Coming Up With Business Ideas

How to Redeem 'Stolen' Ideas

Written by Charles Mburugu for Gaebler Ventures

Have you ever had a fantastic idea and then later you saw someone else acting on it? Even more baffling is when you told no one about the idea, and yet someone thought of the same thing and acted on it before you could. How do you redeem such a situation?

It is very painful to see someone else making progress with your idea. However, this should not make you quit on entrepreneurship. There are several ways to salvage the situation.

How To Redeem Stolen Ideas

Be determined to take action

The most painful thing about seeing someone else acting on your idea is realizing that, if you had been proactive, you could have done so too. Probably you had a tight schedule and you decided to shelve the idea for a while, or you were not sure about your ability to so it well. In the process, someone else spotted the opportunity and grabbed it.

The first thing to do is to acknowledge that you could have done better, and being determined to do better next time round. While it's not possible to act on each single idea you have, you can make an effort to take even small steps to the really great ideas. Keep in mind that consistent small actions add up to great results.

Take a different angle

Even though someone acted on your idea, it is likely that they did not do it in the exact same way you would have. Consider different angles with which you could approach the same idea. This especially applies to information products, because each topic has so many facets. Be open-minded and think of unique perspectives and opposing views you can use to twist the idea and present it in a fresh way.

Make it bigger and better

Think about how to build on your original idea and enlarge it. Think about successful sequels to best-selling books. Think about modifications and improvements that could polish the idea and elevate it to new levels of success. Consider innovative marketing tactics that could have a significant impact on the popularity of your idea or product. Whatever you do, never limit yourself. Eliminate your doubts and keep aiming for higher goals.

The truth is that there are a limitless number of ideas in the air waiting to be tapped. If you open your mind, a few good ones are likely to fall in. Start keeping an idea journal where you can record good ideas as they come. Participate in brainstorming sessions frequently and see if you can hatch more ideas, or upgrade the ones you already have.

Create an elaborate plan for the first ideas you want to work on, so you won't feel confused or overwhelmed by how to proceed. A wise way of going about this is to think about the end-result you want to achieve, and then working backwards. What are the action steps necessary to achieve the outcome? List these steps and arrange them in a sensible order of progression. The result will be a detailed roadmap towards success.

Finally, begin taking action! If it means sparing only 15 minutes daily, you will feel more fruitful and make sure progress on your tasks. Take one step at a time, and within no time, you will be basking in the glory of your success, while someone else kicks themselves and says, "Hey, that was MY idea!"

Charles Mburugu writes for us from his home in Nairobi. He has a graduate degree in Business Management from Kenya Institute of Management. He is interested in writing about branding, CSR and intellectual property.

Share this article

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


Business Glossary


Conversation Board

We greatly appreciate any advice you can provide on this topic. Please contribute your insights on this topic so others can benefit.

Leave a Reply

Questions, Comments, Tips, and Advice

Email will not be posted or shared
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code

Problem Viewing Image? Load New Code