As freelancers, we meet somewhere and chat about a new idea for a project, brainstorm etc. Up to this point, we have taken notes of the ideas, but we would like to be able to share more efficiently the ideas with each other. However, I fear that if I use some online product (such as Google Docs) these ideas could be seen by people outside the team (employees of the company of the online product, other users...). I am not sure if I am being a little Paranoid parrot...

One solution that we have considered is to install a Subversion with just one ideas.txt. But that would require a server in one of our houses, which is a little unconfortable.

So how do you share your ideas for a new project with your team without risking the ideas to be stolen?

  • Google docs or even drop box can be set up to be private, but I wouldn't put my process to turn lead onto gold on them, but I would list almost anything else.
    – Ryathal
    Jul 6, 2012 at 17:14
  • 3
    An idea cannot be stolen. Theft involves loss. If I steal your car, you no longer have your car. But I cannot take an idea away from you. An idea can be copied, but without a working implementation the idea is worthless anyway. Jul 6, 2012 at 18:38
  • This may be of interest to you - programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/33560/…
    – Anonymous
    Jul 6, 2012 at 19:07
  • 1
    If only it were that easy to get Google to adopt my ideas by discussing them with Google Docs.
    – JGWeissman
    Jul 6, 2012 at 19:16

2 Answers 2


You offer two basic choices:
1. Store ideas on a server you control.
2. Store ideas on a server you do not control (e.g., Google's)

I say that none of these matter. Do either 1 or 2, but encrypt the ideas document and send the key to the relevant freelancers via Sneakernet.


You are at a greater risk of the leak coming from a member of the group than you are through someone hacking, or snooping your document.

Ask yourself how much that document is worth with out the context of the group brainstorm? I know most of my working documents would not be worth the effort to figure out rather than just solve the problem myself. But with the context they are invaluable. So assuming your document was open to the world, unless you have the context it is likely worthless. If you put the document somewhere that keeps it away from all but determined eyes your risk is about as low as you can get it.

  • 2
    +1, Seriously - the security of Google Docs would be the least of my worries. Far more likely someone 'in the known' would accidently let the new idea slip someplace they shouldnt. Jul 6, 2012 at 18:37

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