Why you shouldn't keep your startup idea a secret
There's more to gain by openly sharing your brilliant business idea with others
By Roger Pierce
New entrepreneurs often fret about sharing their business idea with other people because they worry that someone else will steal it, develop it and get rich.
Here’s an eye opener: most business ideas are worthless.
With almost 8 billion people on the planet, chances are pretty good that someone somewhere has the same great idea.
Execution is what makes an idea valuable – not the idea itself. The world is full of poor dreamers with brilliant ideas that never see action.
There are several good reasons for you to openly share your business idea.
1. You’ll enjoy feedback on your idea
Contacting potential customers, industry insiders and other entrepreneurs who are already in the market can help you get a feel for how your business idea might fare in the real-world. Professionals such as lawyers, accountants and small business advisors – anyone who has worked with a number of businesses – can also supply valuable feedback.
Be prepared to receive negative feedback – you can elect to accept that feedback or reject it and plough ahead
Feedback makes an idea stronger. While negative feedback may hurt, it's far better to hear it now so you can improve your idea or decide to abandon the idea before you pour money and time into it.
2. People will help you to launch your idea
Sharing your idea with others is more likely to make your idea a reality when people step up to help you. Assistance may come in several forms:
Feedback to improve the idea.
Introductions to people willing to back your idea with money.
Marketing people interested in promoting your business.
Employees or suppliers eager to work with you.
Supporters who want to see you and your idea succeed.
People generally want to help you. You'll be surprised how many opportunities arise when you share your idea.
3. You’ll commit to developing your idea
Sharing your idea publicly commits you to doing it. Too often, good ideas rattle around in our heads for years without anyone else ever knowing what we are thinking about. Saying you'll do it means you'll more likely do it.
It’s kind of like committing to a weight-loss goal – you’re more likely to lose that extra 10 pounds if you share your objective with your friends and family
Sure, you can ask people to sign a confidentiality agreement before you tell them about your idea but that's usually a waste of time. They likely have their own brilliant idea brewing.