Posted by msjane on 2008-05-13
Tags: Negotiation Disclosure
Many posts have brought up the risk involved in disclosure of ideas to possible investors. It's implied in most of these posts that the writer feels they have a property of some kind that is unique and vulnerable to duplication if news of its existence gets out.
A tempering argument against uniqueness is at
Mal Gladwell cites a sobering argument against eponymy, i.e., naming scientific advances after one person. It seems as if great ideas, are in fact, 10 cents for twelve.
Even though Gladwell argues that his -- and others'-- analysis won't hold up in the realm of "art" I can say that in personal experience, commonality still turns up.
Some time ago, a hotshot literary agent discovered my "notes" on an otherwise OK screenplay had enabled them to close a million dollar "spec" sale. He thought I was Rumplestiltskin and started shoveling (1500+) circulating scripts at me.
Alas, only 10 were worth any work at all. One writer alone was willing to go back and do some more work. What did turn up though, were clusters of themes. Cupid makes Venus a bet about making two unlikely mortals fall in love. A homeless person becomes wealthy. Etc. There were several groups. None of the writers knew each other.
So, protecting one's property is critical -- up to a point. Odds are, others are at work on something very, very similar.
Greed minus fear = deal.
Be prudent but get funded.