There’s a new obsession in entrepreneurial circles, and it’s time we looked at it with a critical eye. Non-disclosure agreements (NDA) seem to be all the rage, as independent business people look to protect their new ideas with the legal equivalent of the Great Wall of China. But are they really necessary? More importantly, are they worth the cost and effort? Whether your idea needs protecting— and whether an NDA can actually protect it— are worth thinking about.

Today we discuss the main reasons businesses insist on making employees, partners, and investors sign NDA’s. We also discuss the shortcomings of these agreements, as their value in protecting the heart of your business might be a little…exaggerated. Not only are these documents surprisingly limited in their ability to keep people from finding out how your sausage is made, it’s likely that they’re protecting sausage that’s perfectly safe anyway. On top of that, NDA’s can actually deter valuable people from helping get your business off the ground!

Before you invest the time, effort, and legal expense of insisting that everyone around you be legally sworn to secrecy, listen to this podcast. Know that idea theft is rarely pursued by any serious business people, and is even more rarely successful. Most of all, know that it’s not the “big idea” that’ll make or break your success— it’s how you implement ideas that matter. No one can steal that. Click Play!

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