A few weeks back Nev wrote a post asking for feedback from his readers about his blog and himself in general. In the comments someone mentioned that they wished he would post more about his e-commerce site, House of Rave. He responded:
I sincerely wish I could post more about House Of Rave since I love writing about it. I’ve refrained quite a lot to reveal less to competitors and avoid copycats. There is a DIRECT correlation between how much I write about my business and how many people immediately try to emulate it.
His next post was about how he was copied and then sued! Since Nev runs a dropshipping business, it’s (slightly) easier to copy compared to a lot of the stuff we do. Still, it’s clearly a real fear. I increasingly am holding back on my post topics. There are probably 5 people (that I know of) that read my blog that could use the information against us. I don’t post revenue numbers, I don’t post anything that tips them off about big things we’re doing in the future. That sucks to me. Ideally, I want to run an “open source business”. Think – a cross between a public company and an open source software project. And I hope I will be able to some day in some capacity. But knowing and understanding our competitive advantages and disadvantages, there are a good number of times when the advantage of sharing information with the world is overridden by the disadvantage of explaining what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and why we’re doing it to our competitors. I’ll continue to do my best to walk that fine line and post as much as I can. It’s just a lot harder than it was a few years ago when less was at stake.