I used to hoard information for myself. I wanted any competitive advantage I could have over potential competitors. I was scared and insecure.
Then in my first year of university, Brian M, a sophmore, openly gave me all of his notes, tests, etc. from the previous year. That act alone inspired me to share my info with others, even if they were the same year as me and thus potential competitors. (I suspect lots of students who were selling their notes while I was giving away mine for free hated me)
Anyways, I've come to believe that giving away your secrets is the best thing to do. The three main reasons I think so are:
- Giving mentality and it's just the right thing to do. You get to help others. And then others might become more generous, which ends up making everyone better off.
- Giving away secrets acts as a forcing function and requires you to constantly learn and embrace new "competitive advantages". So over the long-run it actually makes you better.
- Ideas are plentiful. Execution is the main differentiator.
- Give and Take by Adam Grant
Written: August 12, 2020