Talk About Your Invention


If you tell anyone your great idea they will steal it and take it market before you can! Woe is me!!

This is most inventors biggest fear and its also one of the biggest reasons most inventors never have success with their ideas. Here are some tips to help you get over this issue and break your vow of silence.

1.  Unless you triple-majored in Design, Engineering and Marketing you can’t make your idea the best product it can be all by yourself. Luckily there are firms all over the globe who can tweak and improve your design if you are willing to trust them. Trust is much easier to give when the firm you use signs your NDA, and also a Work-For-Hire agreement which says any improvements they make to your design belong to you. Sample contacts are available for free in the Inventors Blueprint download area.

2.  I don’t worry that someone I tell my idea to will steal it because it is A LOT OF WORK to bring an idea market. I tell my friends, family and even casual strangers my ideas because I’ve learned how valuable their feedback can be. Is this really a great idea or am I just enamored by it because I came up with the solution? I’ll take the reward of feedback all day long compared to the perceived risk of accidentally bumping into a motivated invention thief.

3.  Deadlines are a good thing. Ever try to eat peas off a flat plate? Doesn’t work very well. I think of deadlines like the curved edge of the plate that when pushed up against finally get the dang peas on the dang fork. Nothing happens without a deadline. Go file your provisional patent application to establish your filing date, give yourself a deadline to work with, and give yourself more peace of mind as you talk to people about your invention.

4.  Other people already have your idea. If your idea is truly a good idea, and it has a sizable market, then you better get moving. There are over 300 million people in the US alone so it’s a safe bet that at least 50 of them came up with your solution as well. You are in a race against these other folks to get this idea to market, and luckily you have the advantage. You are getting educated on the invention process and getting over that irrational fear of sharing your ideas so you can finally take action and make some progress. Good for you!

5.  Can’t sell if you won’t tell. When you’re trying to license your invention it can be hard enough to find the right person at the right company to pitch to. It’s waayyy harder when the first thing they hear from you is “Hi, will you sign my NDA?”. I personally don’t bother with NDAs in that situation, but I do like to have a provisional patent application in place.

Let’s review:

99.9% of people won’t steal your idea because it’s too much work (and bad karma).

99.9% of companies won’t steal your idea because it risks exposure to lawsuits, damages their reputation, and restricts their access to other inventor ideas in the future. It’s way cheaper to pay a royalty if you are reasonable, or find another idea if you are not.

You can cover your butt against the other .1% with NDAs, Work-For-Hire agreements and Patent Applications.

Your biggest legitimate fear should be those other 50 people with your idea. Get moving with that idea or someone else will.

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  1. Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

    When should you share and when should you not share? Thoughts??

  2. Posted by michael, at Reply

    To get over your fear of someone stealing your great idea, tell people your 2nd, 3rd or 4th best idea. In great detail. Wait for someone you tell to take your idea and implement it. Keep waiting. Tell them again, try anything to get someone to steal your second best idea… Try to *force* them to steal your second best idea… Keep waiting.

  3. Posted by Jesse, at Reply

    This post reminded me of Ze Frank’s Brain Crack song (… I know that fear of not having a next idea and so wanting to hold on to whatever is in my head.
    Nice post, Ryan

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Definitely! This is a lesson for all you kids out there… execute those ideas so you don’t get addicted to brain crack.

  4. Posted by Uttamrao H Jadhav, at Reply

    Dear Mr. Ryan Grepper,
    Namaskar !

    I appreciate the outstanding work, guidance you are providing to inventors, across the world.

    I am always open and discuss my inventions ( ‘Castles in the Air’, ‘ Fuel less Travel & Transport’ and many others) with all my friends and probable executers. I was never afraid of someone stealing my ideas.

    Anyway, Thanks. For sure, you will try to help me in executing the novel ideas which have remarkable social effects.

    ——— U H Jadhav, IRS

  5. Posted by TERRY V DEMERITTE, at Reply

    I have experienced the lost of an invention because I did not have the financial means to continue…are there investors for invention out there….please email, have a wealth of knowledge with no money….

  6. Posted by Loretta, at Reply

    Ryan- This is a great post. It put people’s fears in the proper perspective!

  7. Posted by Philos Kim, at Reply

    Hi Ryan,
    I’m slowing trying to overcome my fear of disclosing my ideas.
    You are right that the biggest risk is not moving faster than the 50 other guys with the same idea!
    And yet we’ve seen and heard about stories like that of the intermittent wiper depicted
    in “A Flash of Genius” which feeds our fear no matter how irrational.
    I am normally a trusting person and feels that MOST people are inherently good hearted, but still this apprehension still persists.

    Do you think that the business landscape is better these days or things have always been the same in regard to theft of ones’ ideas?

    Thanks for shedding light on the advantages of opening up to others.
    And you are right, it does take a lot of work!

    You are an inventor whom I can relate to better because the products you have developed are more similar to mine. Not some hi tech semiconductor, etc..

    Glad I found your site!