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haripkhan's avatar

How to maintain the confidentiality and authenticity of a business idea?

Asked by haripkhan (7points) July 5th, 2011

Hi everyone.

Have heard a lot about this great community, Fluther, and hence I am here to ask something really important. Hope that you will be willing to help…

I have done a lot of research on a topic and have developed a business idea. Now I want to develop it into a real world entity. For that I need back of investors and a lot of other things as well. I plan to acquire this by presenting my start up idea to meets. The question here is, what happens if someone from those in the meet sees my idea and then starts working on it by themselves? I know when you have a product, you can get it patented to secure it from this kind of theft but how to secure an idea from theft.

I hope my question is clear. Let me know if further clarification is needed and I’ll try to create a virtual scenario to simplify it further.

Looking for answers that can enlighten my way forward.


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9 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

Secrecy. Don’t tell people stuff unless you really have to. Only tell it to people you trust. Limit the number of people you tell stuff. Don’t get any extra staff unless you really need to. It may be nice to have someone to type stuff up and take notes in meeting but they’re just another way info can leak. Consider making everyone sign NDA’s.

WasCy's avatar

Welcome to Fluther; I hope we can live up to your expectations.

As @Lightlyseared suggests: NDAs, or Non-Disclosure Agreements. These are formal legal documents that you ask people to review and sign (and return to you) prior to your disclosure to them of your confidential information.

If people refuse to sign the NDA, then you simply refuse to divulge the information to them.

marinelife's avatar

Here is a sample Non-Disclosure Agreement.

funkdaddy's avatar

NDAs are for existing products, if you just have the idea, and someone can do it better than you can, there’s nothing stopping them from doing that. That’s competition that every company faces.

You can trademark key parts of marketing or some sort of “signature” to your idea but overall you still have to execute on it and that execution is what’s worth something. No one pays for the idea.

And investors generally don’t sign NDAs.

Source Source Source

PhiNotPi's avatar

Distribute information on a need-to-know basis. For example, when explaining to potential investor what your idea does, do not go extremely in-depth useless asked to (denying information to investors is probably a bad idea).

There is no criminal punishment for stealing an idea, only actual products. Once an idea is out, people can use anything that isn’t patented/copyrighted.

funkdaddy's avatar

Another similar discussion on Fluther not that long ago…

Would sharing my ideas be ill advised?

YARNLADY's avatar

You can find some great ideas on this search list

narcvs's avatar

Ideas are overrated – it’s almost entirely about execution. Work harder and faster than anyone else, and you’ll win :)

Don’t bring an NDA to a VC meeting. They won’t sign it,.

WasCy's avatar

Yeah, I hadn’t thought about the VC issue. In an established business we use NDAs frequently with prospective vendors, partners and clients (and they with us). I would agree with the opinions of those above that a Venture Capitalist isn’t going to even read, much less sign, an NDA.

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