Ok so I see both sides of the fence here on being stealth. I completely understand that by sharing your idea with as many people as possible, you can get great feedback, insight etc. You can also find out fairly quickly what your competition may be, if you weren’t aware of it in the first place. Also, the odds of someone feeling as passionate about your idea and “stealing” it, are pretty small. Frankly, any entrepreneur has enough of their own ideas to keep them busy for a lifetime. I struggle because I want to tell everyone about my startup, but have decided to stay in stealth mode a bit longer.
I also realized (almost embarrassingly at times) that the whole NDA thing is controversial as well. Some people have told me that “real” entrepreneurs don’t use them, some people have been fine signing them. I just keep chugging along, having people sign them that I disclose data around the secret sauce to my site. I’m ok with that, and my attorney is peachy that I have people sign and NDA, even though many in the techpreneur universe find them laughable. There’s a great post over here on “Is it better to disclose without an NDA or with an NDA”
However, the reason why I have decided to be ‘stealth’ with www.Swayable.com is because I want to make sure my company is buttoned up correctly. All my legal documentation, IP protection lined up, features for launch decided on and my messaging down, so that I’m not constantly changing what my launch product is. I have one more step in my “buttoning” up process and as soon as that is done, I’ll be blabbing to the world – well at least blabbing on my blog and Twitter.
It’s too bad though, my first blog post on “How I used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to Validate my Startup Idea” is getting a lot of coverage. I may be kicking myself in a month, when I am out of stealth mode and missed the opportunity to talk about my startup when all this traffic is coming my way today.