Some people safeguard their ideas and don’t share them unless the person has been sworn to secrecy. We grow up in fear of not getting credit for our ideas. For this reason, it might seem strange and uncomfortable to openly share your brilliant ideas with anyone.
While I understand this notion, there are a few things to consider. First, most ideas have already been conceived. I saw on Twitter recently, “Ideas are cheap, execution is what matters.” This is why the thought of your killer idea being stolen is typically not what you should be worried about. While there are some exceptions, the hard part is usually making your idea a reality.
Second, sharing you idea can actually help it grow! Most people are too occupied with their own lives to jump ship and steal your idea. They could bring value with connections that you don’t have and might know the right person for you to talk to in order to move forward.
Lastly, if you are truly passionate about a problem, then even if someone does steal your solution, the world should be a better place because of that. Say you’re a passionate surfer and you have an idea for an app that tells you the best time and place to surf each morning. It’s a cool idea, but you’re too busy to pursue it. Instead, someone else develops the app and it successfully fills this void in your life. If you really wanted this to exist, you wouldn’t be bitter that someone “stole” your idea, but happy that it’s out there for all to use!
Keep in mind, most startups don’t fail because they were beaten out by their competition. Most startups fail because there is no market need, the founders give up or they’ve run out of money.
A side note From Seth Godin’s Startup School, one of my favorite podcasts, don’t be afraid of someone stealing! Your problem isn’t that people are stealing you idea, your problem is that not enough people are stealing your idea. In many cases you can’t be the only player in the space. It won’t make enough noise and probably means that there isn’t a large market for your product! People stealing is a sign that what you’re doing is making a splash.
You’re doing great so far! You’ve learned how to come up with more ideas and that sharing them is good. Now that you might have a few ideas floating around in your head. Tomorrow we will discuss which, if any, you should pursue.