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keeping the toothpaste in the tube

keeping the toothpaste in the tube

Let’s say you have an idea for a product/service that is essentially the integration of several existing elements in a new way.  To make this work, of course, you’ll need to recruit  the best talent in several different fields.  Also, you’ll need trusted advisors and others to assist with the actual integration and production, along with marketing the finished product.

Since the product/service is the integration of existing elements, it’s the *idea* itself that holds value (dependent, of course, on its execution).  The problem is, you’ll need to attract the best talent in each specialized area, while not letting the genie out of the bottle such that another person could go off and implement the idea. 

Two possibilities (on either end of the spectrum):

1. Consider the truism “ideas are a dime a dozen”, and rest easy.  It’s not the idea, it’s the execution.  Pitch the idea to everyone necessary to attract the best talent, and rely on the fact that you’re already ahead of anyone who would want to steal the idea.  Caveats: once the idea is out, an entrepreneurial professional who has more business contacts might take the plan and run with it. 

2. Be extremely secretive in order to keep the toothpaste in the tube.  Make everyone sign an NDA, and only reveal as little as possible.  Caveats: NDAs may prove to be a barrier to recruiting the best talent, and create an unpleasant “guilty until proven innocent” mood.

How would you go about developing such a product?

rich uncle pennybags
Friday, April 02, 2004

Developing it isn't the problem as I see it - marketing will make or break it. With 'low barriers to entry' for the competition, you want to launch with a huge budget and strong branding to saturate the market with exposure, helping capture a large initial market share. This assumes customers want it of course. Profits are plowed back into marketing to keep building that share.  If you don't have that kind of budget, I'd say forget it.

Joe Hendricks
Friday, April 02, 2004

The answer to your question is exceedingly simple- case "1.".

When you have a "new idea" and you try to get people interested, really interested, not politely interested but rather the kind of interested that puts dough in your pocket, you will find that it is nearly impossible.

I got over this concept a few months ago.  It was nealry impossible to convince people that my software is anything new or valuable so why should I be scared that everyone who sees it will try to steal it?

People won't try to steal from you until you prove the value publicly.  If, once you reveal the idea it is obviously great to the point that anyone who hears about it will want to steal it and it is really easy to do once you hear about the idea, I would advise you not to persue it.  Someone bigger will knock you off eventually.

name withheld out of cowardice
Friday, April 02, 2004

I have nothing new to add, but I can just agree with name withheld.  Ideas ARE a dime a dozen.  There's a huge difference between an idea and a product.  So, even if someone agreed that your idea was gangbusters, odds are they'd never do anything about it.  But don't worry, it's extremely unlikely that anyone will be excited enough about your idea to drop what they're doing and work on your idea instead.  That's the one biggest thing I've learned in pursuing my own great idea - I can't keep others motivated because while they say they like the idea, they clearly don't believe as deeply as I do.

David (www.davesez.com)
Friday, April 02, 2004

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. - Howard Aiken

Mike Swieton
Friday, April 02, 2004

"Don't worry about him stealing your idea. It's the only idea he will ever have, whereas you will have plenty more." - said to a graduate student who complained that his supervisor had stolen his idea.

Christopher Wells
Friday, April 02, 2004

I call it Vapoorize. It's like vaporize only with an extra 'o' throw in. Get it?

Jack Black
Friday, April 02, 2004

Ideas ARE worth protecting if they're any good.

The problem is that anyone who posts to a forum like this askign hwo to protect their idea with NDA's clearly doesn't have anything useful and doesn't have a hope of getting anything off the ground.

Maybe in five years' time when they've got some experience.

No-one with any brains signs an NDA with some little nobody.

.
Friday, April 02, 2004

If I were such an incredible talent that I could take your idea and make it a success myself, without you, then I wouldn't sign your NDA; I'd be off being a success.

If I weren't such a talent, then you wouldn't want me in the first place.

Kyralessa
Friday, April 02, 2004

Chances are some other people already had the same idea, but didn't execute or even attempt it because it involves the said difficulties of bringing together a diverse set of experts.

So if you are to succeed, you will have to be better at gathering and managing that group of experts than the competition.

T. Norman
Saturday, April 03, 2004

consumed by bitterness? 


"Ideas ARE worth protecting if they're any good.

The problem is that anyone who posts to a forum like this askign hwo to protect their idea with NDA's clearly doesn't have anything useful and doesn't have a hope of getting anything off the ground.

Maybe in five years' time when they've got some experience.

No-one with any brains signs an NDA with some little nobody."

.
Friday, April 02, 2004

JA
Monday, April 05, 2004

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