Many entrepreneurs are afraid to share their idea for a startup at its early stages. The main reason is the fear of someone stealing their idea. This fear is rarely realistic for three reasons. First, in reality, those who actually have the ability to steal and properly execute an idea are anyhow too busy with their own ideas. Second, there are anyhow at least a few other groups around the world working on the same idea. And third, thinking that the first to launch a product is the one who wins the market is totally wrong. In fact, those who launch their product first rarely succeed. The ones who succeed are those who reach product-market fit first. And to achieve that, you must share your idea as early as possible. Here’s why…
By sharing your idea at its early stages and getting feedback from real users, you significantly increase your chances to understand the real pain point of your customers and offer the best solution for it. Thus, you significantly increase your chances to reach product-market fit.
In addition, sharing your idea allows you to collect your first customers even before developing the product. Thus, once you are ready to launch your product or service, you already have the first customers to try it and spread the word (assuming you succeeded in solving their pain point). I’ve elaborated on how to test and gain customers without developing a product in one of my previous posts.
Another advantage of sharing your idea as early as possible is related to the concept of co-creation. Co creating means that you decide on the set of features that your product will have together with your potential customers. In certain cases, these customers are even willing to pre-order the product, so you have available capital for the development.
Sharing your idea early on is also extremely important in case you want to raise capital from Angels or VCs. Having a list of people that want to use and buy your product is a great validation of the market need, which is usually the biggest uncertainty in any startups (maybe other than biotech). Furthermore, acquiring user early on will give you some initial data about the Customer Acquisition Cost and Customer Life-Time Value. And this information is crucial in order to prove that you have a viable business model.
And last, by sharing your idea you might get some amazing ideas from your prospects that you would have never thought about yourself. And sometimes, even one good idea can make the difference between success and failure.