There's lots of talk about "stealth" start-ups that don't publicize their market segment. In any company, there's usually also talk about not tipping off the competition about the next big thing. Basically, the idea of secrecy in business is normal and accepted.

I (personally) think business secrecy is over rated.

Granted, I've never owned my own business and I'm not a marketing mastermind, but I get the impression that keeping things secret really doesn't get you much. It's execution that matters.

Look at Apple, everyone knows what they are working on at least 6 months in advance. iPhones leak. The rumors sites get insider information. Apple may even leak info out of its PR departments on purpose (but that's a rumor). It's free press for Apple, they don't pay a dime for this advertising. Apple didn't release an MP3 player till years after the first ones went to market. Even with everyone knowing basically what Apple are working on months before it comes out, they still completely dominate their markets.

Look at your local pizza joint. Most make the pizza in view of customers at the counter. The ingredients are all known, just watch the delivery guy drop them off. The economics are easy to figure if you're in a competing pizza business. Not much is secret, yet there's probably hundreds of thousands of pizza joints doing very well around the world.

It all comes back to execution.

Execution on an idea, a product, or a service. All of the best performing companies have huge numbers of competitors all making very close to the same thing and selling to the same potential customers. It's execution that sets the best apart from the rest.

Customer service, design, capability, and features. That's execution. Not basic ideas or secrecy.



09 January 2012