How to protect idea for database and apps after showing it to someone?
July 10, 2012 2:51 AM Subscribe
I sent a video outlining an idea I came up with for a DB and series of apps to a contact I made at a big org. I received a terse reply that appeared to be claiming the idea as theirs. What is the best way to respond?
posted by brynnwood to technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In the last month I was invited to attend a brainstorming session for a large organization on a narrow aspect of their business. While I was there, and a bit bored, I had an idea that I believed would be huge for their business, but was off topic of the symposium. I wrote the idea down during the conference and shared it with my colleague, who attended with me. I also mentioned the idea in rough outline to a couple of people in their org , including one very senior person, their President of Digital Stuff, whom I talked to during one of the breaks. They were interested and in one case really enthusiastic, That's a big idea!
The idea is for an opt-in database and series of apps. More than apps, though, the building of this database is the basis for new relationships with this company with retailers and a stream of revenue in its own right.
I decided to made a short video, teeing up the problem this organization faces, and a set of proposed solutions I devised with my colleague, and send it to the senior guy I'd met and one other person there. I didn't provide them all of the answers, but undoubtedly gave a lot of the idea away in what I sent. I did it because I believed those I sent it to would respect the idea's provenance and would lead to a conversation between us about how the company I work for could help them build this. I was probably really naive.
I received a terse reply that said. "Thanks for reaching out. Certainly an area we're working on." No more.
Is there any reply I can send that indicates that I consider what I sent my intellectual property? What is the proper response to a rebuff such as I received? Of course, I have no way of knowing whether they had been working on a parallel set of tools, though no one I spoke to at the conference indicated that.