We all hear about shady business men stealing gullible inventors ideas. I’ve seen it happen myself, and it scared the shit out of me.
At the university
When my buddy Fredrik and I attended the innovation university course one of the students were subject to theft.
…was to implement a SMS integrated queue ticket system. You entered your cell phone number, instead of pulling out a paper ticket, and got a text message a few minutes before your turn in the qeue came up. Today it might seem rather mundane but back then this was ground breaking high tech stuff.
Halfway through the course our teacher announced that this poor girl wouldn’t be coming back. Someone had just recently applied for a patent that put a halt to her idea.
Sneaky university students
Like most innovations, someone else probably also thought about it before you. But this patent was applied by someone in a specific university city in Sweden. A city she had been at during a student party a few months earlier and accidently told someone about her SMS-idea.
Paralyzed me for years
This experience effected me strongly and is the main reason it took so many years to go beyond just thinking about great ideas to actually doing something with them.
Be careful of what you say to people, but don’t let it paralyze you.