Keeping quiet about my business idea has been very difficult for me. Anyone who knows me knows that you can't get me to shut up on something I'm excited about. But I've been trying hard to be pretty hush hush about what I'm working on.
For one I've found that, for some inexplicable reason, whenever I talk about something, my effectiveness at actually executing on it dwindles. I dunno why, but it's as if the energy expended in talking about it takes away from the energy required to do it.
Second, I really want to get a first customer on board so that I can hone in on the idea and also develop some comfort that I'm barking up the right tree.
Well this morning I had breakfast with a friend, who's also starting a company. He's a little further along than me, though, and has funding and a formal company structure. After some conversation where I was being my usual evasive self when talking about the idea, he offerd to sign a mutual NDA so we could talk more freely. That threw me off - it's the first time someone has offered that. So I accepted and we spent the hour talking about our respective ideas and challenges and stuff.
After leaving, though, I felt like a bit of a dumbass. Why? Because the reason I wasn't talking about the idea wasn't/isn't lack of trust. It was for the reasons above. And yet, by agreeing to talk after signing an NDA, I basically affirmed that I don't trust him enough to tell him about my idea without signing some stupid piece of paper.
Obviously I don't regret the conversation itself - I learnt a lot from it. And hopefully you (I'm assuming he'll read this at some point) didn't walk away thinking that I don't trust you unless I have a signed piece of paper saying so. I think I just have to be a little more aware in the future.
Maybe I'm being naiive, but I think friendships are much stronger than any signed document.
What are your thoughts?
Specifically: 1) would you sign an NDA with friends? 2) are NDA's even effective at all when talking to peopled you don't know that well?
(NDA = Non Disclosure Agreement)