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How do I find a partner for a E-Commerce company if I am too scared of the idea getting stolen?

I have a new way of conducting sales online that will revolutionize multiple industries. I have done all the work to build the business plan (market analysis, competitive analysis, profit analysis, and even began wire-framing the site we would start with.).

Because the profit analysis shows 588mil/yr gross profit on just ONE industry (without accounting for profit from advertisements and taking no profit from sales) I am too afraid to reach out. I am not greedy and would love to partner with someone who has a background in e-commerce and full-stack-engineering.. I just don't know how to protect my idea. It feels too big to talk about

20 Replies

Tom Austin
7
0
Tom Austin Advisor
Managing Partner
The best way to 'protect' your idea is to build a strong organization and team around it and execute it really, really well and get lots of customers using it. That's the only way. To have the best shot at doing this, you have to TELL EVERYONE (apart, potentially from existing direct competitors - whom you may tell, but need to be thought more carefully about). If you sit with your idea and tell no one, you have an idea in your room, not a business. Almost everyone you tell about your business will not care, and some may have ideas for you to make it better, and a very, very small number may actually want to help.
Jessica Alter
13
0
Jessica Alter Entrepreneur • Advisor
Entrepreneur & Advisor
There are probably 20 discussions on "stealing ideas" on FD already so please do a search but more importantly, no one is going to steal your idea. You should be much more concerned with getting someone to care about your idea.
Here's more on it >>http://founderdating.com/startups-and-shark-attacks/
Emmanuel Midy
0
4
Emmanuel Midy Entrepreneur
Platform Client Services at Integral Ad Science
You should have all prospective partners sign a NDA prior to revealing your gameplan.
Chicke Fitzgerald
4
0
Chicke Fitzgerald Entrepreneur • Advisor
Game Changing Strategist, Advisor & Technologist | Board Candidate | Zigging where others Zag
And sounds like you need some advisors to give you a "sanity check" on the numbers. If they seem "too big", there is likely something that you are missing.
Mookie Lee
7
0
Mookie Lee Entrepreneur
VP at OnDerm
Ideas are a dime a dozen. It's all about executing on the idea and surrounding yourself with people who can propel the business forward. I've heard a lot of great ideas but most people do not act on them or execute poorly. It's common for most beginning entrepreneurs to hold their ideas close to their chest - trust me, no one is going to quit their day job to steal your idea and if they do, competition breeds innovation and most likely how you envision the business will be different from how they do. As for NDA's, they're extremely hard to enforce and any sophisticated investor will not sign one.
James Michels
2
0
James Michels Entrepreneur
Founder at Present Future, Inc.
If the idea is really good, it's wise to assume others have thought of it as well. If no one has attempted to execute the idea, you want to understand why. And suppose the idea gets 'stolen' *and* beats you to market? Now you're in a battle to out-execute the comp, which was inevitable anyhow.

Maybe a bit off topic, but direct competitors often help more than hurt. They can help validate the market opp to investors, prove or disprove hypotheses you currently hold, and light a fire under your team to beat their rival.

Agree with comments from Emmanuel, Jessica, and Tom. Just trying to encourage you to consider this from multiple angles.
Stefan Vermeulen
3
1
Stefan Vermeulen Entrepreneur
Science & Technology Marketeer at iMinds - Zaakvoerder en e-commerce manager bij EMAKERS
You can trust me. Really. Ping me here, and we I you'll get rich.
Steve Everhard
2
0
Steve Everhard Advisor
All Things Startup
Bret I tend to agree with Chicke, although you are saying over what period your gross profit forecast reaches 588M/yr (US$??). You need someone you trust with the right skills to review your numbers before you present them to any potential partners as I suspect there are some major assumptions in your plan that need to be tested and some errors in calculation.

Frankly you aren't about to begin to build a company to cope with this volume of business without trusting some people with incredible skills who can bring it to life, and it will take a number of years to do so.

If your business plan is so fragile that merely surfacing the idea will destroy your business then you need to look again at your business model. Competition validates the market and does;t destroy it, and if you're even half right about the business potential and you grab early mover advantage you would still end up with an amazing business.
Bret Gardner
0
0
Bret Gardner Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO at Food Roll, LLC.
Thank you so much everyone for your feedback!
David Austin
0
0
David Austin Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur
dito on what's been said. Here's a good reference: fi.co/posts/16791

Also ... this web article was created for people in your situation:http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/product-idea-validation/

Best of luck.
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