When does an idea become a project? When does a project become a product? When does a product become a business?
You won’t know any of this unless you get your ideas out there and start to interact with the people you are trying to serve. This is why you need mentors, and its also why NDAs are stupid. How is your idea going to grow if you don’t get it out there? Obscurity is the enemy of creatives, not “stolen” ideas. If it’s all about the execution, the protection instinct isn’t going to help you. It’s actually going to slow you down. You won’t learn fast enough if you’re not interacting with your audience.
It’s also why Net Neutrality is so important. Today’s best ideas can travel node to node across the network, gaining power with each leg. Making the Internet pay-to-play is a form of protectionism too, and if we let this happen, we can say goodbye to innovation itself.