Every great business idea comes with equal risks and consequences if not appropriately protected, and how to protect your app idea is no different concern in the digital world.
In the 1st part, we talked about the different types of security approaches that businesses can use to protect their app ideas from theft and misuse. In this article, I’ll specifically walk you through the steps you need to take in order to achieve the goal.
Related content: How to Protect Your App Idea—Part 1
How to protect your app idea
Even though each project come with its own requirements, scope, and deliverables, but the basics remain the same on how to play safe and keep your idea from being nicked in the market.
Let’s indulge in the actual steps and methods you could use to protect your app idea and proceed onto the actual development of your product.
Only share selective information
Easily, one of the foremost things you need to stay aware of is the amount and type of information you’re sharing with someone regarding your business or app idea.
Yes, you need to explain your app idea to investors and developers to get their vote of confidence, but going into the technical and strategic minutiae is something you need to think twice before presenting.
In short, the less you reveal about your idea, the less the likelihood of someone nicking it. Hence, carefully select the people to attend your presentation, and more importantly, the details you’ll explain regarding your application.
Work with reliable partners
If you don’t plan to create your app by an in-house team for whatever reason, you’ll need to hire an external resource or a professional development agency. A decision which requires the business owner to work with well-known individuals or agencies.
However, prior to approaching someone, make sure you shortlist the best names possible. Conduct a thorough exercise by examining the companies’ website, portfolio, client testimonials, online reviews and feedbacks, etc. in order to gain valuable insights about their work and reputation.
In doing so, you get to know if a company fits your budget, project scope, and overall business needs or not.
The third party or company will own the code once the app is created. Hence, preparing an agreement is crucial that states all the copyrights of the app and its source code will be transferred back to you once the app is developed and deployed in the app stores.
Create NDA agreements
An NDA, Non-Disclosure agreement, clearly states that everything agreed between the two parties working together will stay confidential and protected from external authorized access.
NDA adds an added layer of security let it be for outsourced contractors, consultants, associates, clients, freelancers, or potential investors. Still, NDAs doesn’t commit a 100% safety of your app idea, you need to have other things in line as well.
Keep in mind that some investors might not be up for an NDA, in such cases, you can include a confidentially clause in your business plan when pitching to potential investors as a heads-up.
Employ the non-compete agreement
A Non-Compete clause is an internal agreement which mandates the employees from not sharing the app idea and associated confidential information to the company’s direct competitors.
Moreover, it also restricts people, who are working on your project, from contributing in any other project that is closely associated with your idea as a direct competition.
At the same time, non-compete agreements need to be carefully made as they could greatly discourage stakeholders from taking your future projects after they’re done working with you. In short, the agreement is preferred when it adds a reasonable time frame.
This is why it is always advised to consult a lawyer to prepare a non-compete agreement and avoid future legal complications.
Invest for your security
The security element joins in the moment you start writing the first lines of your code. Nevertheless, a strong architecture of your app makes it difficult from getting stolen. If your mobile app complies with all the updated security guidelines provided by the app stores, you can rest assured that your idea is safe.
Obviously, after weeks of doing rigorous competitive analysis, writing and discarding numerous problem statements, and understanding the target audience needs and specifics, the last thing you want is to someone steal your brilliant, game changing idea.
There are a number of steps you can take to secure your app such as reviewing the app’s login page and input fields, adding encryption, etc. (that’s a separate discussion we’ll have in the future content)
Every use and activity that your app will be put to, needs to be penned down officially. No matter how small or insignificant a detail might look, make sure all of it is documented. Remember, you never know when your business’s due diligence is done and legal issues arise out of nowhere.
Document the app’s entire code, brainstorming sessions, and all the meetings you had with relevant project stakeholder like developers, consultants, investors, marketing personnel, etc.
Try to keep a separate log for every discussion or meeting you had related to your app idea or project. This will help you keep close tabs, in case any information is leaked in the future.
Register domain and social media names
Securing your domain names and social media profiles are important assets of your protection measures. The trick is to buy your chosen domain name early, before any of your competitors comes up with the same name in future and decide to sue you over ownership issues.
Importantly, do note that purchasing a .com isn’t enough, but you also need to acquire following extensions like .org, .net, etc. to claim complete ownership over your domain name (you can check out more than 280 domain extensions through online available resources).
Do the same thing for social media as well by creating pages with your business or app’s official name and logo.
How to protect your app idea when hiring a development company?
Whenever a client approaches us for their mobile app development project, we sign them an NDA before commencing with the actual proceedings.
All your confidential company and project information will be secured after signing the mutual agreement.
This completes our 2-part guide on how to protect your app idea when all eyes are out there to exploit any opportunity rising in the industry.
Therefore, working with the right service provider and taking care of all the prerequisites we talked throughout the guide is essential if you’re to keep your app idea safe and intact.
Imran Abdul Rauf is a Digital Marketing Strategist, employed at CMOLDS, and specializes in content marketing, email marketing campaigns, lead generation, and other aspects of digital marketing. A content enthusiast by the day, and hardcore gamer by night, Imran is also a regular guest contributor at some of the top tech and digital marketing platforms.