Recently I had a telephonic chat with a prospect and he was a non technical guy who does not know anything as to how a mobile application or a web application works or gets developed. He told me that he wants to meet but will not share anything much about the idea as he is fearful I might steal it. I was perplexed and kind of offended but then he told me his reason:

He had 2 ideas stolen by 2 different freelancers and 1 freelancer never got back
I was zapped. What? And even after he had got an NDA signed by them? Yes, even after an NDA.
So, what happened.

  1. Freelancer 1 met him and got the full gist of the idea. He said no to the prospective client as it was not possible, the reason he gave. My prospective client got to know after 6 months that the an app in the app store is available which does exactly the same thing which he thought of and after some detective work, he got to know that Freelancer 1 is behind that.
  2. Freelancer 2 met, discussed but said that it is not possible as there are many government permissions needed to build that app and what not. My prospect finds that after 1 year there is a same service in the market which he thought of.
  3. Freelancer 3 met, discussed and never got back. He continued to follow up or call Freelancer 3 but he never picked the prospective cliet’s call or reply to emails.
    This is bad. This experince burnt his fingers and he swears he will never ever share the ideas with anyone till he is convinced that the person is genuinly not out to steal his idea.
    I told him that I need to know something to suggest him what needs to be done but he remained skeptical. I have decided to meet him and lets see what comes out of that meeting.
    But to make something clear about my self:
    I have not and never will share your idea with someone else or steal your idea from you as I am not that person. I don’t plan short term, I plan long term. I am not greedy like that person who would kill a golden goose. I want my clients to trust me and keep coming back to me for long time.
    But the point is no matter how much I say that I am a good person or I won’t do anything bad to my client or prospect, I do get weighed on the same balance. I do get bad looks as I am a freelancer and other freelancers have tainted this term with their bad reputation.
    Freelancers, please stop it. Have some work ethic. Give good returns to your clients. Don’t break their trust. Give good returns to even the prospective clients so that they come back to you to get more work done.