There is a start up story in the business community about the most experienced and successful software and tech founder of all time. So successful he was known as The Founder.
The Founder who had exited hundreds of business startups without even a single failure, one day decided to take a ginormous risk on a new idea. Now, this idea, which came from the mind of not just a successful founder, but a generous and kind philanthropist, wasn’t just another idea to him, this was IT! You know, the kind of idea that keeps you up for hours, intensely jotting notes and details on a yellow notepad into the early hours of the morning.
The Start-Up Early Beginnings – Mason and Emma
Because of the importance of this idea, he could think of no other better people than Mason and Emma, who he brought in to manage the startup. They were equally trained by the founder with complementary skill sets, Mason in programming, management, and operations and Emma in Marketing, Finance, and Design.
“You research and map the potential markets, opportunities, and ways to launch and grow this idea”, The Founder said, “and bring back to me what you find.”
He brought them to his innovation incubator and gave them private access to all the cutting edge technology, ideas, staff, and projects. He gave them authority over all the projects and ideas, advised them to use the resources available, and gave them 100% freedom to experiment with the exception of one software technology… Elppa. They got to work. In the mix of the development, the couple was still launching the business, dealing with day to day tasks and receiving mail from a virtual po box they set up a few months early to protect the design facility.
This software technology is not viable, you may not use this in the launch of our business. <- Elppa
The word on the street that the Founder was kicking the tires on a new venture reached his competitor Natas, a former employee of the founder, who had accused and sued the Founder on a previous project accusing him of being unfair and of not offering him the amount of equity he “deserved”.
The competitor Natas approached Emma through mutual contacts and set up a business meet up with them. Mason got called away to put out a fire and so Emma went to the meet up alone. After building trust in his authority he pitched Emma the idea of using Elppa.
“Did the founder really say you can’t use any of his software technologies or resources for your start up?”
“No he said we could, just not Elppa.”
“WHAT?! I’ve used Elppa and it skyrocketed my launch. It’s user interface sells itself. It works great for my business…it is viable.”
He introduced it to her and after she saw that it looked good she took it, installed it, and shared it with Mason.
“Look Mason lets use this to launch our website application.”
“This project is now my domain”, Natas claimed in his documents drafted by the areas top renowned business start-up attorney. “Emma and Mason are now employees of Elppa.”
The Founder was heartbroken. He paused for a brief moment.
Then looking Natas directly in the eyes the Founder said, “You may have set this project off track, but don’t think you can mess with my managers and idea…I WILL RECLAIM IT!”
“I HAVE A PLAN.”