Keep your secrets safe, if you want to fail

I encounter entrepreneurs pretty much every day, and almost all of them are protective of their ideas.

Unfortunately, this is the very first barrier they must overcome on their entrepreneurial journey.

The first and most important reason is that you can’t communicate your idea, what you need, and anything of value or use if you are holding your cards to yourself.

The second thing you need to understand is that your idea is worth $ZERO. I mean that! You are not the only person in the world with that idea. You are not the only person in the world doing something about it. And, in the end an idea is useless if you do nothing with it.

The third thing you must realise is that I DON’T CARE about your idea. I have a million ideas myself – all of them better for me than your idea. I am working on my own idea(s) right now, to this day, all day, every day. I don’t have time to think about your idea. I don’t have time to pursue your dream. I have time only for myself.

But, I want to help you! I want to see you pursue your idea. I want to see you succeed. I want to remove barriers for you. I want to make the journey easier for you.

Every seasoned entrepreneur I have ever known understands these points. They empathise with you and they feel the same way I do about helping you. Think about all the knowledge, experience, skills and perspectives you will never hear from these great people if you keep your idea to yourself.

There is a lot to gain from sharing your idea and your story with other entrepreneurs. They can add value. They can add perspective. They can add meaning. They can make your idea more mature. They can teach you everything you will ever need to take your idea to the world.

But, the question remains…Will you share your idea with us?

How can I help you succeed?

3 Comments to “Keep your secrets safe, if you want to fail”

Sure you need to get your ideas out there and get them marketed.
Make sure you get a patent filed first.

December 31, 2011 Reply

I don’t agree with that comment at all Mike. I realise you are an IP lawyer and it is your prerogative to encourage this. But in the technology world, a Patent is an overbearing expense on a startup which would do better to build a product that customers love and want more of. Another point to consider is the massive restructuring around IP around software in the USA and discussions arising in NZ. I would advise a startup founder to ignore Patents until a time as when they can afford it (with time and money).

December 31, 2011 Reply

I agree that it is a large expense on startup when most startups cannot afford it. But it does give you more leveraging options – leverage that you just would not have without one. And venture capital funders wont let you into their office without one. Thats because without one, your product will simply be copied cheaper and more fficiently, and there wont be a thing you can do about it.

In the US and Australia, there have been conflicting decisions both ways on software patents. A good patent attorney knows how to write a patent specification to get around the pitfalls of the variosus countries laws.

And your advice to ignore patents and “come back later” is dangerous – once you have made the public discosure of your idea, you cannot get a patent for the idea AT ALL in many large markets. This would apply to China, Europe and NZ – in fact most countries with a few exceptions. Some, like USA, Canada, Australia and Japan allow a grace period of 12 months (or sometimes 6) for you to file apatent after you have publicly disclosed it. but if someone else also does so before you file, you cant get patent protection any more.

January 2, 2012 Reply

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