Compete Agreements

By Jon Saints - 09 Nov 2015

There are two reasons I think companies might be better off abolishing non-compete agreements:

  1. From what I hear, they are difficult/impossible/expensive to enforce
  2. Wouldn’t employees be much more likely to bring the next big idea to a company if they were not worried about being sued for pursuing the idea on their own later?

Imagine companies signed Compete Agreements with employees instead of Non-compete Agreements. Compete Agreements grant both parties the right to pursue the idea. They could be structured something like this (For legal effect, I’ll throw in lots of extra “therefors” and “here-bys”):

Dear Employee, We value your ideas and input. In fact we believe they are some of the most valuable contributions you can make to our company. We therefor grant you exclusive rights to any idea your bring to work. You grant us the same. If you have a great idea for the next startup, we would be honored if you brought it to work and tried it out here. We have resources and the experience to help you get off the ground. We could profit together by making it happen here. If the startup doesn’t work within the walls of our company, feel free to pursue the idea outside of our company. We grant you full rights to pursue the idea in any way you choose. You grant us the same. Thanks for even considering bringing your idea to us, we appreciate it deeply. May the best startup win.

Non-compete agreements encourage employees to keep their ideas at home.

A compete agreement would encourage employees to bring their best ideas to work. Imagine that.

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