Will you share your venture idea with others?

You have discovered a world-changing idea, but you are not sure how easy it is to implement it.  You know that it is not extremely difficult; for example, set up an iTunes music store with 8 major record companies.

Will you share your idea with others?

Some may say “yes” in a heartbeat, but others may hesitate.  In my opinion, these are some of the benefits versus risks for sharing:

Benefits:

  • You will get lots of feedback, mostly in the form of disbelief or rejection.  However, that’s what you need to shape your business, and that’s what every business gets on a daily basis.
  • You can practice your pitch before you do it in front of VCs.
  • You may unintentionally find your partners / board of directors.

Risks:

  • You will get discouraged and eventually give up on the idea.
  • Others will steal your idea and implement it before you.
  • Your competitor will find a way to destroy you before you are ready to launch.

So, what do you think?

Please also take a moment to explain your vote below.

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About Daniel Chu
“Success is to drive and continually shape the excellence in you and around you” – Daniel Chu Born in January 1st 1983 in Taipei Taiwan, Daniel Che Yi Chu moved to Ontario Canada by himself at the age of 14, seeking for better education. In 2007, Daniel obtained his Honor Bachelor of Science (with distinction) in Computer Science (Software Engineering) from the University of Toronto, St. George campus. Currently an IT Project Manager at TELUS, Daniel is leading teams with up to 15 members and managing budgets between $100K-$800K, facilitating a $900M deal with the Quebec government (http://bit.ly/17A6tu). Since graduation, Daniel joined TELUS’s Leadership Development Program (http://bit.ly/bLnKD), which gave him an opportunity to explore different professional roles, such as a Business Analyst, Developer, IT Project Manager, Human Resources Project Manager, and Strategic Advisor. Continued to grow, Daniel joined Toastmasters in 2008, and obtained both the Competent Leader and Competent Communicator designation in 2009. Also in 2009, Daniel was nominated and elected President of his Toastmasters Club (http://www.telespeakers.com). Daniel is a committed Christian who is also a committed volunteer at Big Brothers and the Crisis Center. He helps the Crisis Center deliver suicide prevention workshops at Vancouver’s high schools. Daniel enjoys various activities, such as swimming, playing basketball, and bowling. He also enjoys reading and writing.

4 Responses to Will you share your venture idea with others?

  1. “Others will steal your idea and implement it before you.”

    My sense is that the risk of this is typically exaggerated. I know you know this, so my comments here are not directed at you, but allow me to expand on this thought, perhaps to start a conversation.

    Startups tend to be experiments – how can anyone steal the result of an experiment before the final results are known? Suppose, early in 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming told someone “I’m looking at the lifecycle of staphylococci”. Could someone then see the potential for killing staphylococci? That would be quite a jump. The big discovery happened by accident, but in an environment where Fleming and his assistants were looking for something new. It’s worth noting that at least 3 other researchers, starting 30 years earlier, in the 1890s, had already noted the negative effects that some mold could have on the growth of bacteria. And yet those previous researchers never realized the potential of what they were looking at. Assuming we all want to be the equivalent of Fleming (that is, we all want to be the ones to come up with the world-changing discovery) then we need to think about what he had that the previous researchers did not. For one thing, he had an openness to accidents. For another, he had a great crew and/or circle of former assistants – Merlin Price gave him important feedback at a crucial time.

    Fleming did not know that penicillin existed until he found it. So he wasn’t looking for it. But when he accidentally stumbled across it, he had the insight to realize its importance.

    A lot of big breakthroughs arise by accident while people are pursuing something else. An excellent current example would be Twitter. Roll the clock back to 2005 – Odeo launches their service for podcasting. The service does not take off. They are frustrated. They ask themselves, “How can we popularize these podcasts?” They start thinking about a messaging service, something lighter and easier than blogging. They talk to some folks who’ve been thinking about the potential of cell phones. They start a service. It soon becomes much bigger than Odeo. They are smart enough to realize the potential of what they’ve got.

    What idea could you steal from either of these folks, before the moment that they realized the potential of what they had? The “lifecycle of staphylococci”? Who cares? It is a boring subject. Podcasting? Who cares? Lots of people tried podcasting startups, none of them made any serious money.

    Until those folks realized the importance of what they had, there was nothing interesting to steal, and after they realized the importance of what they had, they had the advantage of being way ahead of everyone else.

    I think all any startup can really aim for is be like Fleming’s lab in 1928 – go looking in an area that should have some potential, keep an open mind about what you’ll find, surround yourself with excellent people like Merlin Price, and be ready to change direction when you discover something unexpected and yet amazing.

  2. Pingback: Closer To The Ideal » Blog Archive » With startups, it is the execution that matters, not the idea

  3. Talk about it to the right audience. Talk about it to people who are supportive and believe in helping others succeed. Talk about it to people who care about you (but not parents – they worry too much). If you find the right people to talk to then you will get all the positive benefits and none of the negatives.

    Don’t worry about people stealing the idea. Like you said – it is not easy to implement only the person who really believes in the idea and puts their whole heart into it is likely to bother – that means only the person who invented it – you.

    If it really is a good business idea there will be no competition – if there is competition focus the idea so that it fits a niche, that no-one else is taking. You are not competing, you are providing something that people want and they can’t get anywhere else. In that case you can actually work together with your so called competition, because you fit together in a good pattern.

    So there is no reason not to talk about it, but choose your audience so that you get the best reception.

  4. Pingback: Closer To The Ideal » Blog Archive » Startups need to start getting feedback as fast as possible

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