Stop cloak­ing your ideas in se­crecy

Finweek English Edition - - MANAGEMENT -

Joe and I met at a net­work­ing event re­cently. Joe is new to the en­tre­pre­neur­ial game and wants to start a busi­ness in the restau­rant in­dus­try. When I asked Joe to tell me more about his con­cept, he im­me­di­ately clammed up. “I’d pre­fer not to dis­cuss it un­til it is l aunched,” he said hes­i­tantly. “How­ever if you could sign a con­fi­den­tial­ity agree­ment, I do have one with me…”

I meet en­trepreneurs like Joe all the time. Like most en­tre­pre­neur­ial new­bies, he is very pro­tec­tive of his idea. His great­est fear is that copy­cats will steal it. So he guards his baby zeal­ously, and doesn’t even tell his friends about it. By con­trast, ma­ture en­trepreneurs who have been in the game for a while are only too happy to tell oth­ers about their ideas. HERE’S WHY: It’s not the idea but the ex­e­cu­tion that counts. Ac­cord­ing to South African en­tre­pre­neur­ial sci­en­tist Paul Smith, ideas alone are worth­less. So much so, that Paul Gra­ham, founder of seed-fundi ng f i r m/ac­cel­er­a­tor Y Com­bi­na­tor, posted a pub­licly avail­able list of ideas he wanted to see devel­oped (see QR code). In Gra­ham’s own words: “We don’t like to sit on th­ese ideas be­cause we really want peo­ple to work on them. So we’re go­ing to list some of the ideas we’ve been wait­ing to see, but only de­scribe them in gen­eral terms. It may be that recipes for

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.