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Old 08-11-2005, 07:03 PM   #1
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Need a $.05 psychiatrist

I'm really struggling with something that just happened to me so would like to get your opinion on the situation. I have a business idea that I've been mulling over for awhile and I recently shared the idea with a close friend. A few days later, I happened to be talking with this same friend on an unrelated topic and she indicated that she was going to get involved herself in executing my idea herself. My initial reaction was shock. When I asked her what was up with that she indicated it was a free world, it is a great idea and there is plenty of room for more than one person doing the same work so I should just get over it.

In reality, I am really having a problem "just getting over it." I know enough not to share business ideas/brainstorming with any Tom, Dick or Harry but this is supposed to be my friend! I don't like the thought of losing a friendship over this but I'm having trouble accepting her as a friend right now. I know that I would never do this to a friend so I'm having trouble accepting that a friend would do this to me. What do you think? Should I just suck it up and deal with it (and keep my mouth shut next time)?
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:18 PM   #2
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Hey, we're your friends too!

What did you share with her?

LOL.

Really, you should tell your "friend" how you feel.

There's my $.05.
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:27 PM   #3
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hmmmm..

Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
In reality, I am really having a problem "just getting over it." I know enough not to share business ideas/brainstorming with any Tom, Dick or Harry but this is supposed to be my friend! I don't like the thought of losing a friendship over this but I'm having trouble accepting her as a friend right now. I know that I would never do this to a friend so I'm having trouble accepting that a friend would do this to me. What do you think? Should I just suck it up and deal with it (and keep my mouth shut next time)?
Figure out if you can live with yourself if you just suck it up, and also you can tell your "friend" exactly what you told us; that it might cost the friendship. If you weren't actually ready to follow through on the idea, maybe you can be partners?

Do you have a separate witness as to what transpired? Or any sort of documentation that you had the idea first? Small Claims Court is less than a hundred bucks. Theaten to take her there.

If she's that sort of a person, you might scare her off with legal threats, BUT that WILL cost you the friendship.

In any case, good luck. I have had a few things happen to me like this, in fact, some DUMB BUNNY wanted to use the name of my shop on another shop twenty miles from here. I scared her off.

There are no friends in business, or at auctions :-)
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:33 PM   #4
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Now get comfortable on the couch and tell us. What was your business idea?
Stuff like that just makes you work smarter. If you want to do it, DO IT.
My $ 0.05 which is really worth about 0.01 today.
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:38 PM   #5
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forget about it, and just out do your "friend"!

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Old 08-11-2005, 07:44 PM   #6
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Angry I'm not a psychiatrist...

Nor did I spend last night at a Holiday Inn Express, but here is my two cents worth:
A friend would ask before launching your idea.
A friend would not steal your ideas.
A friend would not take a "tough tamales" attitude when confronted about his/her theft of your intellectual property.
A friend would at least apologize when "caught" using your idea.
By this definition, the person who did this to you is not a friend.
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:46 PM   #7
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At http://www.startribune.com/stories/389/5554280.html if you care to do the free signup, but otherwise: "Simon Cowell stole their idea, TV producers say"
John Reinan, Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 11, 2005

"He's the judge you love to hate on the TV hit "American Idol," making his name by dishing out insults to would-be pop stars. Now a pair of Twin Cities TV producers want Simon Cowell to face his own judgment day.

"In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in a California federal court, Jean Golden and Todd Walker have accused Cowell of stealing "Million Dollar Idea," their syndicated inventor-search show. The pair allege that Cowell and his production company, FremantleMedia North America, along with the ABC television network, "hijacked" their idea to create a network version of the show with the same name and format.

"We were taken aback to see our brand so brazenly stolen by corporate giants," Walker said in a statement. Added Golden: "What has happened to us is every inventor-entrepreneur's worst nightmare."

"Cowell's representatives referred calls to ABC, which said it had no comment."

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Friends can decide to steer a course toward the edge of the world.... We remain our true selves and will attract people of like values. No, don't you dare share your idea online (but you already knew that!). Of course forward all of this thread to your pitiable former friend!!!

Best,
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
When I asked her what was up with that she indicated it was a free world, it is a great idea and there is plenty of room for more than one person doing the same work so I should just get over it.
I could be totally or somewhat wrong here ... but here's my nickel.

A. No, it is not a "free world." Some people use this as a justification for doing whatever they please.

B. It is a great idea ... your great idea. Your friend, by taking your idea and running with it, is telling you that she has no respect for you. She places her self interests over you and your friendship.

C. Is there really plenty of room? Has your friend conducted a market analysis? Either way it really doesn't matter ... this is just another justification for trampling over you.

D. Just get over it. I really hate that phrase. Translation = screw you!

However, no matter what you do ... keep her as a friend or drop her ... you are still going to have to come to terms with your feelings about this and move on with your life.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:15 PM   #9
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I think your friend showed some really poor judgement, and certainly wasn't acting like a very good friend!

I had a friend who had a great business idea, and I watched her struggle through it. I even helped her set up websites and figure out how to do shipping and things like that. I was dying to do it myself, because I know I could have done a great job at it, but it was her idea, so she deserved to give it a shot. Eventually it got so successfull it became too much work to do as a sideline and she shut it down. But that whole time I never once considered jumping in and COMPETING with her! Dang, come to think of it, I should start it up again myself

I'm afraid no matter what you choose to say to your friend, she has made her own bed. You probably won't ever trust her the same way again. That's my nickle!
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:39 PM   #10
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Well, I find myself at odds with the crowd once again.

I recall reading an inteview with a silicon valley venture capitalist back when the dotcom boom was booming. He said that when an entreprenuer insisted on a signed confidentiality agreement before revealing his new business idea, he knew that he was dealing with a green-as-grass business amateur.

He said, and I agree, that any idea that occurs to one entreprenuer has already been thought of by someone else, probably many someone elses. What he looked for was not a completely original idea (because there were almost none) but the ability and will to carry a good idea through. Execution is the key to success, not originallity.

The world is full of dreamers (and doubters- usually in the same skin at different times.) What is rare is the person who can see an idea through. Just cooking up a pitch does not constitute "intellectual property." While that phase has a legal meaning trying to apply it here is completely out of place.

So I say yeah, get over your cheap self. If you think you have what it takes, just do it. Your friend either has what it takes or doesn't, too. But I think the fact that your friend, who knows you better we do, in effect estimated that you were more show than go speaks volumes.

Prove your friend wrong if you choose to, but don't whine about how an idea was "stolen" from you.
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobechs
Well, I find myself at odds with the crowd once again.

Prove your friend wrong if you choose to, but don't whine about how an idea was "stolen" from you.
The original post was "whining" more about being betrayed by a friend, than having something stolen. I think most people would agree that a friend taking something you consider to be yours, even if it is just an idea, is a pretty crappy thing for a friend to do.
If I met someone on the street, and mentioned I had an idea for a DVD rewinder, and a few months later that person introduced such a thing, I would have no one to blame but myself. If I mentioned the same thing to someone I considered to be a good friend, and they did an end run around me, and took over my idea, I would feel pretty raw. It would be a (very) long time before I ever trusted that person again.
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:21 PM   #12
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Overlander63, I have a Phillips DVD player. I can't find the rewind button, and the dang video store keeps charging me a rewind fee. I hope your gadget goes to market before I go broke.
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:24 PM   #13
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Overlander63, I have a Phillips DVD player. I can't find the rewind button, and the dang video store keeps charging me a rewind fee. I hope your gadget goes to market before I go broke.
http://www.dvdrewinder.com/
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:54 PM   #14
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I would run her down with my Airstream and beat her about the head with my new DVD rewinder.

She isn't a friend and life isn't fair. The plan would be for me anyway, to out do her in the market place. She obviously dosen't have heart and she is looking out for #1. My opion, for what it is worth, is in todays growing markets I believe the key is turnig to service vs making the fast buck. Without heart and a keen eye for the needs of your customers you won't survive the long haul. Welcome the compition and remember the old saying "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer". Turn about is fair isn't it. Spy on her.

Best of luck, Gary
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