It sounds like you're not at the product point yet and that it's really just an idea, so I'll base my response around that instead of patents.
We struggled with this same thing when we started Endless, a company that's making software for emerging markets. We were worried that larger companies would learn about our idea (to make an OS that leverages the internet instead of depending on it, and is easy enough for new-to-tech users to use), and execute more quickly than we would. Because of that, we shared only really vague information with most people and tried to sell them on our mission and vision. We also had people sign NDAs.
We quickly found out that you can only talk so much about mission and vision, and you really do need to share more substance (the core of your idea) in order to get people to work with you or invest. Most people don't want to sign NDAs just to hear about an idea, and having one generally turns people off.
We kept hearing "it's all about HOW you execute," and I think that's very true. For example, many people had the idea of building an expansive social network to share videos, photos, etc. MySpace was one of the first companies that everyone remember, but then Facebook came along. And even though Facebook is a giant, there are still social networks that are bigger than Facebook in parts of the world (e.g in China). So even with the idea of "building a social network that lets you share photos and videos, etc," it's all about execution.
Lastly, I'll just say that the team you work with will determine the product you build, and since every person is different, every project will be different too. Your idea will have different DNA than any other project in the world. Don't worry too much about people stealing your idea because you can always learn from what they do and improve upon it / find a niche in the market they create and / or knock them out of the water. Hope that helps, and good luck!