Stealth Mode?

Sometimes I get a lot of emails from people wishing to start a new business or website. One thing that I almost always get from these nice people is that they want me to assure them of absolute secrecy regarding their project. They are afraid that if other people hear about it, then their idea will be stolen.

But is that really true? The sad fact is that no one really cares about your idea anyway. And I speak this from experience – we’ve been involved in a whole lot of projects and the level of secrecy surrounding a project does not affect its success in the least. In fact, the more secrecy there is, the less your chances of success. I bet some of you never thought about it that way, ama? This is especially true if your project involves a lot of technology.

Why? Because high technology start-ups are very very much shaped by and demand a lot of user feedback. You cannot build a perfect project while tucked away in your basement – you need people to continually test it and give feedback so that your product ‘evolves’ into something that is just perfect for your target market. This is the plain truth, dear readers.

Please have a look at: Stealth Startups, Get Over Yourselves: Nobody Cares About Your Secrets by TechCrunch.

What do you think of all this?

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  1. Well, there are lots of urban legends about people who had their ideas minted into millions by some guy with more money and clout, so I suppose it’s a legitimate concern. Especially once you realise that there really IS nothing new under the Sun – just fresh ways of looking at the same old things. So I can see why someone who feels they have a truly inspired ‘new perspective’ would be wary about sharing it.

    But then again, the people whose ideas get stolen are people who don’t have the resources to pursue said ideas, so they end up seeking others to do it for them in some kind of partnership.

    The solution is not secrecy, it’s caution. Don’t keep your idea top secret, but DO be careful whom you share it with. Especially if the person’s name comes with a brand and lots of zeroes…

    And before you ask for someone’s help in launching a business idea, be sure you actually need them. There are lots of ways on this site alone of how to get started without ‘sourcing bigshot capital’. I’m just saying…

    • I agree a completely! I’d just like to add this, from the TechCrunch article:
      “Most entrepreneurs say they are in stealth because they are worried about competitors stealing their ideas. This can be a risk if you have such a simple idea that just by hearing it, someone can replicate it. If this is the case, then you do have a lot to worry about. But even in this case, what will ultimately make the difference between success and failure isn’t your idea but your ability to execute and dominate your market very fast.”

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