Stunted By Reality Just another know-it-all talking about life, business, technology, sports and music.


NDAs – Nothing doing anyway

Non-disclosure agreement.

"I thought you said it was revolutionary? It's tripod!"

I subscribed to the spoof startup blog Vooza the other day and duly received my first email today, which was a sketch about the overuse of Non-Disclosure Agreements in startup-land.

A couple of hours later I was on Facebook and I saw an appeal from a friend for an NDA template. Now being an entrepreneurial guy myself I confess I have previously thought that ideas are everything. So I commented as much and thought the gist of what I wrote was worth re-blogging.

As someone who has signed numerous NDAs and who has also made others sign my own NDAs, I get where he was coming from. No one does original ideas any more and especially not in the Zimbabwean business community with its multitude of hair salon and bar 'tycoons'. However, I have now learnt that ideas are never worth as much as the execution. The person who succeeds in business is always the one who executed the idea well. Therefore, an idea done well is better than any NDA because no one will copy it if they can't do it better than you.


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Mephedrone and Panic buttons. You can’t legislate against stupidity

This week in the UK people have mostly been getting mad about Methodrone and paedophiles. I say mostly because this country loves to get mad about stuff so at one time or another they (and us who live here) will be mad about something or another. One day soon I’m sure we’ll all be mad about why there’s nothing to be mad about. But I guess a little bit of madness does the mind some good. In the least it keeps us from the self-reflection that just might result in a sane and sterile world. To be honest that scenario would be enough to drive me mad!

On a serious note, all the madness and clamouring going on has been the result of tragic deaths of three young people. Two young men died after taking a substance known as Mephedrone which is something of a hit (pun intended) with people seeking a readily, available, cheap high. Note that I omitted ‘legality’ as one of the things drug takers are looking for. Mephedrone like most substances that could get you high, but still kill you was NOT meant to be taken by humans. It is in fact a plant fertilizer. Update. It is sold as a plant fertilizer but was apparently developed for human consumption.

In an unrelated incident a paedophile was found guilty of the murder of a 17 year old who he lured on Facebook. He posed as a teenage boy, asked to add the girl as a friend and after some time arranged to meet her by lying that his father would pick her up. The episode ended with the girl being killed soon after that.

As I’ve already mentioned this is all tragic, just as any death is. However it is people’s reaction to these incidents that really has me shaking my head at the things that we come up with when we go mad. Which to my mind feels like every day.

From the noise, it seems like everyone is now calling for Mephedrone to be banned, including those who have previously been high on it. Others are calling for Facebook to have a panic button so that kids could press it if they suspected a paedophile! I’d expect this sort of thing from the Daily Mail but like I said, it feels like everyone is calling for this.

It’s all really ridiculous if you ask me. Are these people saying that if Mephedrone was illegal they wouldn’t have taken it? If the answer is no, then how did they get the idea that they’d like to get high? Not from anything legal that’s for sure.

The panic button is just as stupid, because I just can’t imagine that anyone suggesting this has ever been out of their house. At which point would they think that a user could reach for the panic button if a sex offender was lurking? No actual crime is committed on a social network. It’s hatched on Facebook or whatever, but not carried out there I’d imagine. So let assume a girl is being assaulted and she reaches for her phone so that she can log onto Facebook to press the panic button. I it logical she'll do all that instead of just dialling 112 or 999?

The weak links as far as I can see are the victims. It’s sad, but very very stupid that young guys want to get high even if it means doing it on fertilizer. No laws can ever save such a person. If they don’t get killed by Methodrone, it’s very much possible they could die from smoking banana leaves or some other plant they’ve been TOLD is legal. Though I can see how kids can be lured on social networks, the answer to both these problems is not to create more legislation.

In addition to all this there’s the media who go around labelling these things. Legal high. WTF? That really isn’t the best way to describe these drugs. Facebook killer? Again WTF? The media should know better and call it like it is. If they did then maybe not so many kids would want to get high like that. That’s because getting high on plant fertilizer is not a legal high. It’s a “Foolish High.”

Woo hoo! Yeah dude, this is awesome! Try it it's legal too!

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