Strategy · Entrepreneurs

I have a great idea. Should I worry about sharing it? Won't someone steal it?

Sarabjeet Kaur Senior Software Consultant at HCL Technologies

November 18th, 2016

I have been keeping a potentially great idea to myself for some time now. It would be a web based service / blog which would be specific in multiple ways. At least comparing to what I saw so far. One of the reasons why I haven’t tried to make it work is that in my opinion the idea would be easy to steal so I want to have at least the advantage of an up and running website and/or some kind of marketing campaign started. I am not sure how to find people to help me and at the same time to protect my idea from stealing it. Do you have some piece of advice for me?

Jeremy Pavleck Design Director - Future Technologies and Automation at a financial company

November 18th, 2016

Here's the thing:
I guarantee you you're not the first person to come up with the idea. 

But you can be the first person to follow through and act on that idea.

I could have the next trillion dollar idea, but if I don't have the drive to put it into action it's worth nothing to no one. 

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

November 19th, 2016

Some of the most successful companies were built on borrowed or stolen ideas, but two things need to be kept in mind: (1) an idea is not the same thing as a business; and (2) there are very very few truly original ideas out there. There are many decent commercial opportunities, and, in the tech field, some may have unique features, so there is still the possibility that a business can be organized around an idea, but most businesses grow and thrive because they are properly managed. I would not worry much about your idea being stolen. I would simply take normal precautions (NDAs, IP lawyers, controlled distribution of materials) and concentrate on converting your idea into an operating business quickly, before somebody with superior resources approximates your idea and eats your lunch. Sent from my iPhone

Chris Hill Love building businesses. Marketing, product, fundraising, delighting customers, making money,

November 18th, 2016

"there are no new ideas". If it is good, at least 2-3 other teams somewhere will be working on it.  You don't need to promote it but you need to reference it and use it to sell prospective employees and others. Execution is the key. Many good ideas out there but executing successfully on those good ideas is what leads to success. Direct your energy towards execution not protection. Good luck

Craig Larson Comprehensive Business Development • Analytics

February 16th, 2017

Tell people what you do ... not how you do it ... establish a market or it isn't worth pursuing

Stan Podolski CEO at Nimble Aircraft.

November 18th, 2016

Let me begin with simple. Your idea is either:
- not too simple to implement
- or not worth a dime

Try to sell it to your mom, your neighbour, your friend, you CTO, see it they say "I will give you a 1000, let's try to do it".

Sebastian Pereyro

November 20th, 2016

Ideas are not yours to keep secret, in fact if you truly believe in your idea, go out and find people that have the same idea, convince  then to help you out, sell them your idea, motivate and excite others to help you build it. In my opinion, that's the only way to take care of an idea, unless you have been do ing research and development for many years in something very specific, it is hard to come up with a unique idea or invention. Go build it, give the world your passion, and build it with a team that can make it happen. 

Mugada Mahesh Am a idea person and I know how to reach targeted audience and am good at estimating industry future

November 23rd, 2017

don't feel like that ideas may steal. but not the business model,revenue model,marketing strategies. try to share your idea with the people it will help you to know about the hurdles might u going to face in future. ultimately any idea have to reach the potential customers so sharing idea is cost as advertising through mouth publicity.but u think your idea is unique and not yet developed one then think twice. facebook already having chat and photo sharing but whatsapp and instagram have their own significance .

Wally Barr Business Owner at Undrnu Management

May 25th, 2018

I understand your problem. Before you explain any of the details just get a standard non-disclosure and non-compete contract form basically any where on the internet. This will keep you idea confidential. Would be happy to help. There will be knock offs and competitors. Just be better. Do more. Probability is there is someone trying this or thinking about it now. Being first to market is not as vital as some think. You can learn from someone who makes mistakes. Just really concentrate on creating a good product that solves a problem. Send me an NDA if you want help.

Michael Forney Strategic Management, Business Intel and Marketing Expert & Consultant

November 28th, 2017

There are a few issues you will need to address here:

1. Do you have the funding to properly protect your idea? IP work is expensive.

2. Do you have the funding to fight a court battle to protect your idea?

3. If not, will you be able to maintain your service, continually update and add new features and grow the user base?

I suspect, as for most entrepreneurs, the answers to 1 and 2 would be either "no" or "I have no idea". Which are for purposes of this discussion the same. Therefore, you need to have a robust idea, plan and feature set that you can update and maintain your position as the first and primary mover in your space.

As you see from the Snapchat v. Instagram fight, IP protection and new innovations are stolen, copied and improved upon before you could even begin to gain IP protection.

Fergus Dunn Venture Capital Solutions - British Business Bank

November 19th, 2016

I can understand the hesitation not to reveal your idea. However, the chances of someone around you hearing the idea, then having the time and resources to execute that idea faster and better than you have is very slim. As others a have said, You will not be the first person to have that idea.

In fact you may find that telling people your idea could help you significantly as those people around you may be able to help you with ideas or introduce you to key people. 

Ideas are the easy part, execution is the only thing that matters.

Share the idea and see that it will only help create discussion. You will find people will question your ideas as well which is good, so don't be nervous of that either. Often the people that will be most pessimistic/ challenge your idea are the people closest to you. Embrace it.

Set up a business plan and basic idea before telling people (as I imagine you have) then get started on the execution.

Hope you make the right idea and that the execution goes well! Good luck!