If you're running a tech service and don't apply for patents then "you are doing it wrong."
It is an unfortunate game we all must play, but we didn’t invent the rules. (If you’ll forgive the colloquialism, don’t hate the player, hate the game.)
It was quite clear in the early days that we need to stay a smaller team and get those patents filed before we talked to customers, which basically also meant filing those patents before we could get any sort of substantial funding. That was a hard choice to make, but it’s a choice we’re now glad we made.
When we first started our business, we didn't think about getting protection because our idea was untested and unproven as a marketable product. We wanted to prove that it was a good idea before we invested in protection…Years later after finally proving the market, we find out that we've missed the deadline for filing a new idea. Now we've had a costly redesign effort to be able to finally protect our idea.