I'm worried about someone taking my idea. Any advice?

This is one of the most common questions we hear when people are just getting started. It’s alright to be cautious, but ultimately there’s much greater risk in not sharing your idea with the world. The key is to take it slow and find a way that you can talk about your idea without jeopardizing your IP.

For starters, people don’t care about your technology.  Instead, they care about what your technology can do for them. This is where you begin to separate the technical aspects of your solution from the business aspects. For example, let’s say you have designed a faster, stronger and cheaper wifi router. Don’t talk about the product specs and how it works. Don’t even talk about the speeds, signal strength or cost. Instead, ask yourself what is the benefit of this solution? You can say that you have developed a router for commercial buildings that allows people to stream continuously, even in elevators and basements. This tells your listener who cares and why, but it shares nothing that would tell them how to copy it.

If you’re still uncertain, don’t hesitate to seek advice. There are professional service providers such as consultants and attorneys who are interested in your commercial success. These individuals operate under a defined set of professional ethics. Ultimately, you should disclose technical facts only where and when it is critical.  

Participating in one of the campus programs or courses is a great place to learn these skills.