NO ONE IS GOING TO STEAL YOUR BRILLIANT IDEA.
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NO ONE IS GOING TO STEAL YOUR BRILLIANT IDEA.

I get emails occasionally from one-person-software-companies, and those who are thinking of creating small software companies. (Micro-ISV's we call them)

And i give help where i can, positivity where-ever possible. i don't give much time, of course. But i give everything i can. (Oh, And i'd love to hear from you, of course! i've always got a positive word or ten!)

But one thing i hear again and again is this:

how can i get started, when my idea is so clever that the first time i utter it, i fear someone will steal it?

This is such a common fear!

And boy, I have had that fear! I know it so damn well. Yet -- it's utterly misguided!

please believe me!

no one is gonna steal your idea....

It's amazing how reluctant people are to use your brilliant ideas. This point is brought up again and again in literature around business creation. We all fear that everyone will steal our idea the entire time -- no one does. The hard bit -- the hardest bit of all -- is getting people to even listen to our idea. There's a famous saying about this:

"Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."

(quoted here, http://www.rexruff.com/content/philosophy.php, for example -- but lots of variations exist too)

There's so much truth in this. I always just put my ideas out on my blog, and no one steals them. (Damn you all! Except you, Atli. You rock of course ;-) )

So repeat after me (and keep repeating until you believe it)

NO ONE
IS GOING
TO STEAL
YOUR BRILLIANT
IDEAS.

It's almost sad, really.

But don't let this discourage you, either.

Because, over time... eventually... once you get to a stage where nice, ordinary people have begun to except your idea... (this might blow you away right now)


they'll actually
pay you
money
for your
implementation
of it.

Weird huh?

And yet it is a verifiable fact.

Best of luck!

lb





'Haacked' on Fri, 11 May 2007 14:41:23 GMT, sez:

that's BS LB and you know it. You stole my idea for a blog. *I* was going to be the SecretGeek.

Then you stole my idea for a Micro-ISV product called "TimeSlapper". You changed one letter and ran with it!

You're a hack and you know it. See, there you go trying to steal my last name!





;)
(for the humor impaired, I'm joking)



'Eric D. Burdo' on Fri, 11 May 2007 15:37:40 GMT, sez:

Phil... Your the haack, not LB.



'Chakravarthy' on Fri, 11 May 2007 15:45:29 GMT, sez:

Yes, i agree with you that "No one is going to steal your idea", any clue as why ...

Here are my 2 cents, towards the same concept.

They can steel your idea in the first hand, but when it comes to long run, they have no clue as how to maintain the consistency and bring your idea for a long run. Yes, it could be true that they are benifitted at the initial phase, but for sure that they are going to fall and can never raise.

What do you say?



'Pradeep' on Fri, 11 May 2007 16:04:06 GMT, sez:

It is true no one steals a complete idea . But there is always someone who would steal some feature/design IF they are in the same line of business .

Lets say time snapper has a new feature where you can convert the screen shots to a real movie file and maybe add some voice over to it and burn it to a dvd .

You can be pretty sure one of the competeitors will do it and 1up you with adding subtitles to the movie .

A safer statement might be , No one is going to steal your brilliant business idea , but some one *will* steal your new product feature . So start your business but keep innovating .



'Alex James' on Fri, 11 May 2007 18:33:18 GMT, sez:

...I spent a lot of time in going stealth, worried someone was going to steal XTend... and one thing you learn overtime the hard way is this:

No one is going to steal your idea.

Needed to be said, so good on you Leon...



'http://' on Fri, 11 May 2007 18:59:36 GMT, sez:

then how come Apple is so secretive?



'Jonnosan' on Fri, 11 May 2007 22:01:48 GMT, sez:

Apple are secretive to build and maintain hype around their brand, not because they are worried someone is going to steal their ideas.

e.g. the iPod was hardly an novel concept, rather it was a well executed and marketed entry into a market that was at least 4 years old before Apple entered it.



'Eber Irigoyen' on Fri, 11 May 2007 22:47:25 GMT, sez:

good try SecretGeek... you just wanted to know my idea!



'Des Traynor' on Sat, 12 May 2007 09:54:27 GMT, sez:

Yeah, I hear a lot of this too. The one point I always try to make is this

"If secrecy of your idea is the only reason why it's good, then you're fucked anyways, if/when you get popular you'll have millions of better funded copycats, what do you do then?"



'marcin' on Sun, 13 May 2007 09:15:41 GMT, sez:

I have used that same quote many a time myself, but I think that Paul Graham summed it up when he said that there's not much of 'a market for ideas'.

Fundamentally, good ideas (like trends) are easy to spot retrospectively.



'Magnus Mendelyev' on Sun, 13 May 2007 20:30:45 GMT, sez:

Haacked >

TimeSlapper... It sounds like this girl I once dated!

MM.



'King' on Mon, 14 May 2007 05:52:52 GMT, sez:

all gibber jabber bull shit



'Carl' on Mon, 14 May 2007 07:47:39 GMT, sez:

TimeSlapper - that's along a similar vein to Time Share apartments, yes?

You get full and unrestricted use of her for two weeks a year - everyone's a winner.

C



'Carl' on Tue, 15 May 2007 10:59:34 GMT, sez:

So, no-one will steal your idea hey?!?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6647011.stm

Apparently, building games IS like lego... it's only a matter of time before this filters down into the whole software industry ;o)

C



'lb' on Tue, 15 May 2007 22:35:28 GMT, sez:

thanks for the article Carl.



'Pramod' on Sat, 19 May 2007 17:23:27 GMT, sez:

IDEAS and IMPLEMENTAION is 2 different think. Important Thing is Practical Implementation. I can say "YOU CAN STEAL ANYONES IDEAS only WHEN YOU MAKE IT PRACTICAL and SUCCSFULLY IMPLEMENTED, TESTED"

Some peoples are good in Implementation, Some are good in Imagination.

But the fact is that Knowledge sharing is the best way to Improve Knowledge.



'BarryH' on Sat, 26 May 2007 02:55:36 GMT, sez:

Well, let me just say this: I am ready to start my own Micro-ISV. All I need is an idea! ;)



'Scot W. Smith' on Mon, 04 Jun 2007 20:19:41 GMT, sez:

If you keep it secret, then what happens when you get hit by a truck (you want to have a truck count > 1).



'Kelly' on Tue, 05 Jun 2007 21:57:15 GMT, sez:

Yeah, I thought that too, until Google created an online spreadsheet... sigh.



'fred' on Tue, 05 Jun 2007 22:06:19 GMT, sez:

@Kelly, re:Spreadsheet...

With online spreadsheets I think there's a shallow idea with a deep implementation.

The idea is so obvious that it's of no worth. But implementing it succesfully is a fiendishly difficult task. And then the hosting etc calls for a decent infrastructure investment.



'rps' on Tue, 19 Jun 2007 20:42:03 GMT, sez:

"The opportunity of a lifetime comes along every few weeks." (Robert Kiyosaki, I think)
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you should take that sound idea and be ready to put at least two years of your life into it (for starters). If that idea doesn't pan out, you try another one.



'yoshi' on Sun, 03 Feb 2008 20:48:47 GMT, sez:

What if people have ALREADY stolen your idea????

I guess the correct interpretation would be that they came up with the exact same idea completely on their own.

I HATE IT!!! IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT SECRETGEEK????

(My degree of irritability is for humorous effect, but I am actually very irritated by this phenomenon.)



'h. elwood gilliland III' on Mon, 13 Oct 2008 06:45:19 GMT, sez:

i invented youtube, you don't see me languishing in the millions for it -- the connected kids are! people WILL TAKE YOUR IDEAS AND RUN WITH THEM.



'nathan rothschild' on Fri, 26 Nov 2010 21:59:10 GMT, sez:

No I'm not a trillionaire and unmeasurable

genius.




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