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Business How to Start a Business Product Market Fit Experiments

What if while surveying about my MVP, someone steals/copy my idea?

I can rely on a person-to-person survey but an online survey can prove to be somehow dangerous.

What's your take on this?

Please reply

Thanks in advance!

4 Answers

Raul Vega
Raul Vega
Courses Plus Student 3,803 Points

In my opinion, ideas most of the times come from other ideas or inspirations.

It is impossible to stop that.

If there was actually a magical way to stop this, the world technologies/products would be slower to evolve.

It is actually funny how in the first link Ellie Adam provided about PipeDrive you can clearly see that they didn't mind the other company stealing their "idea" as a form of flattery, but they did not like how the other company copy/pasted their style, while in turn their design was very similar to iCloud.

In other words it should come to no surprise that PipeDrive ideas where developed/copied/improved out of iCloud features/ideas and other cloud hosting services.

In some cases no matter how much money you spend on copyright or patent, the other party might be able to modify your idea to make it look unique.

The important thing is that you know more about the idea you developed than the party that simply copied it, and you shall be able to "upgrade" and extend it to make it more competitive and feature-rich.

Laurie Williams
Laurie Williams
10,174 Points

I really think that people get caught up in this trap that the idea is the most valuable part of the product.

If you look at something like Facebook for example, the idea was always there. Plenty of people have had the idea for facebook. Myspace was there long before Facebook come along. And not only that but Myspace was incredibly successful along with a few other notable social media sites like Bebo.

It's not really about the idea. It's about how you execute that idea. You can have a billion dollar idea with poor execution and it will never gain a single customer.

The point of an MVP is to gauge how successful your prototype is.

Will people use it? What do/don't people like about it? Does it solve a problem? If it solves a problem, how do you then make it into a real product?

We all think everyone will love our ideas, but the reality could be that it's not very good. Or that there is no need for it.

The point is that you should learn how to focus on the execution of an idea rather than worrying about someone stealing your idea. Idea's are worthless without a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Even then, there is no guarantee of success.

With 7 billion people on this earth, no idea is a new one. It's been thought of, it may have already been done but that's not to say it's been done well.

Mark Miller
Mark Miller
45,831 Points

I agree with Laurie that an idea is not a product. The minimum viable product should expose only the functional interfaces, while leaving freedom for development of the internal work. This results later in updates or new versions of the product without changing the idea or the functionality of the interface. The idea should not be a big secret. The best performance could be developing inside while the functionality in the public interface stays the same.

The Treehouse courses in the Learn Java track teach about establishing the minimum viable product. The product can be released, and then the real work would begin for the next version update to be released when ready. That is how to avoid your idea being stolen. Also, your idea should not be in the functionality of the interface. The programmers probably should accept assignments based on opportunity instead of choosing what ideas they want to work on. That will prevent your ideas from being stolen. Work on improving something that is already selling.