I'm new to hiring freelancers for work. I'm having few ideas but I'm not sure what are methods/mechanisms available in freelance world to protect my ideas.

What is preventing a freelancer to listen to my idea and sell it to someone? Or work with me on my ideas to create code/architecture and share with others?

  • Fun fact: Ideas or often less unique an less valuable than you think. Execution is mostly the problem ... – Daniel Sep 6 at 9:03

Look up Non-Disclosure agreements.

These are agreements, with penalties, should any information you deem proprietary be shared with anyone.

  • Depending on the setup, you could add a non-compete agreement to that... – Daniel Sep 6 at 11:29

Interesting question! I'd like to repeat this oft-repeated quote about ideas in general:

Ideas aren't even worth dime a dozen, execution is all that matters.

Implementation of your idea isn't just about coding, a whole lot of other things matter too. Consider the idea of a Cab Booking App, for instance. Why do you think there are only a handful of successful apps like Uber, Ola, etc. even though there is so much scope and earning potential in this idea?

By your logic any freelancer who contributes to a Cab Booking Project can "steal" that idea and start a Cab business himself, isn't it? But enter the real world of implementation! Implementing that idea isn't that simple, you need to have all kinds of homework done to make that idea successful. In case of Cab booking business, for instance:

  1. Liaising with Cab unions, government agencies, etc. and getting required permissions.
  2. Social media marketing to find users who are ready to use your app.
  3. Performing necessary SEO to increase visibility of your app and website.
  4. Making all registrations and sign-ups on Play Store, Apple Store, Web Hosting, etc. and perform necessary arrangements for deployment.
  5. Preparing a team for integration-testing and Q/A (there are bound to be bugs in your freelancer's code!).
  6. Preparing a team for legal defense (there are bound to be repercussions from existing cab drivers in the region where you'll implement your app).
  7. Preparing a team of Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, etc. to manage your finances and administration.

Now, if a freelancer was able to do all the above on his own after taking the idea of a "Cab booking app", he wouldn't have been a freelancer in the first place and graduated to a CEO/CFO already!

  • Thanks. Well, I understood what you mention but no one will just throw their idea in public without understanding consequences... Even on Open source there is a licensing scheme available. My question is how this is handled in freelance world... – Sayan Sep 5 at 15:34
  • 1
    @Saya: Open source licensing is about the actual code, the idea you are mostly free to copy unless otherwise protected! As anything that is considered generally available to the public is not protectable and therefore excluded in any nda. – Daniel Sep 6 at 11:28

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