does ideas have a price?


I'm a software developer and some time ago, I've shared an idea to a friend. I've said, look, I think that this app will boost your services and someday I'll do it for you. That friend was very excited about the idea, but we postponed the implementation because of my schedule.

ATM, this friend wish me to give him my idea, in order to hire some developers. Because of that, I feel somehow betrayed. I'll be happy if my idea will boost his business visibility, but I'll like to get some financial revenue from this idea too.

Which is the best way of doing this, without hurting his feelings?

If I had to build the app, the price is more easy to set, because is proportional with the worked hours.

In this case, I don't know how to approach the situation. Can you tell me your opinion?

Pricing Software Ideas

asked Nov 23 '11 at 21:35
Dole Doug
141 points
  • Your idea, though nice, is useless without implementation. Your idea probably has very little value just as an idea. Wish him luck and give him the blessing of the idea. – Tim J 12 years ago
  • Tim: ty for your feedback. I like your reply – Dole Doug 12 years ago

4 Answers


Ideas are a dime a dozen - value is in the implementation.

Your friend is probably within his rights to go ahead and work on the project without you, and probably doesn't need to ask for permission either (I'm assuming there's no NDA in place). You've implied that he'll be investing in the idea as well, as he'll be hiring people to assist with the execution. His contribution, therefore, is the only one that has any tangible value, and therefore leaves him as the 100% owner of the resultant product.

That being said, as a friend, he should try to acknowledge your contribution in some way - but as a thank you, not as entitlement.

answered Nov 24 '11 at 01:45
4,692 points


Ideas do have value. It's not something you should be throwing around. People do take others' ideas and make use of them.

In your case I would probably talk with your friend to become a part of his venture. In what role, it's between you to decide. The best way for you to become founders and then each will contribute what he can. You perhaps some coding work, he likely will take care of business matters.

Don't go by this. When do you get the next chance of convincing somebody to start up with you?

answered Nov 24 '11 at 02:03
116 points


If you regularly have good ideas you could start a consulting business and charge for those ideas. This way you can put value on an idea. Businesses will want a quantified results though, i.e. prove that your idea actually increased my business, exposure, reach, whatever the goal was.

answered Nov 24 '11 at 02:15
120 points


If your friend has enough budget he can make you project manager or some other thing in which you may or may not write code, but you will be able to give some contribution to the design of the new "thing".

Otherwise if you want to get something for just suggesting him to do something, probably you deserve it, but is just up to his thankfulness.

answered Nov 24 '11 at 02:52
123 points

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Pricing Software Ideas