How to protect a startup idea
February 10, 2011 10:46 AM Subscribe
A friend wants my advice on a secret project, but has been burnt before for sharing and wants some protection from it happening again. How can he share his idea and be sure I'm not going to run away with it.
posted by Static Vagabond to Work & Money (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a techie-- with the likely ability to take whatever his project is from his plans to physical/digital completion, or at least know of people who will, so he really wants my advice.
He's been burnt before in a bad way and so I'm looking for ways to protect him this time. His plan might have some relationship to an idea I have had, but likely not any direct convergence.
My suggestion was a formal "lay out your arms" approach. I put (all) my ideas on paper, he puts his and sign some sort of document that says that I won't compete/use each others ideas, unless it's already on my list.
If there is a clash, I show my synopsis of the similar project and we go from there.
Are there any standard procedures for such an undertaking, without going full lawyer mode? It must happen a lot with small startup businesses going to a web or app-development company etc, with a new, novel, idea.
We're friends, so we almost feel this level of care is silly, but for his peace of mind, it's worth doing.