“Every time I’m asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement I see a huge red flag pop out that says Warning!”
Rob Adams has likely listened to as many new business ideas as anyone on the planet, and one of his first tips for entrepreneurs is to never tell a potential investor you’ve got an original idea.
“Wake up,” he says, “Good ideas are not scarce, they are a dime a dozen.” If you don’t believe so, Adams suggests an online search of key words describing your idea. “You’ll find ten companies doing it, or thinking of doing it. You can drive yourself nuts searching for a unique idea, but that is not the point.”
The point, as he describes in his book A Good Hard Kick in the Ass, is execution intelligence, the ability to compose a team that can operationally execute a business plan with sustainability, flexibility and resilience, to dominate rather than define a market space.
Why Investors Hate the Nondisclosure
“Every time I’m asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement I see a huge red flag pop out that says Warning!” Adams asserts. “It screams out, ‘I’m stuck on my idea,’ it means you’ve spent too much energy obsessing about the idea and probably haven’t thought enough about the team, which is what the investor is really interested in. It implies you haven’t given much thought to your customers, or to the market.”
Getting to market first with a new idea doesn’t mean anything in Adams’ experience. “Netscape’s browser was out long before Microsoft Explorer,” he recalls. “Creating a new category does not necessarily spell success, but I can think of plenty of businesses that entered an existing category and proceeded to stomp all those roaches to pieces.”
”We give ourselves license to play a little faster and looser than we normally would.”
Paterno in Happier Days
College football fans always wondered when Joe Paterno’s football career would begin to slow down. The answer came this week with a sudden, whiplash-inducing crash. From USA Today:
A little more than a week after legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno got his record-setting 409th win, the view of his storied, 46-year career suddenly is undergoing a stark revision — tarnished by a child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State involving a former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky.
Paterno initially announced his decision to retire at the end of the year, but that was not soon enough for the school’s board of trustees, who announced late yesterday that college football’s winningest coach was fired, along with Penn State President Graham Spanier.
The following morning brought news of nightime riots, as thousands of Penn State students took to the streets to protest the firing. “Joe Paterno broke no law,” said one rioter. (Curiously, the students decided to smash street lamps and turn over a television news van in order to make the righteous case that no laws were broken.)
Posted in Brand, Markets
Tagged brand reputation, college ethics, Ethics, Ethics Unwrapped, management mistakes, Management Tips, moral courage, Paterno, Paul Danos, Robert Prentice