7 Outstanding Reasons to Share Your Idea

Discussing Your Concepts Will Pay Significant Dividends

Are you an entrepreneur who freely shares and discusses ideas? If so, you have a significant advantage over those who are secretive.

 

Be a strong proponent of openly sharing ideas for new businesses, processes and other opportunities. I have yet to talk with an entrepreneur who was reluctant to share their concept and who, six months or a year later, had made any progress.

Confidential Idea - Rick Coplin

Note: This is Part Two of a two-part post. You can find Part One here: So What if You Have an Idea? Alternatively, click on the “confidential” picture. You can download a PDF containing both posts below.

I wrote in last week's post that “An aversion to sharing your big idea is an early sign of failure.” Sure failure is not always the case, but for most of us who choose to be secretive, it will be.

Success Cover with Sara BlakelySara Blakely (Spanx Founder) kept her ideas private for over a year. In a Success Magazine article, she clearly explained why. She focused on developing the patents, visiting clothing manufacturers, and evaluating fabrics. Sara preferred to pursue the concept rather than describe it. Her strategy worked, but she is a rare exception to the rule.

 

Share With the Right People Frequently

So, should you share your concept with everybody? Answer “No” to that question. Share your idea freely, but share it with those who will help you make progress.

Big Idea - Owen Moore Small - TinyIt is fine to share ideas with friends and family, particularly early in the ideation stage. They are always supportive. Friends and family can be too supportive, though, praising you for mediocre thinking in an attempt to encourage you or avoid hurting your feelings. Move beyond sharing concepts with friends and family as soon as possible to avoid falling in love with your idea based on biased feedback.

I have No IdeaShould you share your idea with non-entrepreneurs? Answer “Maybe” to that question. If you are looking for validation of your plans for business, then don't bother. Non-entrepreneurs and those who do not work with entrepreneurs typically don't have the skill sets to help you make progress. They lack knowledge of product and buyer validation strategies, business model formation and testing experience, technical expertise, and familiarity with other startups. Non-entrepreneurs are your potential customers, so plan to share with this group in a way that helps you evaluate market interest.

“You have a
significant
advantage
over those who
are secretive”

Should you share your idea with other entrepreneurs? “Yes!” You get bonus points if you added “and investors too!” If you strategically discuss your concept with the “right people“, you will gain far more than you risk.

The best people are those who can help you move forward based on their experiences, industry knowledge, connections and other resources at their disposal. In most cases, this will be experienced entrepreneurs and investors.

If you discuss your concepts and plans strategically, you will have opportunities to learn, enhance your thinking and connect with others who will help you make progress.

7 Reasons to Share Your Idea With Entrepreneurs And Investors

    1. Improvement. Sharing the concepts you want to turn into a business invites another person into the creative thought processes of idea creation and refinement. Early feedback is invaluable because it helps you to incorporate enhancements increasing your potential for success.
    2. Feedback. You get feedback from “the market” that may help you develop your product faster or avoid building something in which the market has no interest.
    3. Clarity. When you have an idea, it’s easy to fall in love with it and lose sight of weaknesses. Talking through your concept with someone who has more experience or broad industry knowledge provides clarity and helps you see both the positives and the negatives.

Light bulbs - Tiny - Rick Coplin

  1. Insight. By discussing your ideas with the best people, you can recognize and solve problems before you invest time and other resources in development. You can identify and correct for business model issues, adoption & usability challenges and sales & marketing obstacles. You might also identify must-have features for an initial product or features and benefits to include in future updates.
  2. Awareness. You may discover others are already building your concept or are already operating in the market with a similar product. Market knowledge is always an opportunity to ask “How can I do it better?” and rely on the expertise of others to help you identify additional opportunities.

    “The best people
    will help you
    move forward”

  3. Collaboration. Sharing your ideas and seeking input opens doors of opportunity. You might find a technical resource who plays a vital role in your success, you might build a relationship with a mentor or an investor, and you might find a great employee or customer.
  4. Reciprocity. If you become known as an entrepreneur who openly discusses ideas, you will also become known as a go-to person for others seeking input and advice. You will have opportunities to give your expertise freely and may help someone else reach success.

Share Your Idea Today and Tomorrow and…

Find the best people to discuss your concepts with and engage them. Seek their input, advice, creativity, and connections. If you follow this course, your opportunities will multiply.

Last week, I addressed the problems of NOT sharing your ideas with other entrepreneurs and investors in So What If You Have An Idea?

Want a copy of this article and last week's article as PDFs?

Please Email Me the PDF “So What If You Have an Idea?” and “7 Outstanding Reasons to Share Your Idea”!

What positive experiences and benefits have you enjoyed as a result of sharing ideas with entrepreneurs and investors?

 

Rick Coplin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo sources via Flikr: Confidential: When Cluedo Met Monopoly – Moe Moosa; Big Idea – Owen Moore; I Have No Idea by Peter Rosbjerg; Multiple light bulbs – El Productor: La verdad sobre un rol distorsionado via andresfranco.net

Success Magazine January 2016 Cover: Success Magazine

 



 

I work alongside emerging companies on business formation, commercialization strategies, and capital planning. My passion is to find, support, mentor, coach, incubate, & fund start-ups engaged in innovative technology businesses.

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