I Signed an NDA…

And I don’t usually.  Not because I can’t keep a secret – I keep lots of them.  But I don’t like it when companies have me sign THEIR NDA.  If I must sign an NDA then I think my generic one is just fine, thank you.  It says, basically, I won’t talk about this unless you talk about it first.  It is VERY simple.  On purpose.

The problem I have with signing external NDAs is they put provisions on them that I often can’t even understand: “if the signing party receives material knowledge about the company that could be determined to be harmful or hurtful to the company, then that information…”

Huh?  Harmful or hurtful?  First, I only sign NDAs with companies that agree to pay me for my services – so why would I want to hurt them?  I never sign NDAs just to review a company.  That’s poor form.  If you can’t review a company anonymously, then you can’t review them without prejudice.

Anyway, in this case I reviewed a company – forced into their NDA or there would be no review.  I spent 3 hours with them.  And in the end, I can’t write a word about them.  Because what I want to write is either harmful and/or hurtful to the company (so their lawyers tell me). 

I signed their forms and spent a day, and have nothing to show for it – because they are concerned that what I will share won’t be flattering.  At least not completely flattering.  But there is some great stuff there – you just won’t know about it (yet). 

See my previous post for the RIGHT WAY to treat customers, reviewers, etc.  There is nothing wrong with making mistakes,  Everyone does.  You can’t hide them anyway, so you might as well try to find someone that helps you work through them.

Free feedback is valuable.  It’s worth at least twice what you paid for it.  Don’t restrict it.