching the phrase “taste & smell patents”, recording the results. On October 12th the number is 5,070. Five days earlier, the same search produced only 2 results.

The online reputation of the DaVinci Institute is a huge factor in determining cash flow. Consequently we spend most of our days trying to figure out how to create more buzz.

2004 has been a very difficult year for us here at the Institute. With the elections sucking almost all the money out of the non-profit world, and a struggling economy in Colorado, we resort to unusual tactics to survive.

Some call what we do guerilla marketing, but its more than that. Bootstrapping is now a way of life, and we find the tools at our disposal now and mechanisms for influencing our online reputation continuing to grow exponentially. But it’s tricky. The online world will quickly turn against us if we make a mistake.

The article I write on October 5th titled “Intellectual Property’s Next Big Wave – Taste & Smell Patents” is a rare success. Here’s a quick summary of what I call the “buzz chronicles”:

Tuesday, October 5th: My best writing time is early in the morning. With ideas fresh in my mind, I spend roughly 2 hours creating the first draft. The article talks about how the recently announced Nobel Prize in Medicine, defining how people can recognize and remember an estimated 10,000 smells, will pave the way for the creation of taste and smell patents.

Before publishing the article, I run it by Tom Franklin, my friend who is a patent attorney at Townsend & Townsend, to make sure I’m not going off the deep end. Tom is a good sounding board for crazy ideas. This makes him a good fit for working with us. He makes some corrections and we debated the pros and cons of how this might change the intellectual property industry. Our discussion gives me clues as to how controversial this topic will be.

I do my first Google search on the phrase “taste & smell patents” (in quotes) and record the number of unique visitors to the DaVinci Institute website.

Google results – 0.

DaVinci unique visitors – 134.

More here.