Idea Theft and You, We Mean Us, Erm…

Is the fear that somebody’s going to steal your future by misappropriating that foolproof idea you have paralyzing you and your creativity? Well, don’t worry, bunky, Tony Larsson at TonyThings gotcha covered:

by Tony Larsson

The Common Fear


Something I encounter often is that a client reaching out to me, is unwilling to talk about the project they have in mind before I have signed an NDA. While I understand the urge to keep secrecy, this approach is actually damaging the project as a whole on several different levels.

With this post I hope to ease some worries and argue for why idea theft is unlikely, and something that should not be a primary concern early on.

Why Not to Worry

Stealing ideas is highly immoral, and a practice that no ethical person, would ever engage in. But it is true that business is not always conducted ethically, so what follows are some cold calculative reasons for why idea theft is unlikely.

It would require complete re-prioritizing

Bringing a product to market takes a huge investment of time, energy and money. This means that if a person wanted to capitalize on your idea, they would need to stop current endeavors and refocus their life on this new task.

It is highly unlikely that the person you are sharing your idea with would want to do that. Also the type of person that would completely change their life course on a whim, probably lacks the focus necessary for executing the idea in the first place.

The exemption to this logic would be if the person you share the idea with has enough capital to outsource the execution of the idea, but even in this case you have nothing to fear. As the originator of the idea you would be the go-to person for any efforts of bringing the idea to market. In effect you would then have the opportunity to execute your idea, with financial backing.

It would seriously damage reputation

In an age of unprecedented connectivity and data gathering the likelihood of being able to prove someone using an idea you shared with them is fairly high (assuming your idea is specific enough). If it came out that a company/person was doing this without offering any compensation, financial damage by loss of clients and partners would follow.


They would need to be a better fit

There is probably a reason for why you had this brilliant idea and not someone else. Maybe you have an unusually strong passion for the subject, or perhaps you have some unique insights which allow you to solve a problem that others didn’t even know existed….

Read it all at TonyThings