Interview w/ Google; tell them about my secret YouTube project?

I have an interview w Google (programmer)… very soon. I have a lot of experience under my belt in terms of personal projects and such.. but one thing that would be optimal to talk about during the interview would be this platform I built around YouTube that’s crowdsourced and makes it a million times better. I don’t want to say what it is because I currently have it down trying to decide if I should try to patent it. I just graduated and dont have 10k to throw at it.

But you know who does? Google. I’m afraid that if I tell them about the idea, and the intricacies and algorithms of my site and my bots, it’d be trivial to throw some lawyers on the patent and have some engineers clone it before my flight back home from the valley.

There is no need to talk about it, I have a million other big projects to talk about that demonstrate my skills. But part of me wants to..

If I tell them and they like it and believe in it as much as i do, maybe we could work something out. The other possibility is that i put the service back online and publicize it and it gets big and THEN they copy it.

Idk.. I might just do it. I think i’m better off exposing them to it. For all I know, they already know about it since (based on recording IP and tracing their location/owner) their bots crawled the shit out of my site when it was up for a few days.

Right now, the whole thing is devloped and sitting in my back pocket. I have a separate startup i’m working on at the moment.

What do you guys think? I should be willing to talk to them right? Who better to show than the people that own them. It’s like interviewing an oil company a few hundred years ago and telling them I made something that makes their oil rig a million times better.


  • No. Also, it would be a waste of your time to try to patent something based on someone else’s product.

  • You should tell them about it since it will likely help you land the job. You can’t patent a product that makes Youtube better since you don’t own Youtube.

    But, if Google is impressed enough with what you’ve done, they will most likely give you a job since they need great engineers and are always looking for them.

  • Holy cow the previous two commenters are giving bad advice!

    First when companies hire you they give you a “previous IP declaration” form. If you do not declare your YouTube killer code, only two things can happen. They find out and fire you for lying. You quit and pursue your YouTube killer and they sue you since they can claim you came up with the idea there since you did not declare it.

    Second. You ABSOLUTELY can patent an enhancement on someone else’s product. Companies do that all the time to thwart competitors products. If Google owns some patents on YouTube, you may not be able to build your enhancement without their IP, but you can absolutely get a patent and force YouTube to license your patent should they want to add those new features.

    I would suggest you decide if you want to pursue your YouTube killer on your own. If you want, I suggest you cancel the interview, or attend it and declare it IF they ask you (you don’t have to tell them anything until they ask/extend an employment offer).

    • They did not provide me with any “previous IP declaration” forms for the interview. As I would hate to have missed an opportunity to do something big with it by hiding it from them the one time I meet them, should I ask them for a IP form before my interview so that I can talk about it? I hope this isn’t like an NDA though.. im sure companies would be reluctant to sign that.

      • Actually the form only comes in when they’ve extended an offer to you. If your platform is already public then an NDA won’t protect you.

        Unless Google are crooked bastards they won’t be able to patent what you disclose to them since they’re not an inventor of the idea, and therefor can’t claim inventorship. If you talk about it openly with all their engineers, there’s a good chance they can’t scheme to patent it behind your back. HOWEVER it won’t prevent them from building it themselves.

        If you really are thinking of patenting but don’t have the money, you could look into something called a provisional patent application which gives you 1 year to file your “expensive” formal application. So you can quickly apply for one before the interview and decide later if its worthwhile to go through with the real one. Its much easier and cheaper to file but the risk is that you might forget to put in some key information that render it useless when it comes to the formal application.

        • yeah Ive been looking at that all day. I don’t think I could do it in time for my interview but I definitely plan to afterwards.

          lawyer = 2k, self online templates on legal zoom = 1k. dunno which one yet.

          The reason is that it’s not just for ytube, its for any cloud based video content hah.

          also I don’t think a reputable company would do something like going against an interviewers back. but then again, im just trying to convince myself as I want to see what they think of it hah

  • Build it, make it a startup. If it flops, you can still interview to be a google droid and have the platform to point to.

  • Do not disclose without protections. Firms like Google are sharks, they will go after it when they smell blood. The provisional patent is a good start. Better is not to tell them proactively. But do go for thejob, is pays the bills while you keep tinkering around the video thing on your weekends.

  • If your thing is cool enough for Google to steal, you should probably be doing it instead. Google has a roadmap though, and unless your deal solves some amazing roadblock, the likelihood of them actually stealing, redesigning, and implementing your idea is low!

    I would use the project as a back pocket option. When the interviewer asks you about side projects, describe it generally (w/o giving away IP) and have the ability to access it in a test manner (e.g. hosted on an URL that you kill after the interview). This gets the bang (impressing the interviewer sufficiently) without giving away the buck (allowing her to scrape it later).

    Everyone is busy, has plans, is working on current sprints… seriously the likelihood that your project is the right thing, is good enough to get full scale ripped off, and in a timely manner is extremely low. If you truly have the solution to all the world’s problems (or at least YouTube’s) – find a way to work for yourself and exploit the hell out of it, get accu-hired and ride into the sunset.

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