Are you hesitant to share business ideas with others? Do you worry that someone else might take your good idea and run with it? You’re not alone.
When one of our favorite bloggers and entrepreneurs, Derek Sivers, first started out, he kept all of his programming code tightly locked away in an SSH-only server on an encrypted partition. And who could blame him? The code represented his life’s work, so why take a risk on someone else getting their hands on it?
But then Derek had this conversation with a good friend who unexpectedly shifted his thinking on the secrecy issue. Over dinner, his friend said she didn’t worry about anyone finding out her personal secrets because they’re just facts. If people get upset about them, it’s their problem, not hers.
After dinner, she allowed Sivers to read her personal diary. After 20 minutes of poring through her most intimate secrets he came to an astonishing conclusion. The diary was very meaningful to his friend, but had no real meaning to him. The words on the pages seemed no different than the open conversations they had on a regular basis.
Sivers also thought about the blog he had written a while back about the true value of ideas. And that’s when the light bulb went on.
Losing the Fear
“I always thought that if I let someone read my code, they would steal it and thrive,” said Sivers. “But then I realized my code was just like Valerie’s diary – hugely meaningful to me but not very meaningful to others.”
At that point, he decided to make all his programming code and business ideas open source – for two reasons. One, he wanted to challenge his fear that someone would steal his ideas. Two, just to see what would happen.
Nearly two years later, nobody has stolen anything. And Sivers keeps adding to the page as he develops new code and new projects. You can see them all here on his projects page.
The Value in Sharing
So now we get to the nitty-gritty of this blog: the benefits of making your ideas public on Ideator .
Posting a business idea on Ideator opens the door to feedback from others who can help nurture and develop the idea. It can attract people who have complementary skills to join your team and help your business grow. Best of all, it might attract potential investors who can provide needed startup capital.
We understand the fear that someone else might take your idea and run with it. We’ve all experienced it from time to time, which is why we designed the platform so that you can keep your idea private until you – and only you – are ready to introduce it to the world.
If you’re not quite ready to make your idea public, there’s a lot of other things you can do on Ideator. Ask questions. Start conversation threads. Make connections. Give feedback on other people’s ideas. Then, when you’re ready, use Ideator to unveil your idea to the world. We can’t wait to see it!