Should You Share Your Ideas?

Sharing ideasShould you worry about ideas being stolen? Some never share before necessary, such as when seeking funding. Others speak about their ideas with as many as possible. Ideas do get stolen. Ideas are cheap, but action is not. If you plan to implement your idea, then timing becomes important when openly speaking about it. Those who are first to market can sometimes establish themselves as market leaders.

If an idea is a good one and profitable, someone else is going to want to do it as well. However, they will never be you. They might steal your idea and re-create it in some form, but they won’t create it as you would. They cannot steal you. With this in mind, perhaps it is not such a bad thing to speak about ideas. When we do, we enable others to help us. When we speak about our ideas, we may come to gain feedback from others, which one can view as early market feedback. People may want to share their network connections, putting you and possible funders together. Such conversations typically begin with, “You know who you should talk to? I have a friend…” As the entrepreneur shares and discusses with others, they can come to see their vision more clearly over time and to consequently adjust, simplify and hone. The clearer one’s vision, the greater s the idea coming to fruition or “manifesting” into a tangible form.

A couple positive side effects of speaking about one’s ideas: 1. One is able to better and more clearly understand what their vision is and, as a result of the input of others, adjust and adapt to make it more feasible. 2. Inevitably, a great pitch ends up being developed, as one speaks about it so much.

Weighing the risks, speaking about one’s ideas can lead to them being stolen, but can also lead to clarity of vision, develop an efficient and clear pitch, pre-market feedback and the gaining of new network connections.

Jim Hart is the Director of Arts Entrepreneurship at SMU, Meadows School of the Arts.

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