Hello I am Derrick,
I am an 18 year old student that just finished high school and I've had an idea of starting my own social media. I have had this idea for many years now and have been doing research and that is how I came across this site. I don't want it to be created before I create it and I feel like it's coming soon.
So, my problem is that I don't know how to code efficiently to create a site as strong as a Facebook or Twitter. I want to try and hire someone, but I don't know how that works. I don't want the person I hire to take my idea for him/herself. I also looked into those sites that create them for you, but I don't know what would happen if my site just happens to be a hit success.
Therefore, I am stuck between if I should just hold off till college and get someone or learn how to code further, or start now and hire someone to help me! I would like to start right now, I just don't want it to be stolen. I have already created designs in adobe software like photoshop and illustrator, and have logos, names, and what the pages consist of. I just need to make it happen, so how do I go about it?
TL;DR: How to go about starting and create my own social media website without the skill to code on my own, and how to keep the idea protected, so if I hire someone to code for me, they cant steal it?
P.S. Thanks for any help provided to me.
There are a number of pre-built social media platforms designed to allow people to quickly create their own social networks such as ning.com and Dolphin. The problem is that if your idea is truly unique, then these platforms probably won't have the tools you need to accomplish what you're looking to do.
I would suggest searching for a co-founder or perhaps multiple co-founders to join your team. There are sites like https://www.cofounderslab.com/ that will allow you to network with like-minded people with specific abilities and experience. Using this platform you could search for someone with relevant coding experience looking to take on a new project. You may be able to find someone willing to help build your product in exchange for equity ownership in your company.
Lastly, if you do have a truly unique idea you will want to protect it. Here is a link to a great article that walks through several steps you can take to help protect your idea/concept from employees, investors, and competitors: http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2013/11/18/7-simple-ways-you-can-protect-your-idea-from-theft/#b883b90707ee.
The truth is: there is a risk.
At some point, you have to trust that the people you surround yourself with will not take your IP to a competitor.
I doubt you will blindly add folks to your team without establishing a relationship with them first. This relationship is the basis upon which the trust is built.
Further, you can explain a concept and your idea without giving away the "secret sauce".
I've seen this exact scenario play out over and over (and over and over) -- the fear of taking the leap ultimately keeps founders from ever taking action. Years later, they are still afraid their idea will be stolen. Meanwhile, the market has shifted, someone else has come up with the idea, and that fear has stalled them.
Unless you have developed the magic potion for creating world peace, you have a limited amount of time before someone else conjures the same idea (or at least close enough).
Get out there and make your idea worth something -- until you do, your idea has zero value.
I understand the dilemma. I coached a gentleman that had a very similar situation and eventually opted to bring on a co-founder with adequate coding skills. This allowed him to focus on business strategy while his partner handled development of the site. There are several platforms that help you connect with potential co-founders, if you decide to go that route I would look into OneVest.
As far as protecting your idea, seek legal counsel and have a basic NDA on hand for your discussions. If you find a partner, you can throw in a non-compete that would protect you from him/her running off and competing with your platform. Best of luck.