Let's talk about privacy. Or actually, more specifically, secrecy. How protective and secretive should you be when developing what you think is a unique idea?
We’ve been struggling with this recently. It’s tough. You find yourself talking to experienced and well informed people in the startup/tech space. You want to learn from them, find out about the difficulties they faced, and inevitably in return they take an interest in your idea.
At that point do you slap a non-disclosure agreement down on the table and hand them a pen? As social faux-pas go, that seems like the equivalent of sticking your middle finger in their face. But in all seriousness, from our position of complete amaetury-ness, we don’t know what the protocol is.
STAMP started life as an aspirational project we wanted to pursue but didn’t know how. Now we’re seeing it turn into an actual tangible thing with strong potential and a solid founding team. But in the process we’ve become the protective parents who stop it staying out too late with its friends.
Perhaps there is a balance. The balance between getting critical feedback on a concept pre-launch and someone learning about your idea and replicating it without your knowledge. In reality, is someone going to stop what they’re doing and create STUMP (the poorly named STAMP knock-off)? Regardless of that, when we launch we have to accept that if we have any form of success, copy-cat apps may pop up relatively quickly.
You see this happening all the time - even in the big leagues (Rocket Internet anyone?), and really in that situation, it will be down to us to grow our following and rapidly expand. Maybe in the meantime, we need to pick and choose what and how much we share depending on the person in front of us.
Our focus groups and beta-testers will obviously be privy to soooo much. But that’s important. Feedback is king and we need to validate our ideas in order to guide further development. We also want them to feel involved and integral to our development process. Make them feel special with early access to our (buggy) app. In that way hopefully they feel some loyalty towards our vision and work with us to make something really great.
That’s the idea anyway.
Then again, there might some developer genius amongst them who likes the idea and then rushes off to make STUMP (the poorly named STAMP knock off). That would indeed be an upsetting turn of events. Oh well. We’ll see what happens.
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Till next time