Monday, April 5, 2010

The NDA Graveyard

Have you ever wondered ---

What happened to all those Non-Disclosure Agreements you signed?

Thanks to Jim Turner (aka @Genuine on Twitter) for getting me thinking about this the other day. In my 20+ years in business I have signed dozens of NDA’s – maybe hundreds. How about you?

Is there a mass NDA Graveyard out there?

imageThere are a lot of reasons for asking people to sign a new Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA). The most obvious is that they want to do business with you and that’s your corporate policy.

A more realistic reason to sign a new NDA is because they aren’t sure they can find the other(s) you have signed and also most NDA’s include a clause indicating that the most recently signed NDA supersedes all previous NDA’s. (interesting, eh?)

What about Corporate Records?

If anything should be treated as a “Record” in an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) / Records Management (RM) system I would think Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA’s) are on top of the list.

So, if you have signed a few, perhaps dozens, of NDA’s –—where have they all gone and why do you need to sign a new one? I know I’ve signed quite a few with Microsoft. I have a pretty good idea where they go at Microsoft, but I wonder where other companies keep their NDA’s.

image Which Brings up another obvious reason for signing a new NDA. The likelihood of finding the most recently signed NDA is (slightly) higher than the likelihood of finding an older one in the corporate records management system.

 

 

How about you?

How many NDA’s have you signed?

Have you ever wondered where they go?

Do you think there is a better way to sign & process NDA’s?

Drop your comments here or reply via one of my contact points below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

clip_image002About The Author:
I have spent the better part of the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with Kodak as a Director of Business Development. In my past I have spent time at
Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text in Nov 2008). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

1 comment:

barry hurd said...

In my weekly life, I probably average 1-2 NDAs per week. On my end they frequently go into the cosmic folder of "I'll never see this thing again..."

Oddly enough, most NDAs I sign are entirely worthless. I am often presented with a "new idea" or business metric or some "confidential" information and my response is... I KNEW THAT ALREADY.

I've had at least half a dozen startups present identical ideas within 2-3 months of each other. In two cases, the stealth mode startups where within blocks of each other on the same street.