I have got a friend.
He is smart. And clever. And brainy. And visionary. And imaginative. And creative.
He had a great idea a couple of years ago. An idea worth thoundands euro. A complete gift to our client, who simply assigned him to program/project manage his idea, letting some others share the pie. Not even the crumbs for him.
But my friend, I told you, is smart. Too smart. He had another great idea.
This time he developed it, he prototyped it. He hasn’t slept for days, with the support of another colleague, working hard to prepare a workign demo. He presented it. Great success. So great that the client like it so much to commit his engineering team to develop it. So much to include screenshots of my friend’s demo in the product requirement doc.
Unfortunately, once again the big pie is going to be served to another table.
My friend? Nothing, nada, niet.
I told you, my friend is smart. So smart and clever that he improves everyday.
After this experience he is now also wiser.
So wise that now he learned ideas need protection. Sharing it, is giving it away for free. Can he blame someone? I don’t think so, market is unfair. People are unfair.
That’s the reason why non-disclosure agreements exist. That’s the reason why there are legal agreement rather than gentlemen agreement.
If you can look farther than others you must do it overall, not just on the engineering perspective. You need to visualize the future of your idea, and protect it till it grows, till it can walk alone carrying you on its shoulders, letting you free to think something else.
Being FREE to invent is great. Inventing for FREE is dumb.