Sean needs to learn a couple of things:
- You can't patent ideas.
- Ideas are worthless, it's all about the execution.
- NDAs are worthless and not common in the tech/startup industry.
- Don't pitch an obvious idea to a potential executor.
- Be careful with accusations. Foursquare didn't steal anything.
Can't make more +1 to this. I wish this world wake up and see ideas can't be stoped, controlled or owned.
This right here! All win.
Of course you can patent ideas, that's the very definition.
But he didn't go through the process of doing that.
He could have also copyrighted the name, if it was a legal entity, and he would have had some legal backing to his claim.
"Unfortunately, despite what you may have heard from late night television, satellite radio commercials or snake oil salesmen, there is no effective way to protect an idea. Copyrights protect expression and patents protects inventions, and neither protect ideas."
Haha this guy is funny. 4 years to do wireframes and a landing page? C'mon dude.
You could've learned Objective C at a high level and some modern web stacks and had it built and shipped BY YOURSELF in 4 years.
This is definitely one of the funniest post i've read this year. Wake up Sean, Ideas are just "ideas". You either grab it or dismiss it. You didn't have “cojones” to go through with it, you sold your domain and now you complain that Foursquare stole it from you.? C'mon!!!
Based on Foursquare's blog post, people are already using Foursquare to do things that can be accomplished on this "new Swarm app". Therefore the Swarm from Foursquare is not exactly a new idea but just a new brand.
If anything, Foursquare saw the branding potential of the name "Swarm" so they decided to buy it. The OP didn't seem to be deeply attached to the name and sold it without knowing why.
Pretty sure the 'swarm' branding idea has actually been a part of foursquare for quite some time... (in the form of badges)
Also, the way I understood the release was that the Swarm app is basically what people know as foursquare today (checking in and the social stuff as far as where your friends check in, etc.) and the Foursquare app will become more yelp-like.
He took 4+ years to get his product ready and is complaining that the leading company in the same space "stole" his idea.
They seem to have stolen the domain, sure. Well, though luck, get a new one.
They bought the domain, and he gave the tumblr account away for free.
Indeed, nothing was stolen, I meant it in the sense that he felt tricked by them.
Yeah. He didn't realize what he had.
Based on the wireframes and initial work, if he got a good price on the domain, he probably made a pretty good return!
I don't see any stealing here.
People are responding to this as if the guy had an original idea with the usual "ideas are cheap, execution is everything" lines.
Yes, but from the wireframes it looks like he designed foursquare. I can't tell what's different. At all. To top it all off he used a word which is heavily associated with the Foursquare experience.
I keep forgetting to tell everyone I invented sliced bread... silly me
Didn't they just launch a Kickstarter project for the same idea? https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/734008586/swarm-a-new-way-to-gather-your-friends
the landing page, created November 20, 2012, links to a Facebook page created April 14th, 2014.
Nothing stolen. They paid him fair and square for the domain. If he had confidence in his idea, he would have kept that. Good names, and especially good names with a reasonable domain name are hard to come by. Plus, they didn't sign an NDA, and you can't patent an idea, so if he disclosed anything it was his own fault.
I think the best outcome for this dude would be to squeeze a little more money for the domains, that's about it.
unless he was "tricked" and they bought the domain for cheap then go and make millions he MIGHT have a case
If you sell something for what you think it's worth, than you don't have any reason to complain when your buyer values it much more than what you sold it for. You got what you want for it, which should make you happy. Foursquare did not "trick" anyone in this case. And it's not the domain name that makes Foursquare millions, that's only a little part of their overall business. The real value of a domain name is about $15. All higher values are subjective. The value of the Mona Liza painting is the cost of its paint and canvas to some, but millions to someone else. There is no right or wrong here.