Lessons from inventor Lenn Rockford Hann’s negotiations with companies over a carbon-fiber shoe he patented in 2004:

“When it came time to talk price with New Balance, Hann set his offer sky-high. He says he meant it as a starting point, but company executives closed discussions. Hartner remains a supporter of the shoe, but says Hann blew the negotiation. ‘He would be way better off with an agent to represent him,’ says Hartner. ‘He’s the inventor-scientist guy, you know it from movies. But in real life they sometimes end up shooting themselves in the foot, and it’s hard to watch. They’re not as good at the people thing.’”