For those who call up their careers are washed up with age, take heart. Rapper Tupac Shakur may get on bout, and he’s dead.

Although shot and killed 15 years ago, Shakur—or, rather, a hologram of him—appeared at the Coachella music festival in California recently. The applied science is clever and slick. So is the promotional savvy.

But bringing a rapping ghost dorsum to life offers an important lesson to entrepreneurs: Your intellectual belongings may have much longer legs than you call up, and that might come dorsum to, if not seize with teeth you in the rear, at least rub your olfactory organ in the clay.

In that location are multiple types of IP in this case. At a minimum, there are property interests in Shakur’south person, equally endemic by his estate, rights to the recorded operation, rights in the music itself, and diverse performance rights. If this holographic amusement goes on tour, it could turn into a whole lot of very real money because of what all that IP makes possible.

Foreseeing your own posthumous reanimation might be asking a chip much from most people, but examples of losing IP to subsequently regret are more common. I’m reminded of talking to a author who was upset years ago. He had produced a large number of CD reviews for a website in exchange for the disks themselves. Brusque money for brusque amounts of content. He signed abroad all rights—and then institute that the website eventually licensed all those reviews to Amazon.com. It was money he might have been able to make himself, except he had no concept of the ongoing value of what he did.

Well-nigh entrepreneurs don’t realize simply how much intellectual belongings they and their ventures generate. Get beyond the idea of a patent for a moment. Your marketing materials, product documentation, employee manuals, and many other things all have copyright fastened to them. Y’all might develop innovative business practices and insight, which would be know-how, and you might have trade secrets that give you lot a competitive reward. Your brands, product designs, and service methods all have value.

That doesn’t mean immediately rush to a lawyer. Some of your IP volition need some sort of registered protection only much of information technology probably won’t. Even so, yous’re ameliorate off thinking that everything y’all accomplish may have residual value. All too often, others have a better eye for the worth of what you practice.

Before yous give things away or write them off every bit worthless, consider how important what you have is to someone in your kind of business and what it would cost for others to create it from scratch. That is, if they actually could. The improve a grasp you have on the true worth of yourself and what you’ve washed, the better y’all can exist in such areas as strategic planning and negotiation.