There are oftentimes when I talk enthusiastically about sharing my skills, techniques, and knowledge with other people. Usually this is greeted with enthusiasm in return, but sometimes I get a strange reaction… Whether it’s improving one’s codebase, or creating a spectacular outfit, or simply getting interesting people to meet and share their ideas, I’ll occasionally have a friend ask me if I really want to be doing that, because I’m giving away my “secrets”.
I appreciate that in business, a competitive advantage is a good thing. Being able to differentiate yourself from your competition is vitally important, and sharing one’s secrets with those who might use them to compete with you isn’t always a wise choice.
My problem with this attitude is that it assumes that money is the point of the exercise. It’s easy to think this, and from a business perspective it might be true, but thinking of money as the goal kind of misses the whole point of living.