Building an "A-Team" -- How to Retain Ownership of the Idea?


[Multi-part question with similar introduction because I thought the questions would be more useful separately.] Hi all,

I'm currently a one-man dev team with what I believe is a killer idea. I've got a varied set of skills, but I know that I'm going to need some superhero developers to make my project happen. The issue I've had here is that, like many other developers, I work a pretty demanding day-job. Outside of work (which I don't think would appreciate me recruiting for a side project), I don't know quite how to get people interested or involved in my project. I'm fairly young, and don't necessarily have a network of developer contacts.

How do I keep my idea in the bag while telling developers about it?

  • How do I ensure that my idea remains mine?
  • Is this a realistic expectation in today's age?
  • Are NDAs the way to go? Do they help or hinder the chances of success? Do they build trust or break it?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

Recruiting NDA

asked Nov 30 '10 at 03:17
131 points

2 Answers


The first thing you need to understand is that ideas are a dime a dozen. They are virtually worthless on their own. An implementation of your idea might have some value. How do you know whether or not 50 other people have had the same idea, and even now 20 are finishing their app?

If you have a brilliant idea you need to start working on it now.

You will need to use an NDA with anyone you contact, but don't expect that to fully protect you.

Unless you are willing to start working, right now, to flesh out this idea and get the business rolling you might as well forget the whole thing. Until you believe enough in your idea to start working on it, how are you going to convince others to either work on it or invest money in it?

answered Nov 30 '10 at 07:13
Gary E
12,510 points


Basically, you forget the idea that you will get an A-Team and keep anything secret to start with. Want to talk to a good developer and dont want to say me what it is about - good. Put in 100k USD for me to take when I walk away or I am not freaking interested. Same with a meager startup payment and promises of riches untold once you go public - I am not a venture vcapitalist that can ivnest in 30 startups, and one thing you must understand is that ideas are CHEAP. Execution is all.

NDA will protect you - if you have the funds to follow through. And if you want to be distracted while you do. Better than nothing.

But NO A-Grade developer will even consider an offer unless you can excite him FIRST . Either with a REALLY good paycheck, or with an exciting idea. Which sort of means you can not even think of keeping it secret.

answered Nov 30 '10 at 06:44
Net Tecture
11 points

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