Fan Questions

Eddie –

Once you have an idea and a portfolio made up for it, how do you make sure that the people you present it to do not reject you and then steal your idea. How can you prove it is yours?

Steve Davis

Steve –

How do you keep them from stealing your attraction idea from your portfolio? You really can’t. If someone really wants it, they change it a bit and take it. In fact, when I was at WDI, I wasn’t even allowed to look at submitted ideas for projects without legal approval, which they almost never granted. Other companies are less restrictive and allow you to pitch things as long as you sign something. From their perspective, what if you show something they have already thought of? And are considering? Then they are trapped by you. Thus the no look idea.

Don’t make your portfolio about selling a particular idea, but rather selling you, your approach to design and thought process, talent, versatility and skill. Use examples of experience you have, hypothetical designs etc. perhaps something that is less treating to the client you are showing. If they hate the ride idea you are showing, and it’s all about that concept, then their distaste for the specific idea may overshadow your talent in general, and may sour the whole thing.

My experience has always been that I don’t care if they steal it as I’ll give them a free idea as the price of admission or as the means of showing what I can do. You don’t have to give it all away either. Give them the gist without all the detail. The “free idea” is really a means to show you and your ability to generate and execute many ideas, not a particular concept. Most people never execute their ideas anyway, so there is little actual threat. The industry is not used to buying ideas per say, and so don’t set yourself up for that expectation.

This is still a “chicken and egg” thing as how do you show how creative you are if they cannot look at it? That is difficult at best in some companies, but then show examples of how you create on a stage, or a product or a parallel industry. Just your art in many genres is helpful too. Maybe the park would accept a list of enhancements or improvement suggestions that you have seen in their park? That may be less of a new idea, just a way of showing your point of view.

I hope this wasn’t too confusing as every company has a different filter for ideas and pitches.

– Eddie Sotto

CEO Sotto Inc.

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