What Are The Best Ways Of Protecting a Mobile Startup Idea From Theft?
You must have often come across the statement that successful products start with a great idea. Mobile app startups start with great ideas as well. But the problem is many people becoming overprotective about these ideas.
When it comes to preventing ideas from being stolen, efficiency may get lost behind along with precious time and competitive advantage on the mobile market. It’s not even about the fear of someone stealing the idea: actions of an over-concerned person can bring a promising project to a dead end. Moreover, a bare idea cannot be patented and absolutely safe from theft. But it’s understandable that you don’t want anyone else to reap the benefits.
The best way is: if you can fill a gap on the market, don’t wait until someone else does. You move first – you have more chances to win.
#1. Choose The Right Partner
Let’s face the truth: nobody will hurry to get a new and unresearched business idea done ASAP. There aren’t many people hunting after some brilliant concept that might make them rich. It takes tons of work to turn the idea into a product that works, a product that is actually used, and as the result, a product that brings profits. A patent or an NDA might be not the foremost reason why others won’t copy you – it might as well be the complexity of its implementation and involvement of people with specialized skills and expertise.
Anyway you don’t go with your software project to some potential competitors – you go to a reputed software company which values its name. The problem of choosing a good company, however, is a separate issue which you may read here.
A couple of words about NDA as a means of protecting ideas: refusing any constructive conversation before signing an NDA (which ends up being premature) and negotiating its content in the end wastes precious time. This time should rather be invested in development (or research, if the idea isn’t documented and requires it). NDAs and patents work for well-thought and well-documented projects, since they always protect the expression of an idea, rather than the idea itself.
#2. Timely Action Over Fear Of Theft
If you have an idea that you fear losing, it’s quite possible that someone came up with something close (or even an exact same idea) long before you. Could be that unlike you they didn’t have the funding or conditions to execute it. Now the chance is yours. Someone might invent (and not necessarily steal) this idea later than you, but execute it faster. Ideas come and go in spades but it’s the action that makes them real.
It’s always easier to prove that the idea is yours if you have taken more steps to accomplish it then anyone else. You have a development team to make the idea tangible. Most mobile startups tend to launch their products as soon as possible, gathering post-release feedback and improving user experience in new versions.
It’s also quite useless to worry about someone copycatting you right after the launch: in case of successful projects it’s inevitable (Instagram, anyone?). Yet copycats never have the genuine feel of originals. There can always be a competitor’s idea that overshadows yours. But you can retaliate with something better in your own product. Wise marketing will always help you show this to your users.
#3. Bring Immediate Value To Users
Let’s sum it up: your software partner helps you develop ideas and provide the technical insight as for their implementation. You must be able to innovate and invent new tricks faster than others can copycat what you’ve already made. Your own timely actions will keep you ahead of competitors. Your insights into the subject matter of the idea are yet another advantage. What’s next?
Let your mobile product bring immediate value to users. Every idea must solve a problem, otherwise it won’t have a place on the market. A good idea is one that solves it better than others. Put your efforts not in worrying about a possible theft, but rather getting things done with the biggest benefits for your audience, and gathering your own following. Once you impress them with something useful, they’ll be unlikely to switch to something else. And even here originality lags behind usefulness.
Remember these three steps: they do more good to emerging startups than a bunch of NDAs and haunting worries about someone else getting the prize. Avoid excessive movements that misguide your efforts in creating a great mobile product – your software company will help you do the rest.