How can I present my idea to a big company without them stealing it?

I was doing some research to help a friend when I stumbled across a website that provides information/service in a very narrow market. I realized that their service could be applied to a vastly bigger and broader market that is totally unrelated. I could take my idea and run with it, copying a lot of their methodology. But that would take a lot of time and require a lot of expertise that I don’t have. They already have everything up and running smoothly and it would just require a little tweaking to apply my ideas. So I would like to approach them with my idea and, if they go with it, I’d like to receive a continuing royalty. But how can I present my idea to them without them just taking my idea and running with it while cutting me out? From what I have seen, my idea could multiply their earnings.

Hi @CAD79416 and welcome to the forums.

Have you looked into patenting your idea? I think if you cannot do this then there is not much you can do about it… Remember the guy who said Facebook was their idea? Did they win the case? No. It’s all well and good to come up with good ideas, it demonstrates creative potential but there is often much more work involved in putting good ideas into fruition… What if your idea fails? Will you pay them back for the money they have lost? It may take 2 minutes to to pitch in a good idea, but years to put into fruition, and a small chance for it to succeed.



Where I live it’s not possible to patent ideas as far as I know.

What I don’t understand is you’re taking their idea. If you take any of their code, that can be traced back to them, you’ll be found guilty of copyright infringement.

Things don’t necessarily need to be submitted to a copyright and patent office to be protected. You might want to tread carefully on that.

Does any other company have a similar setup it could be applied to. If so you could have leverage. I.e go to the first company and pitch your idea and your terms, let them know that if this isn’t something they want to take forward with you that’s ok as you will be speaking with a competitor next week. Doesn’t have to be threatening, you can say ‘you were my first choice and i would be really excited to work with you, I think it can make us both a lot of money but if you aren’t interested i still want to bring my idea to fruition so will have to look at other companies. I have a preliminary meeting with XXX in 2 weeks time so if you could review what we’ve discussed and get back to me with your decision before then that would be great.’

I have a few ideas myself which i have wondered the same thing. I’ll probably never get round to doing anything with them because of that.

Intellectual Property is the answer.