I transformed an idea into a product, filed only Provisional Patent so far. Formed an Inc. last week. I'm afraid of releasing it to App Store or Play Store if they could steal the idea. I prefer to sell before we release in App stores.
In my experience people don't generally steal ideas because they can't be bothered and they generally don't have the vision: of how to add on new features and extend the product.
Producing an App is the easy bit, go look at the app store and you'll see millions of apps. In this day and age, you could go to India or Thailand and get an app built pretty much for nothing.
The real problem, and why people don't bother stealing before there is traction and why Google, Skype (Microsoft), FB, Yahoo is because they themselves are already making a ton of money and the people who work within these companies have all signed NDAs that state all ideas developed in the time and year after belongs to the company. Much like a university.
An app is just a frontend, much like the tip of an iceberg, the real work is in the backend which look under the water is this massive piece that's keeping the tip of the iceberg afloat.
Then, and most apps are bootstrapped, you have to consider the quality of the code... no one wants to read or work with your code.
Sadly, the truth really is... that the artist rarely makes the big $$, usually it's the patron... look back at Michelangelo, the Pope remained super rich but he the artist remained basically poor all his life. Anyway.
If the idea is great, then don't worry about patents so much but rather have a really good pitch deck. Really work out your numbers, and you have to think, to get this into the hands of the masses, you need: Marketing and Advertising.
You may think of marketing in magazines, newspapers, facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. but your guaranteed that only 10% will register for your app and 2% will stick around to constantly use it (I'm making up these numbers)
TV adverts are super expensive.
If you sell before it releases to the App store, they, if you ever ever get to speak to them, may just give you $10-20k for it. There is really no protection via Patents. Which, let's say you did go this route, and they stole the idea, then you'd need a really really good (and crazy) attorney. You'd spend tons of money and years of your life trying to get them to even properly respond to the Allegation. At the end of the day, they would have changed just one small thing from your patent application rendering it completely useless. Unless of course, you happen to have patented the eye of the needle (reference to the sowing machine patent) but also look at what happened to the Windscreen wiper inventor. (there's a movie about him)
I suggest, knowing you product road map.
So, release the app,, send out the pitch deck at the same time as gaining traction, if you get 1000 users in 1-2 months then the investors will pump money into you and provide you with all the necessary protection. (after all they want a return on their investment)
The key is that only you know how it works and then continually work to make the significant improvements, new ideas and constantly making sure that when people think photograph, message and share then they think Snap and Chat, SnapChat. (--- the value is in the Brand name)
Hope this helps.
Hugh Proctor, LayrCake
If it were me, I probably wouldn't put my faith in a generic nondisclosure agreement. My advise is to get good (paid) legal advise on the best approach from a business attorney with experience in this area.
Ideas carry very little value. Don't be afraid and execute it well.
Best protection of an idea is the best implementation of the idea!
@Rajan, it's not just idea. I made the product (App) as well. I deployed in AWS, working great, trust me you all will love the concept :)
@Hugh - Thanks, very valuable. It is scheduled to be launched in the App store and Play store around mid-Feb 2017. I'm working on the deck to market.