Me and my brother have an idea for a brand new product that would solve one widespread problem among the smartphone users.

But due to the fact that we don’t have required resources and opportunities to make that idea come to life, I’ve contacted the company that might be interested in my idea and would be able to realize that project.

I described the problem to the and explained how my product would be able to solve it and have provided its advantages over devices that perform the same function. The COO of the company has to replied me and wants to discuss that idea together and ensured me that it would be under NDA.

Since I don’t have any prototype of my device but only the pictures of its appearance and full explanation of the mechanism, what can I ask in exchange of my idea to them? I don’t have experience in such things.

As a graduate I want to offer them my idea in exchange for a chance for me and my brother to work for their company and some percentage from the sales in case they decide to produce it.

Does it sound possible? Should I include my conditions in the NDA? And what type of NDA should I use then?

I can’t afford attorney to help me with my occasion, but I hope that I will be able to get advice from you guys.

  • @JoeStrazzere: That's an answer, not a comment, and it's a shame you didn't put it as an answer because I would've upvoted it.
    – Jim G.
    Jan 26, 2016 at 2:11
  • 2
    I'm sure I've seen a question like this before (IIRC about a software product), but questions containing 'idea' gives 60 pages of search results. BTW Don't write questions that are a wall of text (you can still edit it)
    – user8036
    Jan 26, 2016 at 10:22
  • In your title you imply you want a job, but in your question it's more geared toward marketing a product. Choose which one you want. If you want a job, sell your labor as services, using your ideas as selling points. If you sell only your idea, and it doesn't pan out, then you're out of a job.
    – Brandin
    Jan 26, 2016 at 12:28
  • This is probably better asked on Law SE than here. Can you do it, sure if the company agrees, but that does not really protect you from being let go immediately\ Jan 27, 2016 at 20:43

3 Answers 3


Probably not. Ideas are a dime a dozen; the value is in executing them. If you have a patent to market that might be a different matter, but even there it's more likely to help your job search because it looks good on your resume than as part of an explicit deal.

My father screwed himself over bigtime by making exactly this mistake with his invention. He wanted to be involved in how the device was marketed. Potential buyers were interestedin the device but not in him... and a concept which could have seen him become moderately wealthy instead resulted in his going broke.

If you want to sell the idea, sell the idea. If you want to stay involved with it, launch a start-up instead, or make that a seperate transaction.

  • Neat advice (+1). Tried to comment under here with some more of my views, but it became too big, so I wrote an answer of my own :)
    – Dawny33
    Jan 26, 2016 at 9:25

Well, as a fellow entrepreneur, let me tell you that you are doing everything wrong here. And here's why:

what can I ask in exchange of my idea to them?

The best you can get out of this would be: You can maybe ask them to recruit you to lead a research team centering around that particular product. But, that is highly impossible as you only have the idea and plan for execution, and definitely no Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or product prototype, so they can't definitely trust you to lead a team.

You can't even ask them for money. If the idea is really spectacular, then you might be getting several ten(wait, make it hundreds) times less that you'd actually make by making the product yourself.

Well, you don't even have a patent too. And all this NDA thing looks like they are willing to buy that idea and would pay you to stay calm about it.

As a graduate I want to offer them my idea in exchange for a chance for me and my brother to work for their company and some percentage from the sales in case they decide to produce it. Does it sound possible?

Not possible. Why would anyone hire grads to lead a team in the company?

For claiming sales from the product the company develops from the idea, then you need to patent your idea.

So, don't screw up, and patent the idea before even signing the NDA. And negotiate like a pro.

Friendly advice as a fellow founder:

If you really believe in your idea and believe you can make a successful business out of it, then try to scrape money together, just enough to build an MVP and nothing more.

And then, attend startup events and meet investors. In that way, you'd be far more successful than selling the idea off to a bigger company and watch them destroy it.

  • 1
    I agree with you. The OP needs to secure the rights to his idea, not just hand it over and watch other people get rich off of it. How many people go through life with no such spark of brilliance ever occurring to them? That sort of thing needs to be valued, as you may only ever get the one.
    – AndreiROM
    Jan 28, 2016 at 15:08

You might try startups.stackexchange.com

Companies want people committed to a product. A large company would not be as likely as a small.

You would not negotiate purchase or employment terms in an NDA.

But on percentage be aware you are not going to get more than a few %. Don't come in asking for 10% of gross. And don't accept net and they can take a log of leeway on what is cost.

A buddy of mine had an idea for a ski rack and got a job and piece of the action. Problem he had was he demanded VP and he was not a VP performed and they just let him go and the end of his 3 year guarantee.s

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