How to ensure success before launching?


Dharmesh Shah made mention about talking people to people who are interested in your domain about your product before releasing your idea. he talks about it in this video over at mixergy. Excellent video btw, located here.

I have an idea, there's some really big players in the industry right now but as i use their services i hate it. i feel as though i need these services but i can not stand the way they are currently done. i know how to improve these services and my idea does things completely differently.

So my question is how much information should i reveal to people and get feedback without someone stealing my idea or even the big players implementing it before i can get into the field.

Getting Started Ideas Web 2.0 Competition

asked Dec 13 '09 at 06:55
221 points

5 Answers


I think in general people are over paranoid about idea theft. Execution is key, ideas they are a dime a dozen.

After you launch all your good ideas will be "stolen" by your competitors anyway. I think that being open in general will give you the advantage of getting better feedback and in turn launching a better product.

Keep in mind, no big player is going to wake up one day and "do things completely differently". They are heavily invested in their current way of doing things and will not just chuck it all out on a whim.

answered Dec 13 '09 at 07:37
Sam Saffron
432 points
  • thanks for the input. – Espinet 14 years ago
  • I agree, being open will also make it easier to attract the best talent to help you. – Dane 14 years ago


You may have an excellent idea, something that people will agree would be very useful, but, if it requires people to change how they operate, odds are you face a very tough uphill battle. That is the execution part.

Unfortunately it is difficult to get people to change how they operate, even if they are is a different way, due to their own inertia.

So, you may find that though people may like your idea you may need to break it into phases, to help move people slowly from how they are doing things currently to moving to a new way.

For a simple example, if Apple had brought out the iPhone before the iPod it would probably have failed, but they brought an iPod then an iPod that could go on the web, then the iPhone.

answered Dec 14 '09 at 04:23
James Black
2,642 points
  • Thats an interesting point. Never really thought about that. I always felt Apple's endless iterations where profit mongering. Maybe it is slightly but you have a good point. – Espinet 14 years ago
  • @espinet - As I was writing, I needed an example, and when I thought of the iPhone I had to think back to why it was so popular, as the Blackberry wasn't as popular, but it opened the door for the new Blackberry and the Android, so Apple has changed how we, in the US, see smartphones and a willingness to buy mobile apps. – James Black 14 years ago


You really can't. I think you need to tap down expectations for yourself and your team.

answered May 9 '11 at 04:10
26 points


If you could "ensure success" in business, everyone would do it, especially folks with lots of money, right?

See this question which is essentially the same. Lots of answers there.

answered Dec 14 '09 at 03:32
16,231 points
  • thanks for the response. ensuring success was not exactly my question, it was more related to being public about your idea before you release it as dharmesh said in the video posted. but thanks for your time. – Espinet 14 years ago
  • The question I linked to specifically answers the part about being public. The "ensure success" was what *you* wrote as the *title* of the question, so it's fair game, no? – Jason 14 years ago
  • completely fair game. – Espinet 14 years ago


There is no way to ensure success, but there are ways you can find out if there is a market for your product before you even write a line of code. I strongly recommend reading Eric Ries' blog Startup Lessons Learned, particularly the Lean Startup posts. Also, I would read Steve Blank's blog, especially the posts covering Customer Development.

If you are on twitter, follow the #leanstartup hash tag too.

There are a few more blogs on Customer Development, but these are the best places to start.

Good luck!

answered Dec 14 '09 at 13:55
Craig Daniel
223 points
  • Just saw that Jason edited the original. Regardless, I believe you should be public, release early & often, and get as much feedback as you can. Competitors will not worry about you until you take some of their market share. – Craig Daniel 14 years ago

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Getting Started Ideas Web 2.0 Competition