Why I Don’t Sign NDAs and Why You Shouldn’t Either
At the beginning of a business relationship, you might get asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (also known as an NDA).
These are very standard, especially in the startup world. Someone has a new idea, and is trying to capitalize on that idea. They don’t want someone to come along and swipe the idea and run with it.
Sounds reasonable, right?
It may seem counterintuitive, but the NDA request is always a red flag to me. Asking for one shows a lack of confidence in your ability to execute – and sends a mixed message as well:
- “I value your opinion enough to ask for it.”
- “But I don’t trust you not to steal my idea.”
Obscurity is the enemy, not “stolen” ideas. New ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s always the execution that counts. Getting all protective isn’t going to buy you enough time to execute.
Episode 107 takes a deeper look at non-disclosure agreements – pros and cons. And if you’ll suspend disbelief for about 15 minutes, I’ll make my case against them – both from a relationship standpoint and a practical standpoint.
Listen to the episode here or subscribe in iTunes (or your favorite podcast player).
Here are links to the articles I mentioned in the episode:
- Last week’s episode offers come context on my feeling about NDAs: Execution Is Everything in Business.
- This week’s episode is part of a 3-unit series: What Content Strategy Teaches You About Business: Counterintuitive Lessons from Mentors and Mistakes.
- Unit 1 was The New Business Mindset, about how the principles of content strategy can be applied to the functional aspects of running a business.
- Unit 2 was The New Marketing and Sales, which I finished a couple weeks ago. It was about how to take advantage of the fact that marketing has changed.
- This week marks the beginning of Unit 3, The New Customer Relationship: What to do to secure a customer and keep a customer.
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