On Quora a while ago, I answered the question which forms the title for this blog post. Below is the answer I gave unedited with typos. This question actually has the most views ever for a Quora question which I have ever answered.
You can do two things:
- Go ahead and begin working on the startup.
- Don’t start the startup or tell anyone about the concept because you fear it will be stolen.
Fear of your idea being stolen is simply a fear of something much deeper, that is a fear of rejection.
Two set of people exist: those who talk and those who act.
Far more people talk about what they want to do than those who act. Its only a few people who would take your idea and try and work on it. Even then, almost no one can have the same passion you have to make your startup idea work.
Another way to look at it is that in order to make your startup idea feasible, you must tell people so you can get feedback. No matter how much you think you have your idea refined, such refinement is usually made up of assumptions and simplifications. Its only feedback from people that can make your idea better and bring it closer to success.