The value of ideas

They can be good, they can be awesome – some can even change the world.

But who owns them?

If your idea is shared with another, does that other then co-own it with you?

Your ideas maybe the most valuable things you ever, ever own. Guard them well and be careful with whom you share them with.

Something that maybe so obvious to you may not be as obvious to the next person.
Before opening your mouth next time, take a moment – pause, take a break and think.

How much do you value your time? Your ideas?

Is it the price of a coffee? Lunch? Dinner?
Or is it a day of work, a week maybe?

How much are you worth?

Writing this, as I am currently, in the bar of the ICA – home of the London Social Media Cafe – I am comforted by words of wisdom from my good friend Carl Jeffrey:

“Share your ideas and your dreams, you’ll be surprised how many people come out of the woodwork to help you – but make sure to hold off telling the full story until the end. Remember; genius has limits, stupidity has none.”

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9 thoughts on “The value of ideas”

  1. Excellent post James, given this is the fear of ever freelancer. There is an element in most ideas, particularly in my field are recycled, or merely variations on a theme. I’ve had meetings of late when entire proposals of ideas have been swooped up and stolen. Heartbreaking.
    It’s definitely a subject in which i struggle to stop, think, and ferme la bouche – I’m improving for sure – but in wanting to help and appear entirely knowledgeable I fear there will be more of such moments.

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  2. No no no! Ideas want to be free! Ideas are one thing, actually doing something with them is another.

    If you’re squatting on an idea then you’re wasting it, and you’re forgetting the 100 other people all with the same idea (name the great idea that nobody else ever thought about) one of whom will be actually doing something with it. The way you’ll turn your idea into something more than just an idea is by talking to other people and turning it into something real.

    We’re too precious about ideas – ideas are easy. Execution is the hard bit and the bit you get rewarded for: talk to people and find people who are as enthusiastic about turning your idea into something more as you are.

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  3. I used to share too much information/ideas…
    Sometimes I feel guilty for not sharing but… I mean, they are mine!!!

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  4. I understand the reluctance to reveal all, but you do have to wonder what is the point of an idea if it only exists in your mind and is never expressed? Appreciate having one’s plans stolen is a risk but then by keeping quiet you risk nothing ever happening. Maybe….

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  5. Yes, be careful who you share them with, but you *must* share them. By sharing/talking you gain clarity and alternative viewpoints.
    The other thing is, how much is your audience’s time worth, eh 😉

    Ideas are in your head and it is only once they start to become something (you find collaborators who can help to start on the *execution* which as Justin points out is the important thing) that they are interesting. At this point, you have both first mover advantage and the original concept (others are copying your execution, and *NOT’ the idea!)

    Also, if you are that worried, get them to sign a FriendDA (http://www.friendda.org/). Long explantion here – http://www.randsinrepose.com/archives/2008/10/19/friendda.html

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