Oct 7, 2009
I’m experimenting with setting up a new email list for “unbloggable” thoughts and ideas. If you want to join the list, follow this link: http://eepurl.com/d3Lk.
Here’s the backstory on this experiment:
When I started my first startup in 1996, my co-founder Eric Tilenius and I were super secretive about what we were doing. In hindsight, that was a mistake. Not only did we look like total n00bs to the startup scene, we failed to benefit from the feedback and advice that we would have received. Should startups keep their ideas secret? Entrepreneur Chris Dixon posts on why its really not that dangerous to share your super-stealth idea with other people:
There are lots of benefits to talking to people. You’ll get suggestions for improvements. You’ll discover flaws and hopefully correct them. You’ll learn a lot more about the sector/industry. You’ll learn about competitive products that exist or are being built. You’ll gauge people’s excitement level for the product and for various features. You’ll refine your sales and investor pitch. You might even discover your idea is a bad idea and save yourself years of hitting your head against the wall.
In terms of the risk of someone stealing your idea, there are at best a handful of people in the world who might actually drop everything and copy your idea.
First of all, most people will probably think your idea is stupid. This does not mean your idea is stupid. In fact, if everyone loves your idea, I might be worried that it’s not forward thinking enough.
He goes on to describe the different people you might talk to and how virtually none of them will steal their idea. Go read his post. I largely agree with Chris.
Talking about your idea with people you know is one thing. Blogging it out onto the internet for everyone to find is another. So this list is for some of those ideas that I don’t mind sharing broadly with people I know, but I don’t want findable in Google for the 4-5 people in the world that might actually steal my ideas and run with them!
I’ve also had times when I’ve wanted to share thoughts and opinions with my professional community but didn’t want those thoughts hanging out in the Google index and the Wayback Machine for all eternity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to rant and act out in public to get traffic, links, and notoriety as much as the rest of you! But sometimes there are things that I just don’t want on the public record.
What topics? I’m generally blogging, Tweeting, and thinking about social media, China, online travel, and entrepreneurship. It will be the same stuff.
How often? Probably once a month. We’ll see how this goes!
Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/d3Lk
After you sign up, you’ll have to confirm your email address. I’m trying out MailChimp for this mailing list.