I have been attending Protospiel for almost a decade in the Ann Arbor area. It's less than a hundred designers in a ballroom. Most of them are seasoned enough that they know better than to talk about intellectual property. Then, three years ago, I attended my first Unpub in Baltimore. Every non-gamer I spoke to on that trip, upon finding out why I was there, immediately brought up non-disclosure agreements and intellectual property protection. This treats ideas as the important part.

What I went there to sell was not "ideas". Ideas are the most fun part, but ideas are abundant and low value. Bafflingly, in a community where almost everyone knows better, the intellectual property protection fallacy arose multiple times during Q&A sessions in the panel discussions. Every panelist shut it down quick. Chant it with me now.

"Ideas are abundant and low value."
"Ideas are abundant and low value."
"Ideas are abundant and low value."

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Work, follow-through, and quality execution, is everything. As I said in a panel discussion at last year's Penguicon, a board game designer who thinks their idea is the valuable part will tend to give up when it gets boring. If you talk about an NDA in front of a publisher, you signal to them that you won't see it through.

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