How can you truly protect your ideas? NDAs are not the answer.

Everything starts with an idea, right? All the products and services we use daily started with someone’s idea to do something new, different or better. Some companies go on to make millions (or billions).  But, does this mean an idea is worth that much? Do you really need an NDA to protect your million-dollar idea?

As entrepreneurs, the first instinct is to protect an idea at all costs. Lock it in a safe and get everyone around to sign NDAs. But what if the actual cost of all this protection is never to see your idea flourish?

In this blog post, we’ll talk about NDAs, the value of an idea and how you can truly protect your idea.

What’s an NDA and does it really protect your idea?

In the age of entrepreneurship, startups, algorithms, investors, and million-dollar ideas, the term NDA is often tossed around. Non-disclosure agreements or NDAs, in theory, prevent others from stealing your ideas. But do they, really?

Not necessarily. Similar to contracts and other legal documents, NDAs have many loopholes and might not be enforced by law. If someone signs an NDA and violates it, you’ll have to prove the information was not available anywhere else, sue them and hope to win.

It will cost you lots of money with no guarantee whatsoever.

Why focusing on protecting your idea is a waste of your time?

Getting people to sign NDAs is time-consuming and starts off the business relationship on the wrong foot. Investors don’t get too excited about investing in someone that clearly doesn’t trust them. The same goes for any business relationships.

The entire time you spent on creating an NDA and getting people to sign it, could have been spent in actually building trustworthy relationships that would help you propel your idea into reality.

How much is the best idea in the world worth?

Something to consider, when it comes to your grand idea, is its worth. An idea can be the beginning of great things, but, more often than not, it leads nowhere. The idea itself is just the first step (of many) to create a successful product, service or company.

Imagine you have tons of building blocks in front of you. Each colorful block represents an idea, but by themselves, they are irrelevant. Your building block has the potential to become something incredible, but it needs more.

How can you truly protect your idea?

The only way to truly protect an idea is through execution. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about. When an idea becomes a product, a service or a company, you have a much better chance of protecting it.

Ideas are overrated. Execution is the game.

Sharing your thoughts with potential partners and key stakeholders can help you develop a stronger concept and bring it to life faster. Their input is essential to building a superior product or service. Plus, being first-to-market gives you a crucial advantage over anyone else who tries copying you. They will always be a few steps behind, as long as you keep optimizing and innovating.

When someone wants to steal your idea, an NDA is unlikely to stop them. But, if you already have some building blocks put together and it’s growing by leaps and bounds, they will not catch up with you.

If you believe your idea is the next big thing, get the right team and partners in place to help you execute it ASAP. Talk to other entrepreneurs, build business relationships, pitch your idea and get feedback.


Published on 2018-08-01