This post was originally published on April 30, 2013 on andyellwood.com.
The "stolen" idea of Facebook and eternal legal battle between Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins is a well-documented worst case scenario of what happens when you share your idea with the wrong people. But what is the best case scenario?
How do I find my Hacker?
This is a question I get all the time from the start-ups I work with that are lacking the Hacker to complete the Hipster, Hacker, Hustler trifecta. In the video above, Ian Jeffrey of FounderFuel says the best way to attract the Hacker is to tell everyone about your idea, especially at events and meet-ups where Hacker-types might hang out (look for neck beards and ironic t-shirts). He also addresses the "what if someone steals the idea" concern.
I've considered Intellectual Property Theft before telling folks about projects I dream up on weekends or during the first 10,000 feet of airline flights. But here's the thing: I could give someone all the details needed and a really good pitch about why some of my ideas are awesome but if they tried to steal them, they would be missing a very important piece of what makes the idea great: Me.
At this point in the innovation and start-up industry's life cycle, we are beyond the point where people are looking for the needle in the haystack of good ideas. Now people are trying to beat back the good ideas and find the great ones, and most everyone is partial to their own. People don't have time to steal your ideas, they're trying to find enough time to explore their own.