Think Secret Shutdown. Big Deal.

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So Think Secret closed its “doors” after settlement of its suit with Apple. Apple-bashers are having a field day with this. No big surprise there.

Some Apple bloggers also upset by this, as well as somewhat more neutral bloggers (heck, poor Mathew Ingram is nearly flipping out).

There have been so many blog posts discussing this ad nauseam I won’t go to great length on it myself. To me it primarily comes down to this:

  • Did anyone read Think Secret anymore? Apple Insider and Mac Rumors always seemed to be first to the punch. And all of these rumor sites have a batting average below the Mendoza Line anyway. It’s not like a worthwhile source of information was silenced. This is the tech equivalent of shutting down Perez Hilton.
  • This was not a win (or a loss) for Apple. They believe trade secrets were leaked, but did not get the source. TS itself shutting down is irrelevant to them since there are plenty of other rumor sites anyway.
  • This was not a win (or a loss) for Think Secret. Nick Ciarelli clearly wanted to move on, and took advantage of this situation to do so. If the rumors that Apple was going to lose were true then Nick would have fought if he wanted to run his site. He didn’t.
  • This was a win, unfortunately, for those who sign Non-Disclosure Agreements and then break them. To me, that’s really the biggest thing to come out of this. The main issue is those who sign an NDA (or employee agreement stating the same) but lack the moral courage to honor it.

Regarding that last point, the more people you can get to review and work with your product, usually the better. But with it so difficult to trust anybody at there word with an NDA, is it any wonder everybody just seems to dump “beta” software on the community and hope for the best?

In Apple’s case, they don’t operate that way because secrecy is a big weapon (and promotional vehicle) for them. Apple-bashers and MS shills don’t understand this because Microsoft has always played the game that you spill a bunch of lies about what your delivering in the future. Of course, they don’t deliver 75% of it, but they’ve frozen the market long enough to get a half-assed imitation out. None of the IT Pros who actually believed Microsoft’s promises ever call them on it because they’d have to admit to being the gullible individuals they are.

Apple’s secrecy is completely foreign to shills like Thurrott, Enderle, etc., as is Apple’s penchant for announcing a product and delivering it the same day. If Microsoft ever did that they’d have a stroke.

So people can feel sorry for Nick, or Think Secret, or bloggers in general. And they can hate Apple, and lawyers, and trade secrets as much as they want. But in my view the real harm done in all of this is that if you agree not to reveal secrets, but then do so, nobody cares, you won’t be harmed, and will likely profit from the misplaced trust you received.

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