Teaching > Spending
This week, I had the fortune of hanging out with David Heinemeier Hansson, partner at 37 Signals and all-around geek hero. We met up in beautiful Malibu to talk tech, writing, and race car driving. At one point, when the conversation got around to blogging, he said something striking:
"The best-known chefs in the world are the people who publish their recipes."
David's philosophy on business, writing, and technology boils down to this, that others—competitors, big companies, whatever—may outspend him, but he will out-teach them. Sharing your secrets will build your reputation faster than advertising your qualities.
(As a side note, this is why "content marketing" is such a buzzy thing right now; it's a hack, a rapid shortcut, for advertising and reputation-building.)
That's why David made Ruby on Rails open source. That's why his blog, Signal to Noise, shares openly what other companies might guard as secrets. He's confident that his reputation, plus his ability to execute anything to which he dedicates himself, will allow him to stay well ahead of copycats his free code or free education may inspire.
Being a copycat is boring anyway.