Should You Be Paranoid About Your Ideas (As An Entrepreneur)?

I recently invited an entrepreneur friend of mine to a meetup with mentors and potential investors. This was an opportunity for participants (including me) to benefit in the long term.

The next thing I heard from her was, “Do you trust these people we are going to meet that they won’t ‘steal’ our ideas?”

Goodness! Are you kidding me? You need help, yet you’re paranoid about your ideas?

If you have ever thought or felt like my friend, you are not alone. I do feel same too, sometimes.

We’ve heard of stories in the past about some great companies that “stole” others’ ideas.

But the truth is, out of the 100 people you share your ideas with, 95 will probably not care!

As a matter of fact, not everyone is equally excited about your unique multi-billion dollar startup idea to “raise people from the dead” or “create water from air”. 

The unfortunate thing. however, is that you will need to “freely share” your idea in order for people to be able to understand the problem you’re solving and know how they can help. Thus, if you will need someone’s (co-founder, team mates, mentors, investors, etc) help, you must be a bit “vulnerable” with your idea.

That is not to say you shouldn’t be paranoid, or you should tell them everything (including your patented technology). Not really.

You should have a very general or public-friendly part of your idea crafted to get people excited about your idea: not too detailed, yet not too shallow (you get what I mean 🙂 ). This is what you should be vulnerable with.

As an entrepreneur, you should not be worried when people steal your idea because, even if they do, only you can execute it the way you’d like it to be done (which may be 100% different from how the other person is  or will be executing).You should be very worried that no one will be excited about it.

Ideas are like opinions (or noses), everyone has one… it’s the execution that matters!



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