How to Sell Your Idea Without Fearing Someone Will Steal It

When startups look for investors, it's essential that the company put forward its best ideas, but that's increasingly being done without legal protections that prevent investors from taking those ideas for themselves.

What's the Latest?


When startups look for investors, it's essential that the company put forward its best ideas, but that's increasingly being done without legal protections that prevent investors from taking those ideas for themselves. A once-popular protection known as a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), which prevented potential investors from revealing new companies' ideas to others, has fallen out of favor. It may come as a surprise that both investors and new companies often prefer the less regulated marketplace of ideas, but with sufficient self-control, new companies can protect their ideas and reach speedier business agreements without NDAs.

What's the Big Idea?

So what's the problem with NDAs? Observers of the venture capital world say that each signed NDA puts business negotiations on hold by a week as all the necessary forms are processed. "In the life of a start-up company," said Victor W. Hwang, chief executive of the investment firm T2 Venture Creation. "You might have to sign 30 to 50 NDAs. That’s a week each time and a year of holdups. The risk of going slow is bigger than the risk of being copied." Besides, venture capital firms must live on their reputation and startups, which come to the table looking for their next meal, are rarely equipped to fight the kind of legal battle that accusations over stolen ideas requires.

Read more at the New York Times

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Big Think Edge
  • The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
  • Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
  • Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
Videos
  • Prejudice is typically perpetrated against 'the other', i.e. a group outside our own.
  • But ageism is prejudice against ourselves — at least, the people we will (hopefully!) become.
  • Different generations needs to cooperate now more than ever to solve global problems.


Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

(MsMaria/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less