startups can effectively manage embargoes and special releases. Lately, in place of embargoes we've received a few requests to sign non-disclosure agreements. While this may simply be a rookie mistake made by early-stage entrepreneurs, NDAs and embargoes are completely different requests. Sending an NDA is absurd for a number of reasons.A year ago ReadWriteWeb published an article in defense of embargoes with an outline of how
1. Confidentiality: You just sent a confidentiality agreement to a news outlet. Why the heck would you want a journalist to keep your secrets? Shouldn't we be revealing the brilliance of your products and services?
2. Legality: An NDA is a legally binding agreement between two parties. As Andrew Warner of Mixergy puts it in his post,"I'm not signing a legal document without a lawyer."
3. Trust: In Venture Hacks' Pitching Hacks book the author advises against presenting an NDA to VCs saying, "You might think an NDA is a barrier to entry for your competitors. Instead, it's just a barrier to getting funded." You likely have competitors in the space and if you're not first to market then we've already seen them. An NDA is making you more difficult than your competitors. We'd rather write the story about the person who works with us than against us.