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to expect my best friend not to copy my business venture

(23 Posts)
freemilly Fri 27-May-11 15:15:48

My best friend lives overseas but we are still in touch as much as possible and she was over staying recently and we got on great. Around 3 months ago, I decided I wanted to set up a certain type of business and told her all the details. I was so excited about it and I still am. Around a month later she sends me a text saying that she has had a great idea of doing largely the same thing. I pretty much ignored it as these things come and go with her normally. But she's just been over to stay and has been saying how she has run some numbers on it etc and I'm just left a bit speechless really. Am I being unreasonable to expect that I can discuss my dreams with my best friend without a fear that she will then copy me? I would never ever in my wildest dreams do something like that to her. I know I can't stop her from doing anything and this will just eat me up but its making me feel sick. How can I stop myself feeling like this since its probably the only way I can help myself. By the way, I should add she lives overseas just now but is planning on either coming back over here or part of my plan is to set up over here and then do the same overseas (as I used to live there also - she followed me there).

EricNorthmansMistress Fri 27-May-11 15:29:33

Depends - is it a cupcake business? grin

She lives in another country. It probably won't affect you, but it's a bit out of order.

freemilly Fri 27-May-11 15:34:10

hahaha, no its not a cupcake business but maybe I should drop that one into the conversation and she can make a go of that. The thing is she may actually come over here and do it. Never mind my dream of doing it over there. I'm just gobsmacked. When she mentioned looking into it, I just laughed at her, as in surely you must be joking. Feel like I can't do anything about it now. Aaargh. Perhaps I should have a cupcake with lots of fairy dusting to calm my anger. grin

AccioPinotGrigio Fri 27-May-11 15:34:35

YANBU to feel sick about this. My dh is an artist and the number of fall outs we have seen over the years because some artist has 'nicked' the idea of another and made pots of money from it would make your hair curl. The lesson is, never discuss your ideas with your mates, particularly if those ideas have a commercial value.

I suggest you get the jump on her by getting up and running PDQ. Alternatively, could you collaborate? I know working with friends needs to be approached with caution but it may be one avenue.

OTheHugeManatee Fri 27-May-11 15:35:32

Are you selling twigs and pebbly shit? wink

freemilly Fri 27-May-11 15:37:53

Accio - sorry to hear your dh has the same experience. Surely though when its your very best friend, you should be able to share your excitement? You're right though, I need to get something concrete done asap although we need to sell our flat to get on with it which may take a little time. I wouldn't collaborate out of principle, why should I share with someone who has no qualms about being the person who take take takes.

MackerelOfFact Fri 27-May-11 15:39:24

It's pretty daft of her to set up as a competitor at the same time as you, but I guess if you're in different countries it shouldn't affect you too badly.

Could you not ask to have her on board and go into business together? If it's something that will work equally well in both countries then why not share some of the administration and overheads?

If it's something arty or crafty (card making, jewellery making, cake making etc) then the market is already totally saturated so one more competitor is not going to be problem - plus you will put your own mark on your products.

It does kind of depend on the business I think. I understand if you'd prefer not to say though.

FetchezLaVache Fri 27-May-11 15:48:12

With her being in another country, let's hope it won't affect you too badly. But YANBU. Fancy her saying she's had a great idea for a business! At least she could be honest and credit you with the idea- after all, if she'd come to you and said she thought your business plan was brilliant, would you mind her pinching it as your markets don't overlap, you'd no doubt have said yes, that's fine!

freemilly Fri 27-May-11 15:50:34

grin at Manatee

Mackerel - the thing is she already has a jewellery making business. She's a bit competitive but I didn't think she would be so outwardly competitive. When she sent me the text I actually said, 'oh you can't do that we'll be in direct competition' followed by 'think I'll set up as a jewellery maker type (insert sarcastic LOL)'

RockOnMrs Fri 27-May-11 15:56:21

If it's a unique business, i.e. the market isn't already saturated with competitors, I would be sending her an email detailing exactly how you intend to be setting up your business and where, when etc. Emphasize how you came up with the ideas etc, to prove that they were yours in the first place. If this doesn't shame her into giving up, nothing will. (Although she might steal all these further details for her own use too - is this likely?).

Unless the law has changed in the 15 years since I got my law degree, there's no copyright in ideas (although it might be worth consulting a lawyer to see if you can get your business plan protected in some way - no idea how though).

I'd also be questioning the entire friendship, tbh sad

It is rubbish that she has nicked your idea. I'd be mightily peed off too. YANBU. I hope your business venture works out for you smile

beesimo Fri 27-May-11 16:01:29

It would be a real shame if your friend stop you being a millionaire business woman.

This is a bit like when DD2 and her BF fell out over Justin Bieber my DD had a dream in which she met JB who fell madly in love with her after she saved him from drowning in a quarry pit (long story) and obviously she told her BF all about it.

Then BF said how strange I had exactly the same dream except I was there as well and JB fell for ME and your were our bridesmaid. The fall out lasted 2 terms they were mid teens how old are you and your friend?

bubblecoral Fri 27-May-11 16:05:52

I would be upset with someone who did this to me, and would not consider them to be a friend.

I would tell her why you're pissed off, then dump her.

BabyDubsEverywhere Fri 27-May-11 16:07:33

beesimo that had me in stitches, well done grin

MrsGaGaGo Fri 27-May-11 16:08:07

I would be well pissed off and I'd tell her so. But that's cause I say what I think. But if she lives that far away should it really matter? Could you not go onto business together?

tallulahxhunny Fri 27-May-11 16:10:42

why dont you just tell her how pissed you are at her being a copycat? how bloody childish? i have a friend like that too but thankfully its only food and decor she copies and not anything money making ! :\ it really pisses me off i hate to think what i would be like in your shoes

freemilly Fri 27-May-11 16:12:17

rockonmrs - it isn't an entirely new idea. Very few ideas these days are. But it is a different take on it and I think there is a gap in the market place. Not sure if I should say anything to her at this point or hope it all goes away. Its weird, I want to emphasis the fact it is my plan and tell her what else I am planning to do so she steers clear of it but then again she's most likely to incorporate anything further so best not to do that.

beesimo - I see what you're saying but JB just doesn't do it for me! We're both in our mid thirties and in a position where we can set something up. I've been thinking about things to do for a while, as has she. Hence the jewellery making. She has the option to do that on a large scale or go down this route or maybe she'll do both. I'm not loaded btw but we've decided to use the equity in our house as collateral.

Firawla Fri 27-May-11 16:14:54

If it was me I think I would have to say something to her

freemilly Fri 27-May-11 16:15:56

not sure I want to tell her how pissed off I am as she's a bit stubborn and it might make her more determined to do it. I really feel like she has talked herself into the fact that this is her idea. I'm thinking I'll wait and see if anything comes of it. If she does decide she wants to do it, I'll have to say something at that point. In the meantime, how do I stop it from eating me up?

beesimo Fri 27-May-11 16:18:51


DO NOT use the equity in your house as collateral I am not ill wishing you but you never gamble the homestead EVER!

PortPortBlacksand Fri 27-May-11 16:23:04

Is it something creative i.e. photography? That would piss me off massively i have to say....

...the only thing you can do is do it bigger and better tbh. The best revenge is living well - and all that.

tallulahxhunny Fri 27-May-11 16:29:53

if you cant pull her up on it then if i were you i would give her duff info, as in tell her things you know wont work but put them across as if they will etc, haha but then i am a bit of a bitch

TechLovingDad Fri 27-May-11 16:34:59

I don't think she's much of a friend, myself.

MrsGaGaGo Fri 27-May-11 16:59:25

Just make up a diff business idea let Miss Copycat copy it then you go back to your original idea. Methinks you need to play her at her own game. As for friendship, bollocks to it she doesn't sound like a friend to me.

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