Thursday, March 06, 2008

Paranoia, and KNOWING there's sod all you can do

It's a bit of a rant, but with a glimmer of a sensible point inside.

I just had a gander at a major social enterprise award I entered yonks ago.

It is heading for the finals, so the publicity machine is well and truly out.

So I was checking the semi-finalists in the several categories to try and see what's 'in' and what's 'no-win' when it comes to judges and/or funders.

Now there were the usual highly local magazines and groups, which are fine, but often seem a stretch when it comes to the expandability and sustainability criteria that mostly, and sensibly (if more in theory than practice) get imposed.

But what brought me up short were two entries, which were pretty much exactly what I had put in as developments of in need, and worthy of support. Not brand new by any means, but with unique twists that really made them seem different. One in the area of reuse matchmaking and the other in car sharing.

Now it's all pretty academic, and of course any good idea can be matched and/or pipped by the same one.

But it did get me to wondering about the actual levels of protection and degrees of confidentiality one might need vs. get in such cases. You only go in for such things because you need help, but how often does one apply the same level of non-disclosure as one would to, say, an investor?

Tricky, as in most cases one is not talking a 'thing' that you can patent or trademark or copyright, and a good idea is only as good as you getting it to market first.

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