Look for and create the IP (intellectual property) in your "idea". I favor patents and trademarks.
While patents can be pricey, there's a great book, Patent It Yourself, that is a great starting point. A big plus with the patent process is that getting to a "patent pending" requires only a "provisional" patent application, which is much simplier than the full patent application, provides most of the same benefits, and give up to 12 months to file the final (and more costly) regular patent application. (This also provides time to test/validate whether the invention is worthy of spending the additional time/money to secure a regular patent.)
Trademarks are also a good place to create IP, especially if you come up with a very catchy/signification name. Trademarks can be created by simply following the rules for trademark usage (plenty of info via Google) or by filing a trademark application (around $350) at the US Patent & Trade Office (USPTO) for US or similar agency in other countries.
Patents pending (and to a lesser extent, trademarks) provide leverage when talking to others and especially when looking for partners/investors.
Also, remember to use a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) when talking about the idea with others. Sharing details about the "invention" without an NDA or confidentiality agreement may constitute a "public disclosure" that may equate to releasing your "invention" to the public domain, thereby giving up your patent protection rights.