|Traditional lean startup advice says to keep your full time job while working on your statup on the side, at least until you gain traction...most of all you need to talk to real prospective customers about your product to gauge real market interest, lest you build something nobody wants.|
But how are you supposed to do that with a full time gig that has you technically under an inventions assignment agreement?
Those agreements, arguably, would own anything you create while employed, at least if it's somewhat related to your full time job. Granted, their enforceability is questionable in a lot of cases (especially in California)...
But even forgetting legalities for a second, that'd be a hell of an awkward conversation if your boss/team realized that you've been building/pitching your own products on the side without telling anyone. Reactions could range from firing to, most likely, just a general distrust, like you're trying to sneak one foot out the door on the sly.
Maybe some folks are really lucky and could just openly lay it all out on the table, but I don't think that's practical for everyone, especially those in large Bay Area companies.
I know personally if I asked my boss for permission, the 95% most likely result would be for her to put me in touch with legal...and the legal department is by-the-book, so of course they'd never give me any sort of permission or interpret anything remotely in my favor. I may as well just skip that route.
So any advice about the tactics of how to approach this? How to get real potential-customer feedback without risking your full time job?