How can I make sure the business ideas shared are protected and not copied by others?
Hello, I'm planning to do startup but I'm not sure whom to share the ideas with or how to make sure my ideas are not stolen or copied by others. How do I know who to trust? Is this even something I should be concerned about? Thanks for you advice!
I would imagine it is a good idea to sign agreements including Non-disclosure, etc.
If you freely share ideas and they are good, you can bet someone will steal it and your only other protection is prayers.
Not sharing idea will not be possible because you will need people teams, etc. Keep legal safeguards with you. Make sense?
My approach here would be to gather information on key aspects of your overall project without actually giving the game away.
Another idea maybe to outsource aspects of your project to others and then cut them into a % of the profits this would ensure trust or they would not need to know the overall game plan.
Well, taking your idea to the next step of reality that is building a Minimal Viable Product should be your main focus right now. It is your brainchild, your passion, even if anyone else steels the idea, only you have the potential to make it successful. Sharing it with others shows you the pain-points that you have have not observed.
Idea worth $0 until it executes. Share it with many people as you can.
Think how you can execute it? That's the only thing.
Go to SCORE, it is run by the state and free for advice. Check in your area.
there are many ways to protect your ideas, one of them is to register the brand, idea, or even publish it first, yet this will come later, once you are more established,
at the end, idea will be just a mere idea, when it's not done yet, and we live in the world full of brilliant minds (at least that's what i believe) thus the chance of other people to have the similar ideas just like you are highly possible,
bottom line there are many ways to protect it, but the best is to nurture it, register it once it's more promising, and of course release any gentleman agreement such as NDA's or anything else that could make you believe on yourself and the other party,
lastly follow your heart, she will never betray you :)
Hi Sarfraz. In my experience, your success depends on your relationship with your clients and the successful execution of your ideas. The world is full of ideas but lacking in applied solutions. If you focus on your clent's needs and execution of your solution, you will have many "copy cats", but far fewer competitors.
I am facing the same situation as you maybe finding your self in. Your first step is to compose a good NDA non-disclosure agreement. I would even suggest that it include a monetary penalty if they breech the agreement. This however is not an absolute guarantee that someone will not try to circumvent the agreement. I have had my computer hacked after even having such an agreement in place. So don't keep all of your idea where it can be totally accessed. This then would bring you back to some basics, like doing your due diligence in researching whom you are considering having look at your idea. Contacting former clients which they have previously worked with can possibly reveal interesting results regarding the same subject matter. Doing a Google check for negative reviews is also important along with a Dunn and Bradstreet check on the company itself. Possibly checking to see if you can launch your idea via a Crowd Funding platform instead of the more conventional Venture Capital outlets may allow you to possibly accomplish your objective. i recommend you also investigate the crowd funding business also since not all are honest. Read the fine print on all agreements before you sign and make sure you do, run it by your lawyer if you have one. These are some of my suggestions in trying to decrease the possibility of intellectual theft. If your idea can be turned into an actual product or program, then patent that will go along way in protecting your intellectual idea. I personally am being patient in personally raising my own money which I need so as to build my idea first before launching it. I hope you get some other The other flip side to the coin which I have heard is to share your idea with anyone and everyone since your idea may not be that important to all and people are to busy to actually build on your idea. I have chosen to ignore that for myself. I hope you get responses from those who have face similar situations who may give you a broader or better understanding of your particular dilemma.
Your idea will change as you develop it. Holding on to your idea as if it is yours will put you in the wrong mindset. So I think your question "should I be concerned about this?" is valid. You should not. Then again, there are always exceptions. So in general, share your idea with people that have integrity.
Be concerned, and protect this information with a non-disclosure agreement with whomever you discuss your idea at any depth.
This is a problem entrepreneurs always have to cope with. On one hand, you need to talk about your idea with potential customers, peers, industry experts, etc in order to get their feedback to modify your business plan, revenue model, go-to-market strategies and etc in order to forge your idea into a viable business. On the other hand, you you have the take the risk of having your idea stolen.
Moreover, what will determine whether you can/should talking about your idea freely is the extent to which you idea is bonded to you and your skills to be materialized.
What I always do (an imo is the best way) is talking about my idea without sharing too much info. It's better not to talk about your idea with those who may have the propensity to steal it. Choose few but proper people who are adept at what will be needed for your business and may be ready to even mentor you during the early stages of your startup.
There are some good suggestion but they are applicable to US and few other western countries. You are located in India and that is a very different! Every country/location has its own rules and pitfalls. As a venture guy who have worked/invested outside of US I can tell you that there is no fool proof way to get a lock on your invention. Unless you have a revolutionary idea that no one else has in the world, you will need to register your invention in various parts of the globe including US and it is a long cumbersome process.
The best and cheapest way to safeguard is NDA (two party agreement not to disclose) and documenting all meetings, formulas, invention, experiemnts, etc. date and time-stamp everything physically and saving it remotely. Electronic data can be easily manipulated and often does not have as much much weight as paper documentation that is signed and time-stamped. In case you run into litigation you can use this documentation and hopefully prove that your idea or work was first. Essentially what need is a detail journal of every activity that you are performing including results.
Remember first mover advantage is the key in many sectors and having a good business plan and moving smartly outweighs the risk of copy cats!
Happy to chat with you without talking about your actual idea.
All the best.
As people have said, NDA is a starting point, get to market as soon as possible, don't sweat it, part of what may make you different from everyone else or someone "stealing" your idea would be your execution.
Relationships must work equally well for both parties in both hu8man and financial terms...if they do not then trust is broken...The trust bond must be established
Send the project to yourself and don't open it. if its software the exe date is the protection.
copyrighting your material is a good thing to do. Copyright with date and name. It is hard to stop all plagiarism especially with in house staff or apprentices if they really want to copy from you, but ideas shared show professionalism, commitment, knowledge etc which give your company/name recognition. You just have to choose what to share and what you need to really try to keep copyrighted.
In my experience, international competitions are pretty safe in terms of Safeguard confidentiality of the applications. Anyway, to get your project to the market and potential investors you will have to show it, and my rule of thumb here is to trust what indicate yours instincts. If you do not trust someone or a company is because the most probable is that you have reason. A legal way to solve this is to ask your partner to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
The real problem isn't protecting your idea. The problem is your mindset. If you are so worried about protecting your idea from competitors, then you're not really prepared for success. Eventually, after a certain amount of success, you will have imitators who will want to pickyback onto your success and take the shortcut to success. After all, this is where Pepsi, Burger King, UnderArmour, etc. came from.
People will buy your product or service based solely on your ability to fill a market gap based on your ability to add your UNIQUE approach to it.
So in short, don't worry about sharing it. When you're just starting out, no one will believe in you anyway so there won't be anyone stealing your ideas. Then when you get really successful, there is no way to prevent the piggybackers.
It's important to have an abundance mindset. In the end, you can either be the mayor of a fishbowl who fiercely has to defend every inch of his territory.. In this instance, you could have 100% market share and no ability to grow. Or...you can be a small player in a massive market. You might only have 1% of the market, but you'll have everything in front of you to get wealthy...with tons of competitors. But remember, where there are competitors, there is a LOT of money and opportunity.
Have to get a legal Copyright, Patent or Trademark to protect the idea which costs money and time. It also depends on how unique the idea is. Is it product, service or concept driven? If it is similar to other things with a different twist, you have little to protect.
Your ideas are yours and can be protected in a variety of ways if you want to visit with an intellectual property lawyer. However, my experience is that if you do a good job marketing your ideas even if others copy them customers know that you were the first in their minds. Additionally, competitors are usually so busy trying to implement their ideas that they have little time to try to duplicate yours. Take the hamburger, while there are multiple varieties of burgers, every month it seems that someone comes up with a new idea for a burger.