One of my suggestions for those who share their ideas with me and ask for my opinion, I encourage them to share their ideas with other people and see their reactions and pay attention to their opinions as much as possible.
One of the most frequent responses to this suggestion is concern about their ideas being stolen. They say: “How can I make sure others are not going to steal my idea and use it in their interest?”
Want-to-be entrepreneurs and startup owners should not be afraid of sharing their ideas with other people. In general your friends and family and even strangers would want to help you. This way you could discover what different people in different demographics and social level think about your idea.
To address those concerns:
Be sure that generally nobody will steal your idea because those who you are afraid of stealing your idea usually are so busy doing their own ideas so they have no more energy and time for a new one. It is possible that they lean one thing or two from your design or marketing. And many great product s and services are being inspired by other products. They put together pieces of different ideas and technologies and create a new thing. This is not stealing.
An important question: Does a patent protect your idea?
Many will tell you that before doing anything about your idea, you should have a patent on it to protect it. But this is generaly waste of time, money and energy. For a patent to be full issued you should spend a great deal of money and time whearas you cloud spend them on executing your idea.
Even if you get the patent now you should be able to protect it. It means that if another person or company violated your patent, you should be able to protect your rights. Again you would need lots of money and time to spend on lawyers, going to courts and other legal matters.
To sum up:
Do not afraid of telling your idea to others because you will learn much more from sharing it than hiding it. Most importantly, the best way to protect an idea is to execute it. When someone presents an idea she knows many other had the same idea in their minds, but only in their minds.