Over the years Startups seem to have a similar path. I've known some which were ok but started out stealthy, but most that start stealthy seem to launch, and then pivot after getting some real world experience and feedback. The ones that are pretty open seem to come out swinging and they already have answers for most of the questions thrown at them (which gives them credibility).
Perhaps notable, perhaps not, in the 30 years I've been watching I have yet to see a single startup that was open and that resulted in someone else "scooping" them and getting the prize. But I have seen startups that execute poorly not move fast enough once their market is proven to avoid damage by a nimbler opponent.
We are already about as far from "stealth" as you can get, in that all of our products are Open Source (Apache Licensed and on GitHub), we blog a lot, and we have a public facing website that makes it pretty clear what we're doing and aiming at.
That said, it's a sort of "static transparency". Anybody who cares to know, can come to fogbeam.com or our github site, etc., and learn a lot about us. But this post makes me think about a more "dynamic tranparency" where we push ideas / thoughts / code / whatever, out and more actively solicit feedback and interaction around that.
Of course we already solicit feedback, talk about the roadmap, etc., in private when meeting with potential customers in Customer Development interviews... but we could probably get more people involved and generate more good ideas that way.
As for unneccesary noise example, that would be feedback of people whose feedback I do not value.
And as for edited and added last question - it depends. :)
Dilluting my karma like I just don't care! :)
Whatever your methodology is, at some point you can't parse more feedback, and it's then noise, whatever its contribution is.
With the new patent laws, you only have a one year window to file from the time something is first disclosed publicly.
For example, I saw a group of seed investors try to identify potential patents in their portfolio companies as a way to increase the scrap value of the firms in the worst-case scenario. But they weren't making go/no-go decisions on the basis of the patents, it was just a slight value-add after a go.
Patents only seem to be of primary importance in a few niches.
Yeah. We aren't doing that these days.
What I'd like to see from people like this is 24/7 webcams in offices programmers worker's mic'ed up, with some sort of peanut gallery available for viewers. :)