The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  • Sell-Me Saturday is Now Live!

    Have something to sell? Want to promote your design service or a YouTube channel? SELL-ME SATURDAY is your opportunity to self-promote anything within the sphere of entrepreneurship on one thread... and at no cost. Go There
    Note: Indiscriminate SEO backlinking to questionable material is not allowed.
  • Join 50,000+ entrepreneurs who are earning their freedom and living their dream.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The C.E.N.T.S Framework outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED®). From multimillionaires to digital nomads to side hustlers who are grinding a job, the Fastlane Forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses with one goal in mind: Freedom— both financial and temporal.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane) Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block.

What if the supplier dashes away with my idea?

Chad7

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 17, 2019
8
5
14
Disclaimer: If anything that I say in any of my posts is incorrect, please correct me. I am an avid learner, and I can take all constructive criticism.
I didn't know whether to post this in execution or general. Move, if needed.
———————————————————————

I have the feeling that it is very hard not to stumble and do something wrong accidentially.

Headaches include lawsuit trolls, sthealthy and innovation-hindering patent trolls, and taxes.

But let's assume I have a clear idea of a great product, how exactly it looks like from the outside, how exactly it is supposed to function, some variants, etc…, but:
I admit that I have absolutely no clue about the exact steps on how to build it, automatically mass-manufacture it properly, and all those background checks, how these machines work, how to make the machines manufacture it in a certain way, where to get such a machine that manufactures that thing, what to pay attention to, how not to botch one of the >200 things to pay attention to, how not to forget something that seems so obvious, etc.

I barely have any clues about that, but I recently found out that it might be possible to outsource the entire manufacturing process to some supplier.
What they need is information about the product design, the features and functionality, and all those outer details, which I have an exact imagination of.

But then I thought: What if that supplier decides to take my idea and run away with it?
I don't even know which supplier I can trust.
But isn't there a risk that the supplier can rip me off and dash off with my blueprint in their hands?

NiftySpanishIchneumonfly-size_restricted.gif
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Cyberdeth

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jan 10, 2018
50
69
112
43
Sydney, Australia
Disclaimer: If anything that I say in any of my posts is incorrect, please correct me. I am an avid learner, and I can take all constructive criticism.
I didn't know whether to post this in execution or general. Move, if needed.
———————————————————————

I have the feeling that it is very hard not to stumble and do something wrong accidentially.

Headaches include lawsuit trolls, sthealthy and innovation-hindering patent trolls, and taxes.

But let's assume I have a clear idea of a great product, how exactly it looks like from the outside, how exactly it is supposed to function, some variants, etc…, but:
I admit that I have absolutely no clue about the exact steps on how to build it, automatically mass-manufacture it properly, and all those background checks, how these machines work, how to make the machines manufacture it in a certain way, where to get such a machine that manufactures that thing, what to pay attention to, how not to botch one of the >200 things to pay attention to, how not to forget something that seems so obvious, etc.

I barely have any clues about that, but I recently found out that it might be possible to outsource the entire manufacturing process to some supplier.
What they need is information about the product design, the features and functionality, and all those outer details, which I have an exact imagination of.

But then I thought: What if that supplier decides to take my idea and run away with it?
I don't even know which supplier I can trust.
But isn't there a risk that the supplier can rip me off and dash off with my blueprint in their hands?

View attachment 28109
I think it's unlikely to happen, but definitely possible. I guess if it's a physical product, then patenting is the first place to start. There are also other avenues that you can use to minimize risks, like NDA's, Non-Competes etc. But nothing beats a patent.
 

TTG SS

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Sep 3, 2014
213
358
191
28
Scottsdale, AZ
Having a great product is only half the battle.

You're going to need a strategy to get it to market, fulfill it, support it, etc. Its not that simple for them to just rip it off

They are in the business of manufacturing... It doesn't seem likely they'd uproot their entire business to run off with an idea.
 

DrScream

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 4, 2019
49
66
100
Having a great product is only half the battle.

You're going to need a strategy to get it to market, fulfill it, support it, etc. Its not that simple for them to just rip it off

They are in the business of manufacturing... It doesn't seem likely they'd uproot their entire business to run off with an idea.
This x1000

You've got to realize that marketing is an entirely different beast in and of itself. For someone to rip your idea, they'd need to rip the entire infrastructure of your marketing campaign along with the blueprints of the product.

If you're really worried, I'd just give them bits and pieces of a product to see if it's possible for them to do it and THEN once you've got all the details out can you give them the blueprints along with a NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) if you wish.
 

Mark Trade

Contributor
Oct 16, 2019
77
66
46
Sydney Australia
I barely have any clues about that, but I recently found out that it might be possible to outsource the entire manufacturing process to some supplier.
What they need is information about the product design, the features and functionality, and all those outer details, which I have an exact imagination of.
The 1st step is don't tell anyone about your idea, not even family or close friends. Also stay clear of negative people who say it wont work. The 2nd step, is too get a patent.

Why would you offer the manufacturing to one source, why not have each part/s made at several facilities. That way each facility is only concerned with making "a" part and not a whole product. If they dont know what it is, they are making, there wont be an interest in it.
 

MattR82

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 4, 2015
650
956
350
37
Perth
Patents can take years and tens of thousands though (unless it's just a provisional).

Speed to market wins. Besides, I'm not sure an overseas factory that may copy your idea is going to care if you have a patent or not.

Check out a book called one simple idea by stephen key and check out the threads on here from @Walter Hay
 
OP
OP
C

Chad7

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 17, 2019
8
5
14
Patents can take years and tens of thousands though (unless it's just a provisional).
I am at the beginning right now.
In other words: I don't have that money yet.
 
OP
OP
C

Chad7

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 17, 2019
8
5
14
Why would you offer the manufacturing to one source, why not have each part/s made at several facilities. That way each facility is only concerned with making "a" part and not a whole product. If they dont know what it is, they are making, there wont be an interest in it.
But the parts somehow need to fit together.
If I make a mistake during my request, I wasted money.
Also, they can guess what my thing is if they know a part of it.
 

fastlanedoll

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 21, 2019
66
67
110
I've thought about this myself.

I don't have the time to actually start my project now, but the product I have in mind is something that can be manufatcured by one manufacturer, packaging and all, and shipped out by them.

I'm scared to death they'll just run away with it (should it become successful), OR sell the blueprint to someone else and my product becomes a commodity.
 

Ing

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 8, 2019
134
83
61
You think that danger is bigger than that someone else copies your finished product ?
 

Johnny boy

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
511
2,303
547
23
Washington State
You should be scared of not having anything worth copying in the first place. Most people suck at making a lot of money.

You're playing on defense, and it's the same thinking of all of our "play it safe" parents and teachers that will always be middle-class schmucks that never do anything great.

You are 10 miles away from that even being a problem to worry about. You might as well be calling around getting oil change quotes for your Ferrari.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Kid

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Mar 1, 2016
505
429
225
Three things:

1. Even if you get patent (non-provisional) then it doesn't mean some big company won't copy your product. If you solve really big need then they WILL copy you hoping that you won't be able to: a) afford the lawsuit b)prove their version infringes on your patent.

2. You can get non-disclosure agreement with producer.

3. Provisional patent gives you at least glimpses of protection (better then NDA).
 

Jeff Noel

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 26, 2018
600
1,238
372
Quebec, Canada
It happened to another forum member some months ago - I don't remember who.
Your biggest odd of something like that happening to your first product, IMO, would be if you decide to go the Amazon route, your products works great and AmazonBasics steals your idea. At this point, you'd have 5-digits sales already.

Think about it: What prevented other people from doing YOUR product idea before? Laziness. Why would the supplier NOT steal your idea ? Laziness. You're bringing him money and he doesn't have to deal with consumer backlash, feedback, marketing, etc.
 

maverick

Unorthodox Nonconformist
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Oct 26, 2012
367
979
344
I could buy your product, find a designer on Upwork and get them to create a tech pack. Then send it to other manufacturers and get it made. So getting the product made isn't really the issue.

Like mentioned above, what sets you apart from the rest? Branding, route-to-market, access to audiences etc.
 

Low Chi

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Oct 22, 2019
32
42
103
Stephen Key had a way of pre-patenting and his book "One simple idea" contained also valuable sideways to your "problem" e.g. patenting the production process instead of patenting the product. Check out his book. It contains very valuable ways to solve your situation. Most people aren't able to "invest" / secure a worldwide patent. If your product contains anything which can be separated from the production process of the same supplier - e.g. an important part, you could split the production also and use one supplier for a part of the process and the other one for final stage and e.g. fullfillment.
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,364
9,546
2,203
World citizen
I could buy your product, find a designer on Upwork and get them to create a tech pack. Then send it to other manufacturers and get it made. So getting the product made isn't really the issue.
Often my franchisees were asked to make copies of items used as labeling. Although the customers owned the trademark, so there was nothing shady about the copying, the ease of doing it is worth noting.

Not knowing the identity of the original manufacturer, I used my sourcing skills, which I also taught my franchisees, to identify potential maufacturers capable of making that type of product, and the sample provided by the customer was rapidly copied.

Copying is easy.

Walter
 

Mark Trade

Contributor
Oct 16, 2019
77
66
46
Sydney Australia
Often my franchisees were asked to make copies of items used as labeling. Although the customers owned the trademark, so there was nothing shady about the copying, the ease of doing it is worth noting.

Not knowing the identity of the original manufacturer, I used my sourcing skills, which I also taught my franchisees, to identify potential maufacturers capable of making that type of product, and the sample provided by the customer was rapidly copied.

Copying is easy.

Walter
Exactly..!!!!
30 years ago, McDonald's use to have "parts" of toys made in Australia. They didn't know what they were making, because they only had a part. Other parts were sourced to other manufacturers for production. Some were even done by South Korea. After a set period, the production would cease, molds would be returned and destroyed. Then the toys would be assembled and released for marketing and sales.
 

Mark Trade

Contributor
Oct 16, 2019
77
66
46
Sydney Australia
Stephen Key had a way of pre-patenting and his book "One simple idea" contained also valuable sideways to your "problem" e.g. patenting the production process instead of patenting the product. Check out his book. It contains very valuable ways to solve your situation. Most people aren't able to "invest" / secure a worldwide patent. If your product contains anything which can be separated from the production process of the same supplier - e.g. an important part, you could split the production also and use one supplier for a part of the process and the other one for final stage and e.g. fullfillment.
Correct, this can fall under the class of a Process Patent. Normally the person who came up with the idea is protected by Keyman Insurance by their Company.
 

MitchM

Act. Then Adapt.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Nov 15, 2016
398
777
300
23
Atlanta, GA
At the least, just file a trademark and ensure that your marketing is very good.
Grow and be a respected brand and don’t worry if someone else wants a piece of the pie.

You’ve got to be aggressive. I am also pretty sure you don’t have to patent before releasing a product - so you can file a patent afterwards if you see success.
The best defense in this case IS success.

That means your business can’t be easy to replicate. If someone from China can easily come in and out compete you - then you’re not running a good business.
 

Kid

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Mar 1, 2016
505
429
225
At the least, just file a trademark and ensure that your marketing is very good.
Grow and be a respected brand and don’t worry if someone else wants a piece of the pie.

You’ve got to be aggressive. I am also pretty sure you don’t have to patent before releasing a product - so you can file a patent afterwards if you see success.
The best defense in this case IS success.

That means your business can’t be easy to replicate. If someone from China can easily come in and out compete you - then you’re not running a good business.
No.

If you start selling or just inform public about your product, you got 1 year to file non-provisional patent, and that's only in US.

Trademark doesn't give you a thing. Anyone will be able to copy your product under different trademark.

And probably most people who might license it from you will just laugh you off if you will say you have no Intellectual Property - read at least provisional patent.

You can do what Mitch said if you feel really philanthropic.
 
Last edited:

MitchM

Act. Then Adapt.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Nov 15, 2016
398
777
300
23
Atlanta, GA
No.

If you start selling or just inform public about your product, you got 1 year to file non-provisional patent, and that's only in US.

Trademark doesn't give you a thing. Anyone will be able to copy your product under different trademark.

And probably most people who might license it from you will just laugh you of if you will say you have no Intellectual Property - read at leas provisional patent.

You can do what Mitch said if you feel really philanthropic.
Lol... A trademark will keep someone from just jacking your listing if you are selling on Amazon.

Also, yes my point is you can file the patent after you realize the product isn't a dud which should just take a month or so after launching.

If I'm wrong there, then okay. It all really depends on what the product you are selling is. The difficulty of knocking it off, how it needs to be marketed, whether the majority of the traffic is cold/hot etc.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

  • Like
Reactions: Kid

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.


Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Sponsored Offers

Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
-- HALLOWEEN SPECIAL STARTS TODAY! Get any of my courses at Udemy's current best price through Friday! Use code: HALLOWEEN Use any of the links...
Top Bottom