But what if they steal my idea?

allanjeremy profile image Allan N Jeremy ・1 min read

Many people, myself included, have at some point feared or avoided sharing their idea because someone may "steal" it. This is especially true when it comes to sharing with other devs. You know they can build it, so why share with them?


Side note: I personally do not fear sharing ideas😅


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I went to business school and had a prof that said that he'd inevitably get at least one student per semester who would show up at office hours, close the door, and--almost whispering--ask for advice about his or her "amazing" business idea.

He said that any business idea worth having won't be compromised if someone figures out what you're doing. In other words, if your idea is so easy to copy that you can't even talk about it, the market will soon be flooded with competitors who will drive down profits. Ideas that can't make money aren't good.

I also read advice from another guy who said you don't have to worry about competitors stealing your ideas. He framed it this way: take one of your better ideas and see if you can get a competitor to "steal" it by sending it to him in an email. Provide all the details you want. Your competitors already have their own plans and challenges and are too busy to "steal" your ideas.

Think of all the guys and gals with software ideas telling everybody who will listen about their ideas in the hopes of getting VC funding. They want people to know what they are doing.

So, shout out your ideas from the rooftops, Allan. It won't do any harm (and you might even find someone to help you).


Shout from the rooftops😁

Roger that. Again, I personally do not fear sharing ideas. Really enjoying reading what others have to say


If I don't have time or resources to do it there's no point in holding on to it so I might as well share


Fair enough. Totally agree with you on that


Turning an idea into reality is a really difficult and long process. My view is that if its an idea I'm passionate about, then I'll work a lot on it....if someone else gets the idea, then they will have to go through the same long and difficult process, that I'm already many steps ahead of them.

Most people don't even want to put in all that effort, so for the 99.9%, its no big deal whether or not they know. You just have to be faster / better than the .1% 👍


I think even the fact they've heard your idea, won't make sense for them in the way you see it. And if they will dare to implement it before you firstly - it will be another idea from their point of view and secondly - it'll push you to overcome them.


Another thing I agree with. They won't see it from your perspective but better yet, it will motivate you to outdo them. I'd go as far as adding that you can steal from whoever steals. Let them do the hard work then learn from their mistakes. Either way, you win


Ideas are worthless, everyone has a bunch of them, and you wouldn't know if your idea is valuable if you don't validate with others anyway.


Ideas that can't make money aren't good.

Ideas are worthless

I see this sort of phrase thrown around quite a lot and find it a little depressing. Ideas are certainly not worthless, unless your only measure of "worth" is producing a product that can be sold for money.


Yeah, I definitely meant in the context of startups.

Still, ideas have to be examinated, developed, tested, debated and adjusted. "Plans are useless, but planning is essencial". Thinking about ideas, discussing and researching similar concepts is very important, but the idea itself is so small in comparison to what it can accomplish and the amount of work it requires to have a minimal impact, it's mostly useless.


Stealing is always there, if its too easy to write, its probably too easy to steal as well. If its too easy to steal, there is nothing unique and it is really not worth anything. Most developers don't steal code, they know how to find it free and how to build it. Mostly they are after the database, clientele and private information shared by customer and users. Idea is worth nothing.

The only way to protect algorithm is to make an API and provide an interface and hide the code in server. And if you wish to sell it and make it public, you can patent it. But nobody is after patented algorithm as well, they are only after business. Only when you start making millions, people will try to steal your idea.


Well said Akash!


Execution is everything, an idea is worth nothing. I think it was Joel Spolsky who said: "an idea is worth at most $20."

Take any anxious energy you have about someone stealing your idea, and put it towards making your idea a reality.


Totally agreed. I personally freely share ideas and believe in the same philosophy, opened a discussion to see what others have to say😁