Your idea is not ‘that’ important
It is always a blessing when people approach me who have indicated an interest with wanting to collaborate. I always make an attempt to help other startup entrepreneurs whenever I can.
Recently I was speaking with a SME (subject matter expert) on the development of a SaaS solution to a common commercial industry problem that others where servicing with a thick client application (circa 1995). Being ripe for disruption we chatted for a bit. Though this individual had a strong background in their industry they were new to concepts such as customer and product development. Soon after our conversation I was asked to sign a one way NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement).
Here are my thoughts on startup ideas:
William Fielding Ogburn was a statistician and an educator. Ogburn was well known for his theory of social change he offered in 1922 where he inventoried 148 examples of simultaneous meaningful discoveries (things that were truly innovative that separate people came up with at the same time) and formulated a theory that technology is the primary engine of progress.
I really like how Farkas Bolyai put it:
“When the time is ripe for certain things, they appear at different places in the manner of violets coming to light in early spring.”
So if multiple people can independently invent the telephone, chances are your idea is not as unique as you think. We know this to be true because in our natural vocabulary we make statements “It’s like YXZ app, but for stay-at-home moms“. If you insist your idea is new get a patent.
great ideas = A great team, enhancing an existing idea(s), at a better time