Here we are in the new web 2.0 world, and some acts of a lost era still show their ugly heads.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ When I hear someone in a meeting ask for our signature on their freshly printed NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) I almost have to laugh out loud aka. lol.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ This is not what sCommerce is about.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ There is absolutely nothing social about it.
At a time when most of the great, exciting, cool, and fun stuff on the net is free, here comes the guy with the “Official” NDA.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ This waste of paper is freshly printed, just cut and pasted off some free law document site just for you.
The Renaissance man that he is, has cleverly made a change or two. This is to give the illusion that it was crafted and drafted by their in house counsel.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ This highly personalized epic is just for you, and your special one of a kind meeting.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ (The guy is usually from a start up or bootstrap office/garage company that for the time being, is only a one man show with big plans and strangely ambitious, yet modest talk)
This meeting is going downhill fast.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ The death spiral has begun!
They begin to tell you tall tales of their last big idea. It was shared with someone close (like you) and the company or person shut them out.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ They tell you that the guy seemed cool, but screwed them out of their glory, fame, and least importantly the cash.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ (Not a good judge of character this tells us, but he does like me?âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ hummm)
I watched Penn and Teller’s cable show rightly named Bull SH_T.
They said no contract in the world means anything if the guy on the other side of it is a scoundrel.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ If you would not do a handshake deal with the person, the one sheet of paper will not help you much.
The maker, creator, or cut and paste master of this friendly NDA will tell you it is nothing personal, and that the only reason he is even meeting with you (It is kinda like a favor I guess) is because someone told him you’re a good guy. Perhaps some 6 degrees of separation Kevin Bacon thing is going on.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ (His old roommates cousin, knew a guy who knows your neighbor kinda from that place, and says your a good guy.)
The guy today told me “he could have gone to Yahoo or Google with his idea” but he chose little old me.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ (That’s nice.)
The NDA guy also does not need your money.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ He has had great success in the past, and you are the first one ever to question his precious NDA.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ The funny thing is he tells me he is a total social network, social commerce guy and loves to collaborate. Now that’s awesome!âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ Does he understand social?
I heard the term Co-opertition (It is a Cooperation with Competition mashup I guess) at the future of web app’s conference last year in Miami and immediately fell in love with that term.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ We are kinda competitors, but due to the “whats your key differentiators mantra and mentality” we cannot be direct competitors.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ Right?
This is a community where people are happy for success of their friends, and will go out of the way to help you from their past experiences.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ The dreaded NDA reminds me of evil Wall Street days in the early 90’s.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ (That the old out of the room out of the deal days.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ Yuck!
If someone is gonna rip you off it was probably a great idea, and it will be ripped off immediately anyway. âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ Just do it better cheaper faster.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ If it is a good idea it is probably out there already, better cheaper and faster. If you do have a relationship with the person of your next meeting, the person either knows that already or you don’t have such a good relationship.
Never tell someone you came to them because they seem cool, and you just passed on “Bill’s” conference call from Microsoft to do it with you instead.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ (“Bill is retired we all know, but would have come back for me on this deal.”)
Assume the people Google’d you before you got there, and they either know what you did or they just don’t care. And please do not bring me, or any other cool tech guy who has a long personal relationship with you a NDA.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ Especially if it is something as bleeding edge as the wheel, buggy whip or even the mousetrap.
Reminds me of the movie “Knocked Up” and they were re-creating a website that was a lame version of an existing site named Mr.Skin.Com.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ TheyâˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ were upset to see that the brain child they were building for the last year was not only alive and well but they loved it.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ They actually liked it better then the site they built but would not launch it until it was done.âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ (Sound familiar anyone?)âˆšÃ‡Â¬â€ To quote one of the great thinkers of our time: Larry the cable guy.
“I don’t care who you are, that’s funny.”