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How do you keep an app idea from being stolen?

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hawktoy85

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I have had a few ideas for apps. But I am scared to share my idea with a gig style developer for fear of someone copying my idea. I know I am being dramatic. And it all comes down to execution.

To the people who have outsourced app development, How do you keep your IP safe?

Thank you, Jake
 

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sparechange

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What stops someone from copying it after it's done?
If its a good idea it WILL be knocked off..... Dont stress
 

ravenspear

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What stops someone from copying it after it's done?
If its a good idea it WILL be knocked off..... Dont stress
Great point.

I'm a developer. I could download your finished published app and go, hey what a GREAT idea, let me copy this and make it just a bit better or change a few things to improve on yours.
 
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hawktoy85

hawktoy85

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Great point.

I'm a developer. I could download your finished published app and go, hey what a GREAT idea, let me copy this and make it just a bit better or change a few things to improve on yours.
I get that. But I don't want that to happen before I even make it to market.
 

ravenspear

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I get that. But I don't want that to happen before I even make it to market.
If it makes you feel better you can always check the reputation of the developer or their company. If they are the kind that would steal someone else's IP then they probably have done it before, and potentially could have been sued for it or had some other negative public record. Most devs just want to get paid.
 

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Perhaps work that into an NDA? I got one from a 3rd party developer, had wording like this:

Receiving Party shall not, without the prior written approval of Disclosing Party, use for Receiving Party's own benefit, publish, copy, or otherwise disclose to others, or permit the use by others for their benefit or to the detriment of Disclosing Party, any Confidential Information.

Seems to me "use for their own benefit" includes outright stealing the disclosed ideas.

There are other types of agreements that I am sure a lawyer can help you with.... independent contractor, work for hire, non-compete, etc. People with law degrees like to tell me these are important. They probably are. Learning a little about contracts is good because it gives you some ways to protect your business assets, and enforce agreements.

Now, it may be that the people you want doing the development won't sign an agreement. In that case you can decide whether you would rather have their help with the development, or the security of knowing they don't have your ideas.

Side note: an NDA or other agreement will not stop someone from disclosing or stealing your idea or IP. But it will increase the stakes a bit, and make it easier to sue someone who steals or otherwise violates the agreement.

Other side note: you may not be the only one with your idea. We assemble most of our thoughts from context, and many people share a similar context and set of experiences. We're all watching the same TV shows, walking our dogs at the same time, etc., except for a few weirdos. So don't be surprised to see ideas you thought were unique emerge later in the market. That's just part of life.
 

inputchip

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- Have the devs sign an NDA
- Move faster than the competition
- Always be innovating

I've seen a lot of people let good ideas fall by the wayside for fear of the idea being stolen. Your idea won't make any money undeveloped, you have to take the risk and trust those that you share the idea with. It's a VERY bad idea to develop the idea in silence. You want to constantly be sharing the idea and MVP's to get feedback from your market.
 
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hawktoy85

hawktoy85

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@Rabby , thanks for the info

@inputchip , I am definitely one of those people with unexecuted ideas for fear of others. I just need to move past that and do it.
 

Kepler

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@hawktoy85 By hiring my company to build it and a solid NDA. :rofl:

Just kidding, but if you want to learn the ins and outs of software development when contracting it out DM me your email and I’ll send you a presentation with tons of helpful info.

I highly recommend you get mock ups done and define the scope of your project with detailed specifications if you want accurate quotes.

(the presentation has examples of how to write good specifications)
 

Roli

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Perhaps work that into an NDA? I got one from a 3rd party developer, had wording like this:

Receiving Party shall not, without the prior written approval of Disclosing Party, use for Receiving Party's own benefit, publish, copy, or otherwise disclose to others, or permit the use by others for their benefit or to the detriment of Disclosing Party, any Confidential Information.

Seems to me "use for their own benefit" includes outright stealing the disclosed ideas.

There are other types of agreements that I am sure a lawyer can help you with.... independent contractor, work for hire, non-compete, etc. People with law degrees like to tell me these are important. They probably are. Learning a little about contracts is good because it gives you some ways to protect your business assets, and enforce agreements.

Now, it may be that the people you want doing the development won't sign an agreement. In that case you can decide whether you would rather have their help with the development, or the security of knowing they don't have your ideas.

Side note: an NDA or other agreement will not stop someone from disclosing or stealing your idea or IP. But it will increase the stakes a bit, and make it easier to sue someone who steals or otherwise violates the agreement.

Other side note: you may not be the only one with your idea. We assemble most of our thoughts from context, and many people share a similar context and set of experiences. We're all watching the same TV shows, walking our dogs at the same time, etc., except for a few weirdos. So don't be surprised to see ideas you thought were unique emerge later in the market. That's just part of life.
@hawktoy85 By hiring my company to build it and a solid NDA. :rofl:

Just kidding, but if you want to learn the ins and outs of software development when contracting it out DM me your email and I’ll send you a presentation with tons of helpful info.

I highly recommend you get mock ups done and define the scope of your project with detailed specifications if you want accurate quotes.

(the presentation has examples of how to write good specifications)
Best 2 answers!

@hawktoy85, I'd love to see that presentation as well if you don't mind :cool:
 

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Ninjakid

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EDIT: Sorry I didn't read the post properly :p

I've had clients share this same concern with me. There's such a ridiculously small chance of this happening.

For some reason founders get so overprotective of their idea, but here's the fact:

Your idea is literally worth nothing.

Yeah, everyone thinks they're special because they have an idea. Great, I have about 10 ideas every day before breakfast. That doesn't mean they're worth anything. They don't just become companies on their own.

An app has to be executed and managed properly to become something. And even then it's not guaranteed to be successful.

Why would any respectable developer want to risk their reputation and loose out on their contract just to rip off a client's idea which may or may not work.

They're developers because they get paid to develop.

Don't worry about getting robbed of something that has no intrinsic value in the first place.
 
Last edited:

MoreValue

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I have had a few ideas for apps. But I am scared to share my idea with a gig style developer for fear of someone copying my idea. I know I am being dramatic. And it all comes down to execution.

To the people who have outsourced app development, How do you keep your IP safe?

Thank you, Jake
by its very nature, software is function based value. It will be copied. Nobody uses the 2nd best software. Especially if freemium model
 

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