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I'm not exactly sure where this question would belong, but would love to hear some opinions about it.

Long story short, I came up with a way to integrate open-source Platform A with open-source Platform B (and other things, but the main point was the integration). I spoke to a company that has helped me to perform the integrations. They are specialists in Platform A, but had not used Platform B before.

The other day they contacted me to let me know that they are now offering a Version 2 of their own offerings which integrated Platform A to Platform B and would I like to purchase the use of it?

Then today I received an email from them in which another idea I talked to them about (and have been building) is now being incorporated into their V2 offer (and would I like to buy it at a discount).

So, what are your thoughts on this? I didn't set up an NDA with them, so they have not done anything illegal. However, it hasn't sat well with me. My thoughts on this are that they are taking my ideas, building them into their own products, and then offering to sell them back to me, while at the same time reducing my competitive advantage by commodifying my ideas for anyone to purchase.

Anyone have any thoughts?

  • What were you wanting to do with your integration between the platforms? Did you intend to sell it to users of those platforms? Is there any chance the company you talked to has the impression that you were doing the integration for in-house usage and not for sale? – Bart van Ingen Schenau Mar 9 at 11:36
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If you don't want the company gain your knowledge and ideas, you should not help them get it less tell it explicitly to them before you sell it yourself. From their pov they might actually think they are doing you a favour in now offering you a more polished (?) version of the solution with support.

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  • Thanks - your answer definitely gives them the benefit of the doubt, and they have been transparent about it, so it has not felt deliberately malicious. – ericgr Mar 6 at 16:34

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