Monday, March 14, 2011

Competition vs Collaboration

I had the pleasure of hearing Derek Neighbors, of Gangplank, and Kristie Wells speak on a panel at SXSW about their philosophy on collaborating with others. Someone in the audience asked the panel, "at what point is it okay to tell others about my business ideas."  The fear being that someone might run off with them and make a lot of money.

Kristie Wells answered that if you wouldn't have the person over to dinner at your house, then be cautious.

Derek had a decidedly different answer.
Know what you want,
know where you’re going,
and always look for people who can help you along the way.

Then the panel asked the audience to turn to someone they didn't know and introduce themselves. Afterwards the panel asked if any connections had been made. A guy close to the front stood up. "Yeah, this guy is in my field and he's exactly who I needed to meet at this conference."  Everyone loved this.

My opinion lies somewhere in the middle. Be selective with whom you share vital details, but spread the word about the mission you're on. With tools such as Linkedin, networking is more powerful than ever. But there are plenty of sharks out there, especially when money is involved.

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