The Grey Blog

Openness vs Secrecy
March 30, 2008, 8:34 pm
Filed under: Serious

In favour of openness:

  • People are invested in your products
  • You develop the products that people want
  • There’s constant engagement with your customers
  • More inputs to your development and the wisdom of crowds
  • Doing things faster by drawing on others
  • Transparent = honest

In favour of secrecy:

  • Everyone loves a secret (for a little while, at least)
  • You can come up with products people didn’t know they wanted
  • News, when it comes, is big and concentrated enough to get noticed
  • A single-minded focus on doing your own thing brilliantly – fewer distractions and less diluted ideas (wisdom of crowds can also equal mediocrity of crowds)
  • No-one can copy you if they don’t know what you’re doing
  • Easier to manage expectations when people aren’t expecting
  • Confident, verging on arrogant

Ok, it’s not quite as black and white as that. Both work. Most companies will use a bit of both. You probably just have to be a little more remarkable to pull off secrecy.


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