The secrets aren’t mine. They belong to other people. I’m honored to be granted the news before anyone else knows, but it can be frustrating waiting for the word to be able to spread it farther. But good news is coming, at least for some people I’ve been working with. Creativity, innovations, and competitive products are ideas to nurture and protect, to keep secure until the right moment. It is also why investors can be frustrated by startup companies that can’t or won’t mention whether the company is really starting up. They hold secrets I don’t know, would like to hear, but realize they’ll wait for the time to be right.
A friend/co-worker/client(for a quick talk) emailed me with great news. Years of effort, and a series of false starts finally found a committed partner that will carry their concept nationwide. Can I tell you more? I won’t. They have good news that they must hide for months. The email to me was a small pressure relief so it wasn’t just bottled up inside them. I get to bottle some of it up too.
I work with a diverse set of clients. I can’t take any credit for the good news I just didn’t described, but it is amazing how artists, inventors, entrepreneurs, and unsuspecting individuals can receive similar news. Something good happened. Something great happened. Now, what do they do? Step one, keep quiet. Step two, plan for the shift in lifestyles – quietly. Step three, wait and somehow avoid answering the question; “So, what’s new?”
I like new ideas so much that I invest in them. For many reasons, I invest in small companies before they become large companies. Want details? Go read my book, Dream. Invest. Live. Mature companies are easier to invest in. They have histories that can extrapolated (even when inappropriate), and there is a wide community uncovering facts, data, trends, and insights. I wonder if there are more people wondering about what Apple will do, than there are people in Apple. That large community, however, also includes armies of professionals with immense resources to uncover the key information. That’s a competitive advantage I can’t match; so, I don’t try. I concentrate on small companies with big ideas. Their stocks tend to be low, then can grow faster than the company when the crowds and armies finally notice them.
Unfortunately, learning about such small companies is a problem. They may have a history, but the data is only slightly better than random noise. They have few things to talk about, but until their goods or services are launched into the marketplace, they have little advantage to reveal their plans or their progress. The SEC makes sure they say something, but they’re allowed to be vague if the details would diminish their competitive advantage. As a result they say little, and shareholders spend a lot of time parsing rare press releases and trying to interpret winks and nods. If an entrepreneur has to hide their joy and must avoid spending money before they get it, it is much tougher for a company that has hundreds of people watching it for any sign or shift.
A lack of understanding is not a reason to do nothing. Being constrained from announcing good news is not a reason to not try. No real world endeavour happens with perfect knowledge or perfect communication. There are always unknowns, misperceptions, and doubts. And yet, things get done.
I get hints about my situation. There’s a list of possibilities that solely or in combination could dramatically improve my finances and my life. Unfortunately, it is hard to know what’s going on inside a hiring department, hard to know whether some project is about to receive its funding, hard to know if management will finally make a decision that’s been held up for months. Even being on certain lists is something that is to be kept secret. It’s especially hard to know if there are significant possibilities that haven’t been mentioned because the work is something that will always be kept quiet for discretion’s sake.
We live in a world of uncertainties. It is too easy to fear the conspiracies and ulterior motives; but, there are also people working on positive things. Solutions are being tested in labs. Legislation is being drafted. Connections are quietly being made. And then, there’s serendipity; where no one could leak the news because no one could’ve predicted the accidental discovery of a critical solution.
Within the uncertainty is the possibility of good news. Uncertainty is a terrible strategy, but amidst the responsible planning which must continue, good news can arrive without any more effort than saying “Welcome” when it arrives.
With that in mind, I am going to dutifully make myself a meal, clean up the kitchen, and maybe find some time to sit on the deck; while also knowing that a single phone call or email could be news that I’ll happily get to share. Until then, thanks for letting me in on the secret.