The Paranoia of Idea Theft

1/25/11

It’s common for noob entrepreneurs to get paranoid about their idea. They’ll insist everyone sign NDAs. In meetings at coffee shops they’ll whisper as if on some spy mission — constantly looking over their shoulder. They’re afraid someone will pull a Zuckerberg, and make billions on it.

That’s silly. It just doesn’t happen.

Ideas mean very little. The world is full of people with great ideas. If you’re idea is a half-decent idea, dozens of other entrepreneurs are already working on it. The race has already begun and you’re laps behind.

Is your idea good? Is there a real problem? Is it worth solving? Do people care? You’re gonna need to talk to people to get answers to these questions. It’s impossible to validate your startup idea unless you air it out to some extent.

Your idea will most likely change, adapt and evolve over time. There’s no reason to get too hung up on it, obsess over it, or get paranoid about someone stealing it. Many great companies didn’t start with earth-shattering ideas. Take Google. Internet search was nothing special when they started. Lycos, Alta Vista, Yahoo were the big players in the market. What about Dell. Selling computers? Was that a great idea?

Finding a seed to plant is the easy part. The real challenge is making it grow and flourish. It’s about execution. That’s a post for another day.

“No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.” – Helmuth Carl Bernard Graf von Moltke

  • http://sandipagrawal.com Sandip Agrawal

    Wholeheartedly agree! That’s why I created http://shapea.com (launched today) to help validate your ideas (hope shameless plug is allowed)

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