As I would like get self employed I am working on several different business ideas in parallel together with different groups and individual people.

Please note that on each individual project is getting worked by indvidual groups. Its not that I would work with two people (not knowing from each other) on the same business idea! That is an important aspect.

But still I somehow feel like a secretive person or somehow dishonest, as this groups dont know that I am working on other projects in parallel as well.

Reasons I kept things with myself:

  • Not every person fits into every idea. I need a specific mindset for specific ideas
  • I don't want everyone (for obvious reasons) to hear details about my early business ideas

How should I deal with this situation? Should I tell people that I am working on other projects as well? If so, how should I argument?

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    What makes you think you would have to be secretive about any of this? – Lilienthal Jul 16 '18 at 15:32
  • On what context are you asking this question? Are you staff, management or a founder/CEO? – user1666620 Jul 16 '18 at 15:33
  • @Lilienthal I don't want anyone to steal my business / product ideas. Thats why I am selective about the persons I speak to. – Matze Jul 16 '18 at 15:41
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    Are you absolutely clear with each group as to how much of your time you are willing (and able) to commit to their particular project? The biggest red flag would be if each team expected that you'd be working that you'd be working full-time on their project (and particularly if they negotiated equity in the potential company based on that expectation). Given how difficult and time-consuming it is to get one company off the ground, it seems highly unlikely that you could manage multiple unless you are just a venture capitalist and someone else is doing all the day-to-day work. – Justin Cave Jul 16 '18 at 15:42
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    @Matze I wouldn't be too concerned about ideas being stolen, as ideas are worthless on their own. Execution is all that matters. The only thing you're telling people by keeping it secret is that your only competitive advantage is that nobody knows about it. – user1666620 Jul 16 '18 at 16:05

How should I deal with this situation? Should I tell people that I am working on other projects as well?

Ultimately you should do what makes you comfortable. I personally have been in the same situation and don't volunteer this information. However, if I'm asked, then I honestly answer the question. Sharing this information unprompted doesn't serve any particular purpose. It doesn't help the person you're telling, and there are the potential downsides that you list.

If so, how should I argument?

If you would still feel more comfortable, I would handle it when you first get approached about joining. By having that conversation up front, you are sure that everyone is on the same page. If you're already working with the team, then I'd phrase it like this:

"I'd like to be open about working on different projects in parallel. This won't affect my level of effort here and just wanted you to be aware. My goal is to be self employed and I enjoy taking on different challenges at once."

Again, I wouldn't necessarily take this path. If you do, change the message to better fit your situation. And good luck!

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