Startups · Patents

Advice, devs and guidance any advice?


March 2nd, 2016

I am currently working on the development of a mobile app and need development support. i am currently finalizing the business plan and have already listed out core requirements/features/functionality and am currently working on UX and UI on my end. Need help figuring how to get developers involved without having them steal my idea? Any advice would be much appreciated.

James Hipkin CEO, Managing Director at Red8 Interactive

March 2nd, 2016

I wouldn't worry too much. Ideas are easy, execution is hard. 

My company builds native mobile apps. Mostly we build websites but we also have guys who can build apps. If it's not too complicated we can likely help you. The developers are located in the Mid West. Ping me if you want to know more.


John Griffin Co-Founder at Spiral Scout, Founder at Cutcaster, Co-Founder at Instigate Labs (Maker of Moment)

March 2nd, 2016

Look for an established engineer or agency. No good developer, designer or agency will steal your idea as that would crush any of their future business dealings with other potential projects. Plus, they generally don't have time to just take someone's idea and start working on something that they don't have the expertise within that particular market and/or promoting/marketing the idea once it is built. That is why they need you to make sure the business side is taken care of once they complete the technical side. You obviously need some level of trust and feeling secure though with the people you are speaking with. 
Having your "idea" stolen shouldn't be your main concern. Finding the right, reputable agency or developer that is skilled in what you need is the hardest part. If you are really concerned, obviously have them sign an NDA but most times the most important part of an idea is the actual execution of it as a working product and market fit (if there is a market for it).
Full disclosure, I run a software development agency called spiral scout and could talk to you about your mobile app and happy to sign an NDA. I have a mutual NDA you can use as a template for your dealings. If you want to send me a message and I can send it to you.

Joe Albano, PhD Using the business of entrepreneurialism to turn ideas into products and products into sustainable businesses.

March 2nd, 2016

Bottom line, you need to trust who you are hiring - individuals or firms. People will talk about NDAs and other "protection mechanisms" which means:  

  1. Paying lots of money to have a lawyer draft your agreements. 
  2. Finding developers wiling to sign said agreements. 

    Then, if you feel your idea has been stolen: 

  3. Paying more lawyers to prepare and prosecute your complaint.
  4. Hoping that the people you believe are "wronging" you will cease and desist. 

    If that doesn't work: 

  5. Paying more lawyers to file legal action. 
  6. Convincing a judge / arbitrator / jury that your contract / agreement is valid. 
  7. Convincing a judge / arbitrator / jury that you were wronged.
  8. Getting a judgement. 
  9. Paying more lawyers to try to collect on said judgement.
  10. Wasing los of time, money, and effort on all of this instead of developing a product for a market that is passing you by. 

You can realize that your idea is worthless, it's the execution of your idea that will make or break your business ... and make good hiring decisions. 

Logan Kleier

March 2nd, 2016

I believe the bigger risk in startups is that no one knows about your idea/company; not that someone will steal your idea. I believe that secrecy tends to get in the way of building your company. 

Of course the risk exists that someone will steal it, but good developers hear so many ideas for the "next big thing." A vast majority just want to get on with building a quality product as opposed to stealing your idea. 

Andrew Founder and architect/developer at Jayu. Seeking bold growth hacker

March 2nd, 2016

Hi Eber, You could request an NDA if you are really protective of your idea, but a development company may be reluctant to sign because they most likely come across plenty of ideas weekly. Signing an NDA may tie their hands with future clients. But if your seeking an individual developer, who is looking to partner as a co-founder an NDA could work as a baseline. Did you do a thorough scrub of your idea to see if there are similar applications of it? Most original ideas already exist so being over protective could slow this process down. But if I were you, and my idea was rock solid, I would find a balance of revealing enough information about it without jeopardizing your idea to get an individual/firm interested. And speak generally about the concept while focusing on the possibilities of implementing your idea - backed by your own industry/market research of course. Then if they're interested, questions will follow. From here I would request the NDA when needed. Don't underestimate how difficult it is to find the right developer!

Satheesh Kanchi Technology Analyst and Visionary Entrepreneur

March 2nd, 2016

I know that you are working on a fantastic product idea. I feel definitely you need to worry a bit about stealing your idea by developers and making them their own.

I feel you can solve this problem in multiple ways.. as Entrepreneur.. I will give my few cents. I see you have extensive experience in this IT domain. So it may sound repeated.

Few important points

1. Engage with good team (It will help to create legal liability )
2. Engage with company rather than individuals..
3. Due your sanity check on the company, how they work, how they delivered past projects. Speak to their existing customers.
4. Find your value added technology partner rather than typical services Vendor who will bill you by Hour whether you succeed or not.

I hope this helps.

Jessica Alter Entrepreneur & Advisor

March 2nd, 2016

First, do a search on FD, there are multiple discussions on this. It's so not a concern that I wrote a blog post about it and encourage you to read it. You'd be lucky if someone if someone wants to steal your idea.

Chaim Sajnovsky owner at

March 4th, 2016

Hi Eber, as developers, we receive dozens of ideas in a single month. If were for stealing ideas, well, we won't afford to build all the good ones. Everyone have great ideas, not everyone has the will and the means to make them become reality.
Besides, you got NDA's, contracts, and such. As a rule of thumb, we always say there are 3 more entrepreneurs out there with your very same ideaa, so hurry up. Google wasn't the first search motor, facebook was not the first social network, skype was not the first messaging service and so on. You are the most important piece at your idea. The second most important is the technological partner you choose. Google their references, ask your friends or colleagues, or just ask to have a call and check other apps they did. BUT take heed on some special detail: how they understand your idea, whether they propose alternative solutions and how they solve problems. Ideas are the first step, polishing the second, drafting and pitching them the third, developing is the fourth, and marketing the fifth. Test developers in each of those steps and you will know beforehand what kind of developer you have in front of you.

Jed Ng Corporate Strategist at Ericsson

March 2nd, 2016

I second James' sentiment. There are certain contractual mechanisms you can build to protect your idea. More important in my opinion is how you structure the project given the needs on time to market and capital efficiency. Happy to talk more about my personal experience if you would like.


Diego Machado CEO & Co-Founder at TowerHouseStudio

March 2nd, 2016

Hi Eber, James is right, execution is everything.

I've a consultancy firm located in Uruguay (South America) we do fast prototyping of mobile app and web application mostly for startups located in the US. I think we can be of service to you providing both development as consultancy. 

Feel free to contact me so we can have a chat and see how we can help you.