chrisjchrisj — 2013-02-10T13:46:26-05:00 — #1
How can a small start-up hire independent workers, without turning them into competition?
Do non-compete contracts work? What can a small business person, with a low amount of capital, do to keep from getting zuckerberged?
sagewing — 2013-02-11T16:31:20-05:00 — #2
I'm not sure I understand your question. If your business is so easily repeatable that any of your contractors would immediately become competition, you need to develop a competitive edge. What, specifically, is your concern?
chrisjchrisj — 2013-02-20T12:34:05-05:00 — #3
I didn't say it was easily repeatable. But web sites can be copied. You could start a Facebook or YouTube clone tomorrow. The biggest strengths they have are that they are the largest. My concern is if I explain my concept/advantages to potential hires, to help me grow, how can I keep them from using a variation of my concept/advantages and competing while I'm trying to initially grow my business?
ted_s — 2013-02-20T12:53:47-05:00 — #4
Everyone is afraid that sharing their idea will give away the secret sauce and they'll be crushed the next day but it's not the idea that matters, it's the execution of it. Facebook was not the first social network, nor the biggest when it started and others were doing the same thing. Instagram launched long after photo sharing existed. They succeeded because they had the right implementation which is driven from their view, their belief, their passion of it... not the root concept.
And you can bet someone has the same exact idea now without ever knowing you so your fear should be moving, not sharing.
chrisjchrisj — 2013-03-03T11:06:27-05:00 — #5
Thanks for all the replies. Much appreciated. My idea isn't the most original idea ever dreamed-up, buy my intent is to at least try to stifle competition if possible.
How about this, an independent-subscontractor contract that states, essentially, roughly: "if, after being hired by me, you, or an affilate of yours, create a similar business, within X years, you agree that I am entitled to half of any proceeds/profit/compensation that is generated by that similar business." This might simply separate the workers I'd like to hire from the would-be competitors that I don't want to hire. I look forward to any feedback.
sagewing — 2013-03-03T12:17:39-05:00 — #6
The only most inexperience developers would sign something like that.
Even by worrying about this so much, you are essentially telling everyone that (unless your idea is that 1 on 1,000,000) you are amateurish, and by asking developers to sign a deal like that you are ensuring that they are amateurish, too!
chrisjchrisj — 2013-03-03T14:14:02-05:00 — #7
Thanks for your reply.
It's not for developers. The independent workers I want to hire would be like students, for example, looking for part-time work.
sagewing — 2013-03-03T14:41:54-05:00 — #8
If a student working part-time can steal your idea and somehow out compete you, you don't stand a chance anyways. Why not concentrate on succeeding rather than preventing problems that are unlikely to occur?
chrisjchrisj — 2013-03-04T12:49:08-05:00 — #9
Mark Zukerberg was a student (bill gates - student), the list goes on.
I am concentrating on suceeding. I'm looking to add help (independent workers).
ted_s — 2013-03-04T13:37:16-05:00 — #10
And Zuckerberg hired students to work for him. As did Gates, Dell, etc. It's not the idea, it's the execution.
You can certainly try and create some sort of non-compete but having an agreement and stopping someone are worlds [and a lot of money] apart. Non competes are not well liked in general and especially not in California where they are all but impossible for regular hiring. They're expensive to pursue, detrimental to hiring anyone good and the broader they are the less enforceable they become.