Don’t share your business idea someone might steal it!

Do you have a great business idea that you’re scared to talk about? You are not the only one. There is a hot debate right now about whether you should share your business idea with other people or not. It is not easy to know what to do because there are good arguments on both sides of the debate.

First some people say that you should definitely share your business ideas with others and…I don’t agree with that. Let’s say that the project you’re working on is very time sensitive, so the best way to kill your idea in the egg would be to share it with other people. What I mean by that, is that if you need to wait for the right timing to disclose your project and create a buzz, then you should definitely not share your idea with other people.

Sometimes even if the timing does not matter, it’s better to run with your idea and build it before you talk about it in more details. Let’s take the Facebook example: if the twins Winklevoss did not ask Mark Zuckerberg to build their prototype, maybe they’d be the owners of Facebook today. To be honest I don’t think their product would have been as big as Facebook, but you never know.

In the meantime, you cannot sit on your idea like an egg until the baby chicken cracks the egg. At a certain point you’ll definitely need to share it and talk about it so that your potentiel clients will know it exists. If the idea is too easy to be copied, you should ask yourself whether it’s worth pursuing. Don’t be discourage, you can also try to build some barriers to entry. So it’s a good way to take some distance and rethink about it in a more rational way.

Moreover, if you don’t talk to prospective clients about it, then you might be building a product for an imaginary need. Of course you can’t see that, because no one tells you the hard truth. So not talking about it would deprive you from very valuable comments and market insights.

If you’re talking to investors, please don’t ask them to sign a non disclosure agreement (NDA), you’ll look ridiculous. They will definitely not steal your idea and they will need a lot of details in order to evaluate its viability and the return of investment they could make on it.

If you’re still confused after reading the upper part of this post (I did not know how to name it), let me summarize it for you. Depending on the sensitivity of your idea you can share it with friends, family and some random people in order to get some market insights. Don’t share it with people who have the skills to build a better product than you unless it’s to convince them to come on board (of course you have to offer something in return, maybe show them some skills that you have and that they need). If investors agreed to hear your pitch then blow their mind and talk their language, show them that it will be worth millions (or billions) of dollars in few years (5 to 10 maybe).

Learn how to talk with parsimony, good luck!

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