(This Snapizzi article first appeared on IPWatchDog)

“On the patent’s government-issued cover, it stated that Snapizzi would have the ‘right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling’ the invention. This meant the patent would protect their company from infringers and give them enough time to carve a toehold in the market. Randy trusted the U.S. government, and this made the burden of huge risk much more tolerable.”

Randy dela Fuente was an entrepreneur and a photographer for 25 years. His company did high volume photographs for large events—things like high school graduations and other events with hundreds of participants.

Managing thousands of photographs for hundreds of people can be a complicated affair. The object is to sell pictures, but to sell them, the subject of the picture must be able to find the picture. If the process is too difficult, customers get frustrated and sales are lost.

A Neat Idea

Randy needed to find a solution that would improve his customers’ experience and thereby increase sales. But the market for digital photographs was still relatively new and there were no solutions. Randy even tried to build his own, with limited success.

Finally, in 2010 Randy found Snapizzi, which had developed a powerful solution for managing high volume photography. Snapizzi was founded in 2009 and filed their first patent application in 2010. It was a hot product in the photography space. A competitor, called PhotoLynx, featured Snapizzi in a blog post saying that Snapizzi is “a really neat idea. Randy became one of Snapizzi’s first customers.

Startups crash for a myriad of reasons. By 2011, Snapizzi ran into trouble and was going out of business. Randy knew why Snapizzi’s solution was unique and what value it provided to customers. He was, after all, a customer. He also knew that Snapizzi’s unique value was protected by pending patents. So, Randy bought the company.

To read the rest of Paul Morinville’s article, click here.