I know this is your life’s work. I know you have everything you own and ever hope to own tied up in it. I know the thought of having it stolen from you at this point in the game is beyond terrifying. But, there is only one way to guarantee that your idea will not be stolen – that is to never share it with anyone. Unfortunately, that precludes you from ever bringing it to market.
Eventually you are going to have to take the risk and let the cat out of the bag. I know it can be terrifying, but what is your other choice? Just be smart about it. Don’t reveal it publicly (as we have discussed), be careful who you show it to, get all the intellectual property protection you can, get non-disclosure documents signed when you can, then take it out of the bag. It is the only way.
Even when you have what you might think is ironclad protection, another company may chose to take the risk of blatantly violating your patent. Do all you can do to minimize that risk, but it’s just part of the game. Your other choice is guaranteed to end in failure. And remember, time is working against you, so don’t delay lest your invention becomes part of the public domain (someone else reveals it), obsolete, or someone else patents it while you are wondering what to do.