When and How to Share Your Ideas (cntd.)

Who Isn’t Able to Execute on your Idea (Almost Everybody!)

The one big exception to this is an individual with significant marketing skills and/or connections

You are then left with trying to understand their ability to take the product and run with it themselves. Let me tell you, very, very few people have the ability to successfully take a product to market, and, if they do, then they have a very good understanding of how difficult it is and how they will likely have to quit their current job and devote themselves to it full time in order to be successful.  If they don’t have the ability, then they will may try but will most likely fail and you probably won’t have lost much and may even learn some things for free from their mistakes.

I have had this happen to me personally.  I have a furniture idea I’m working on.  I was brainstorming with the contractor who was working on our house about the idea and he became quite interested in working with me on a prototype.  I wasn’t quite ready to move forward and when I told him a couple months later he told me that he had already made his own prototype, contacted lawyers about patents and was in conversations with investors.  I was a little miffed, but wasn’t actually concerned about the competition.  I knew his background, knew that he wasn’t going to be able to work with Berkeley Sourcing Group  ; ), and was pretty confident that he wasn’t going to get the idea off the ground successfully.  That was over two years ago and when I Google his name plus furniture now, the two are nowhere to be found.

Who Is Able to Execute on Your Idea

Light Bulb No. 1



The one big exception to this is an individual with significant marketing skills and/or connections.  Marketing is always the hardest part.   There is a lot of value in being able to create a strong brand, understanding cash flow requirements, presenting products professionally to buyers and knowing what they are looking for….  Also, a lot of higher level sales or marketing professionals may have existing relationships with buyers that would allow them to easily get their products into the necessary sales channels.

Other professions to be wary of when sharing your information are investors and serial entrepreneurs.  Investors may have groups within their network that can effectively do the work and they can provide the money to make it happen at a high level.  That’s a hard combination to compete with.  Finally, there are a small few out there who make it as serial entrepreneurs and have successfully taken products all the way through the process themselves.  They may be able to plug your product into the channels they’ve developed for their other products to get them moving quickly and effectively.  Know the background of who you are talking to and get a good gauge of their abilities.  Most likely you have nothing to worry about, but if they fit into one of these categories, you might be better off holding your tongue.

Thanks for reading this post about protecting your idea.  If you have a moment, please let me know your thoughts about my headphone idea.  The hurdle I am having now is that I can make headphones with an integrated solution for cord management that is smaller and more functional, or I can offer a separate solution that you would connect to your existing headphones that would manage your cords.  The price point for the integrated solution would be about the same as a decent pair of headphones, $20-$25, a separate solution would run between $5-10.  Thanks for your input!

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