Too worried that your business idea will land on the hands of your competitors? Having a great business idea can make you feel paranoid. You might be tempted to take extra steps to protect your idea or Intellectual Property (IP). In the video below, Jay Adelson, the man behind Revision3, explains why you should not worry too much about keeping your idea safe. First, he reasons that you do not have to be paranoid about protecting your idea. In the last part, he offers tips to protect your IP.
Adelson believes that it is important to protect your idea. But it is almost impossible to completely protect your intellectual property (IP), so you have to stop worrying about it. In addition, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is difficult to enforce and is not a really powerful tool to protect your idea, says Adelson.
Patents are more powerful than NDAs, but they are generally reserved for the later stage. He advises to relax and drop the paranoia. Just make sure that you carefully choose the people whom you discuss about your business idea. You do not even have to doubt an investor. He recommends that before you talk to investors about your idea, you should research on your potential investor. If that investor invests on your competitor, you have to choose another one.
One thing to consider, says Adelson, is how to expose the idea to investors. He tips that when pitching, you should focus more on the “what” than on the “how”. Also, he warns against giving up the secret up-front. Most investors, says Adelson, are not engineers. So when you pitch, the “what” of your idea is what you should start with. The “how” can come later.