We've had that brain wave. We've thought of something great.
Yea! It's going to be the next big thing.
We think about how to do this business idea.
We keep it secret and make calls and be all mysterious about what we are planning to do.
We don't tell anyone for fear of someone stealing the idea.
I'm sure many of us have experienced something like the above.
What if someone found out about my idea and ran with it and made money off it.
Well wake up call, your idea is worthless and no one is going to steal it.
Below is a quote from Paul Graham. If you don't know who he is see the wiki link below as well.
If you go to VC firms with a brilliant idea that you'll tell them about if they sign a nondisclosure agreement, most will tell you to get lost. That shows how much a mere idea is worth. The market price is less than the inconvenience of signing an NDA.
- Paul Graham Wikipedia
Execution and luck are worth a whole lot more.
How many people do you know have had an idea, told you a small bit about it but didn't tell the whole thing, he thinks it's the next big thing, but doesn't share the idea cos he was scared you or his friends would steal the idea, then he actually started the idea.
Not that many I think.
The fact is, many people don't really start businesses or start ups or steal ideas.
People whom you talk to would probably give suggestions, or shoot your idea down, or say, if you start I want to invest, but I think not many people would bother to steal the idea and do it himself.
People are generally lazy, not that they don't go to work. Not in that sense of laziness.
But rather like, if they are unhappy with their work, they usually just complain and grumble, they don't quit and find something else, or find something else and quit. Most people don't do something about it.
So really, telling someone won't do anything to your idea. The majority of people will just take it as coffeeshop talk. Just to chit-chat and contemplate on the idea itself.
Next is, why is your idea worthless? Cos it's just an idea.
An idea is all talk. Wait til you try to get it done. You need to spend money, or talk to the right people or network with the right people or find suppliers and find customers and hire people and manage staff and handle customer complaints and all that stuff.
Maybe after you set up something, like develop an app, or renovate that shop space and buy equipment and tables and chairs. Ok then you're on to something.
And that's not all the challenges. Next you've got to market it.
People need to know you are selling what you are selling.
Sounds easy right? People have recommended that I sell stuff on Qoo10, advertise on FB, Google.
Well, I have. And most of the time, listing on Qoo10 or any other site or advertising avenue, you just get drowned in all the other adverts. There are so many other sites doing similar things that more often than not, you are just a drop in the ocean. So a lot of time, a lot of effort needs to be put on marketing. A lot, I mean A LOT of money needs to be spent on advertising and all that.
Then you need to make sure your product is good, or your food is nice to eat, and your staff is happy to work and doesn't spit in the food that they prepare and all that.
So yes. Having an idea sounds really cool and it's fun to talk and discuss this over coffee with your friends. But really, starting an idea isn't as easy as it sounds. You really need to know the right buttons to press and make a lot of mistakes along the way and most people don't even get started.
So if most people don't even get started, who is going to steal your idea?
Did you think that your friend is going to quit his job to build that app you were thinking of? I doubt it.
And even if he did steal your idea, they would likely execute it differently from you. Considering that YOU actually started in the first place. Which you might not anyway. But hey, if your friend starts it first you now have the perfect excuse not to do it anymore.
And execution is worth everything. Hiring the right guy, renting the right place, marketing the right way, targeting the right people/demographics, etc. There's a lot of do and think about.
Think about Uber. They are one of the first who started. In Singapore, they are getting a good challenge from Grab. Didi won Uber in China. So even if you are the first, doesn't mean you will win, if you are second you may do well if you know your market better and execute it better.
Why is your idea worthless?
Cos ideas are usually all talk. When it's time to execute, more often than not, people don't even start. And even if they start, there are so many things which needs to be thought about and so many things that can go wrong.
Why no one is going to steal your idea?
Cos ideas are usually all talk. When it's time to execute, more often than not, people don't even start. And even if they start, there are so many things which needs to be thought about and so many things that can go wrong, and their execution will be different from you even IF they start, which they WON'T.
So yea. Share your ideas, your friends may even be able to help you introduce you to the right people along the way. That's IF you even start on your own idea that is.