Nobody cares about your secrets; or why we stopped signing NDA’s

Post by Ben Edwards

Ok, so we didn’t stop signing non-disclosure agreements entirely, but what we have done is, postpone the signing of NDA’s until after we have spoken with and know the folks with the idea. All too often these days it seems people are overly protective of their ideas and want to discuss them with us before we know anything about them. From a legal standpoint, our hands could be tied if we are under NDA and non-compete agreements for every idea under the sun. But in a very practical way, it just does not make sense to treat your ideas with such secrecy.

Chances are, y/our idea isn’t even very good. Techcrunch had a post on Saturday about startups being afraid to tell “their secrets”. And it’s true. Most of the time the ideas aren’t good, or certainly are not unique. And startups and entrepreneurs are actually doing themselves a disservice by holding their product ideas close to the vest. They lose out on the important process of vetting their ideas to collegues and friends to determine how much merit it has; and on the feedback and critique that coud make the idea better. But most of the time, the folks who are so guarded of their ideas simply don’t act on them, so a product never emerges.

So, don’t be offended if we say we want to wait to sign your NDA. Come talk to us anyway. If we end up working together we’ll get all the contracts and legal stuff taken care of, but in the meantime you can be sure we’ll be open and honest with you about your idea, and its merits, feasibility, and you’ll likely come out of our discussion with an even better concept.

About Ben Edwards

Designer of information and interactions; contributes as much with enthusiasm and drive as anything else; generalist; can migrate easily between discussions of databases, use cases, and Photoshop techniques; avid blogger (from the days when it didn't have a name); critic of bad design; organized and presented at the minnebar (un)conference in Minneapolis; married, no children, dog; loves travel. alttext.com, minnestar.org, @alttext
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