MVP Development · Startup

Technical knowledge

Joy Oguntona Working on something impactful to the world

June 10th, 2020

I'm working on a platform to create a virtual workplace and I don't technical background but I've the strategy and everything mapped out. I'm scared of hiring an outside developer hoping it will still my idea. So what can i do in this kind of situation.

Shamal Badhe Project Manager @ Companion ITCS

June 10th, 2020

Hey Joy,


In a team, honesty, trust, and transparency are very important factors. Without a team, you cannot walk long miles.


While hiring a technical or any person to join you, you should

  • trust them (remove the doubt from your mind)
  • interview them with tricky and powerful questions.
  • Go through their social media account activity. (I highly recommend this because we can easily understand what kind of person he is when what kind of posts, he likes, comments or shares.)
  • sign an NDA
  • Gain some knowledge of server, hosting, etc

I hope this will help you get a good candidate.


Best luck,

Shamal

Karim Harvey HRTech | Entrepreneur | 133T.

June 10th, 2020

You have to pretty much jump in. Yes, you can have someone sign an NDA, but NDA's don't protect against any wrongdoing. Shocking? Yes, most people won't bother to steal your idea unless they have the time to put into it. And most programmers are busy trying to get the bills paid and food on the table. Credibility and research is king. I would definitely look for reviews, Linkedin accounts, or any social media account that can verify the person's trustworthiness.

Mars Nadela Co-founder of a Tech Startup (mvp stage), Proprietor @Browingz Culture Shack

Last updated on June 11th, 2020

If you can't find any technical friends to be your co-founder, first thing you do is change your mindset about your idea being stolen by others. If you're always afraid to share your idea to any potential person that could help you materialize it, then you will be stuck. You can never protect a mere idea, you cannot patent it and anyone can simply copy and execute it. The true battle in a startup is not the idea battle but the execution battle. Go ahead talk to technical people about your idea. Who knows somebody out there shares the same vision as you do and would love to put in the technical work for an equity.

David M

Last updated on June 10th, 2020

If you can find someone to sign an NDA, then go for it. But don't be surprised if successful or established designers reject this especially if you are not presenting them with a compensation agreement first. But there are plenty who need the pay and likely will sign away their rights so to speak. You have to put yourself in their shoes. If they sign an NDA based on you telling them you have a great idea, they limit themselves and worse set themselves up to be sued if they are ever working with a successful company that has a similar product. They also limit their ability to be hired by a successful company working in the same realm because no hiring company wants to hire a developer who has a string of NDA's they have signed. And furthermore, if a potential employee does not list their previous NDA's that are still active, they set their self up for immediate termination if a conflict arise as well as possible litigation against them for any damages the new company may undergo due to their failure to disclose.


If you do go the NDA route list all the elements you can that are not IP...industry, scope, and details. Nothing that you state in your question would give anyone confidence to sign an NDA because there are tons of people working on virtual work places that stem from current companies already in the space. The other thing you can do is provide them a work computer for which any and all work they do on it is the property of the company. The best way is to invest in their security, their goals, etc. If you can vest shares, that provides them a goal of ownership that they wont get if they screw up and try to steal from you and few startup CEO's are vesting shares to developers because they are greedy and self indulged that they are the bigshot "CEO" and the workers are just that workers, not owners in the vision and business (Which is a different discussion of why organizations at all stages fail.) There is no doubt the risks of not getting started because you are overly protective far outweigh the risks of someone trying to steal an idea at this point in the process. And the likely hood of all the negative stars aligning...probably not going to happen but if you don't believe it is a regular occurrence just google all the lawyers out there. People stab people in the back all the time. Anyone who tells you people wont steal an idea probably has very limited experience in entrepreneurship. I don't know one successful entrepreneur who did NOT have an idea stolen from them at some point. It is true that one must execute on the idea though. Another precaution you can take is putting together a solid board of advisors. This can act as a defense tactic. Be open about your legal representation. If someone comes in to you and knows you have no intention of being taken advantage of, it can at least shoot a warning shot across the bow. Could it still happen? Yes. But if they know you have X connected advisor, and Y connected law firm who represents Intellectual property and has prosecuted infringement....you know...at that point the tables kind of turn from "hey we can easily steal this person's idea"...to "Hey...stealing this person's idea could really cause a lot of pains for us...best to just move along." But if you can get the NDA, go for it. I personally am 100% against advising anyone to sign one until a compensation agreement has been presented. There has to be an exchange of value. Taking on future liability simply because some entrepreneur is worried or insecure that their idea may be stolen...not something anyone with talent or competence ever does.