April 16, 2019

#ask-ih Keep ideas secret or tell everyone ?

I'm new to the indie/maker world. I have a lot of ideas for a new productivity app I'm building but I'm hesitant to share them.
I'm concerned that (A) If I tell everyone, someone with resources & experience could take advantage (it could help users which I want but I wont get any financial benefits). But (B) If I don't tell anyone, how do I get feedback and other good stuff I might be missing (I'm competing in pioneer.app tournament) ?
I know there are things like trademark, copyright etc. but i don't intend to spend any money unless I have some indication of revenue.
I'm new to app development so I'm slow in turning ideas to code, this makes it more difficult, everyone keeps asking "What are you building?", "Is it another todo app?" etc.

#ask-ih

  1. 7

    The general advice is to tell everyone. Someone probably won't steal your idea.

    They don't have your vision, passion, or life experiences that you do that lead you to that idea. They might not even have the ability to execute the idea anyways. Plus, if you launch and become successful, you'll end up with competition.

    Besides that, it will provide you with valuable feedback on your idea.

    1. 3

      Agree 100% with what this person said.

      I'll go further: I have a set of what I'd consider good ideas for products/services that I would love to be able to purchase. (My definition of good: I would pre-pay to be part of the launch group.) For years, I've spread them around in the hopes that someone will build them and get rich selling to people like me. So far, I have a 0% success rate in even giving away good ideas.

    2. 2

      Thanks @unknownuser, that's great advice. You're right, my experiences in last 5 years forced me to build this app. If anyone copies it, they probably won't understand the reasons behind it.

      @NakoQuant and @AndrewV thanks for the insight, I now think it would be foolish of me not to spread the word.

      Initially I wanted to open source my app too, guess I will finally be doing that now.

    3. 2

      Love this comment, as well as the response by NakoQuant.

      And to add to it further: Getting the word out about a product is very hard! If you're afraid of someone stealing your idea, you might as well build your app and throw the code in the trash :)

      Get the word out early and often. You're more likely to get an idea or tweak that 10x-s the idea than someone deciding to take your idea.

      Like the top comment says - people would rather take an idea that's already making money :)

  2. 2

    Meta answer: you will listen to all this talk about abundance of ideas but you won’t accept much of it because your early ideas will seem precious to you. After a while, you will either come around to believing that ideas are “dime a dozen”, or you won’t revisit that question very much at all. But like all things in life, the normal distribution curve will pull you towards the middle, and you will come to regard some very small number of ideas as good and will be careful about sharing those, and all others as freely shareable. If you stay long enough in this “make my own things” space, you will come to realize that it’s the idea+execution+environment+existing assets that makes up the unique competitive advantage, and not bare ideas themselves.

    1. 1

      Sounds right, I've decided to launch alpha version this week itself. Thanks for the help, I'm glad I asked this on IH.

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