[Gunning Fog Score: 9.4]
Over a decade ago, I worked on a project idea that I liked. I had the support of several interested businesses who confirmed they would be my first customers. I needed to create the prototype and test it with my first customers.
First, I needed help. I could handle the tech side, but I wanted help with the business and operation side. I then contacted another “trusted friend,” or TF for short, to set up a meeting to see if they would help me. Seeing “trusted friend” in quotes is a forewarning here.
I had a good relationship with TF. TF was a couple that ran a business that assisted other new companies with similar needs that I needed. They had good relations with the Expatriate community.
I met with TF at a coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh City. TF seemed very interested in the project and asked me several questions. TF wanted to know how I intended to build the prototype and which platform I would choose. TF then asked about potential businesses that are already interested.
Those already running businesses just saw the mistake that I made right here.
TF mentioned that they were too busy to get involved in a new project. TF then wished me luck and left the coffee shop.
A year later, TF launched the project using the same platform I discussed using the same businesses I discussed at the meeting.
That was when I realized that I gave a “trusted friend” my startup idea without evening knowing it.
I will not discuss what happened afterward, but I did sever ties with many “trusted friends.” It was a moment that helped me become less naive about business.
It was a moment that I can now share with people who also want to be entrepreneurs. As entrepreneurs, we tend to get excited about our ideas and want to tell the world. Well, unfortunately, many well-known examples should warn us against doing this.
I never saw TF again after the meeting. The developed friendship with a “trusted friend” vanished after meeting in the coffee shop.