Do you play well with others? Do you share, as your parents taught you when you were a kid? I personally find that in some areas, a lot of people are afraid to share. I think it is unreasonable much of the time too.
Last week, I got an e-mail from somebody which reminded me of this. A fellow wrote to me and was talking about moving to live in the Philippines as I do, and he had a business idea for something to sustain himself and his family while living here. He didn’t tell me exactly what his idea was, and he said something eluding to that:
I am like you… I don’t share my ideas with others, because they will steal it from me.
I am not certain where he got the idea that I am like what he described, because to be honest, I am as far away from that as you could get! Even when I first think of a new idea, I often have a hard time not talking about it to people! I will even blog about my new business idea so that the whole world can know about it. You know what… in the years and years that I have done this, so far I don’t recall any idea being stolen away from me!
I find that through sharing such thoughts and ideas, I often get feedback from others that is very helpful. Sometimes people will say something that I had not considered, which turns my opinion and makes me abandon the idea. Sometimes people add in new thoughts that will improve the idea. Sometimes they add little of value, but it is still valuable to me that I had a person to bounce the idea off of.
One thing I have found is that most people are afraid to chase after a business idea. They don’t know what to do and are seemingly afraid to find out. Some people obviously need to earn a little extra money to make ends meet, yet they never make any effort to do it, so I have no fear of sharing my ideas with them.
How about you? Do you try to keep your ideas quiet, or do you share with others? For me, I can’t imagine trying to develop something and keeping it all hushed up. Maybe I will not share all the details on how to do it, let the other people figure that out themselves. But, I find it helpful to talk about the master plan and listen to what others tell me.
I had tyo laugh when i read this one, Bob. OMG that is such a common thing heard on the ‘net, especially from people who are not already in business and who think business is all about an ‘idea’.
There is nothing so worthless as “an idea”. Those aren’t my words, they are the words of Thomas Edison, one of the most prolific (and financially successful) inventors the world has ever known.
A successful business doesn’t flow from ‘an idea’. it flows from a plan, from execution (including those days when you feel too tired to work on it) and also from a little luck.
Actually Edison contradicted himself just a little, he’s also famous for saying success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.
If anyone is rading this with an “idea” then by all menas push forward enough to crunch the numbers and if they look favorable, do it, don’t talk about your idea.
Especially in the online world it’s actually much easier if someone else has a similar product or idea. Look at something like FireFox. There were already an assortment of third-party, free browsers on the ‘net plus the “Big Frog” of MSIE. The Mozilla folks “built a better mousetrap” but they had a dozen competitors with the same “idea”.
A large part of their success happened becuase people were already used to trying out other browsers and so they were happy to give the ‘new kid’ a try. FireFox would be virtually unknow if the developers had tried to keep ot ‘secret’.
Hi Dave – What you say is very true. Ideas are a dime a dozen, it is a working business that has value. Using ideas to relate to others can help you develop a business, and that is something to consider.
Bob- I would have to say I share my idea’s with others. Although, I have not been able to get any of my business ideas up and running. Due to circumstances beyond my control.
I think what the person that wrote in was trying to say is not that you keep your idea’s a secret. I think he meant more/less your actions and insider secrets (how to go about accomplishing the task at hand).
Dave- You bring up some good points. I wish I could act on my ideas, nothing exciting or unheard of on the market. Just some things I think could use some improvement.
Hi Mike K. – I would have to say that I am totally open about my businesses, especially in the early stages of development.
About once a week, I come up with an “idea.” 99% of those ideas get abandoned for various reasons. Ideas are easy. It’s the action that is the challenge.
Hi Tom – You are right, most of the time when we get “great ideas” they turn out to be not as great as we though. If you have talent, you can recognize the ideas that are not worth working on before you get too involved. I wrote an article about this some time back on another site. It is entitled – “Are Stupid Ideas a Waste of Time?“
It’s worth reading the article just for that graphic!
Hi Tom – I always get a kick out of that graphic myself. Do you think that was a stupid idea, or is there a chance for success and riches?