Brad Feld on implied suspicion vs. implied trust:
Entrepreneur: Following is an email describing my idea. Since you won’t sign an NDA, you agree that by reading beyond this paragraph you are agreeing not to share my idea with anyone, forward this email to anyone, or discuss the idea without my consent.
Me: I have not read past the end of the first paragraph (“”). I have permanently deleted this email from my inbox.
Entrepreneur: Why aren’t you willing to read my email?
Me: I’m unwilling to have an implied NDA applied to me via your email. You seem to be operating from a perspective of “implied suspicion.” I don’t work this way – I much prefer to operate from a perspective of “implied trust.” Since you clearly don’t trust that I’ll behave responsibly, then I don’t think I’m a good match for working with you.
Amen. Almost every single person I meet with wants me to sign an NDA. I either give them a flat out ‘No’ or I tell them they’re going to be paying for my time. The latter usually draws scoffs. However, if what you’re telling me is so critical to your company that you need an NDA to protect it, then my expertise is coming into play and I should be paid for that. Simple as that. Wanting to get an NDA to protect yourself, but not pay me just says that you want free consulting and don’t respect my time.
If you want to meet with me and discuss things, please don’t think that you’re doing me a favor. I’ll respect your time if you respect mine.