This day and age just about everyone at one point in their life thinks "I have the next big thing, idea". It's just what happens, I doubt anyone aspires to work for someone their entire life. The problem is 10 years ago every idea was some sort of tangible product. Since the introduction of smartphones and apps, majority of ideas are app or technology related. The unfortunate part is that people constantly see the success of some of these start-ups with unrealistic valuations garnering millions of dollars in investments without any sort of exit strategy or anyway to generate revenue. These companies usually fail because of that or end up making a huge pivot and changing their modal completely. I want to try and help all the would be entrepreneurs not become one of those companies.
Intro to your start-up
Having a great idea is a great start but the idea is a small percentage of what it really takes to take your start-up to the next level. The first thing you have to do is expand your idea past the surface idea. What will drive people to use your business over what they're currently using? Once you have them, how are you going to keep them? In addition to that you have to put in some long term thought, if you're successful other people will start to make products similar to yours. You have to have a plan for what will keep you relevant and ahead of those other companies. On the subject of other companies building similar products, something that is very important to note is the difference of Copyrighting and Intellectual Property.
Keeping your idea yours
Back when our parents and grandparents started a company they would copyright or even patent their product. In 2015, with most new companies being in digital technology, its not nearly as much copyrights and patents as it is intellectual property. Unless your start-up involves an actual physical product copyrighting will not benefit you. Intellectual property is exactly what it sounds like, its basically copyrighting your idea. However, its not as simple as this is my idea and no one else can do it. One of my favorite quotes is from the movie "The Social Network" and it relates directly to intellectual property, also if you want some motivation you should watch this movie.
"A guy who builds a nice chair doesn't owe money to everyone who ever has built a chair"
This says a lot about how intellectual property works. What you cannot claim as intellectual property is "A social network for [insert demographic]" that is not intellectual property. What you can claim as intellectual property is an algorithm or something that is unique to your product, where Mark Zuckerberg seemingly got away with was the use of .edu for email accounts was your ticket in. That is in fact intellectual property and is why he had to pay an undisclosed amount of money. Moral of the story, if you don't have anything that can be claimed as intellectual property and is documented be careful who you share your idea with. The last thing you need to know which is probably the most important, if you have a technology based start-up (apps) and you're unfamiliar with that space, hire a professional.
Saving money can cost you money
I know that in the grand scheme of things when you send a request for a quote on developing your app and you receive a quote for 20K or more, that seems alarming. Yes, $20,000 is a lot of money to a individual, but you're not an individual, you're a company and yes at this point you're probably self-funding this entire project but this is where the people who believe in their project are separated from people who are just trying to get rich. If you're not passionate about your company, investors will see that and turn away because they're not investing in your company, they are investing in you.