People are always asking me for advice -- and I encourage you to send any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org -- but something funny often happens when the question involves a new idea for a business. A lot of people get to the point where they're going to tell me what their business idea is, and then they stop. They say, I'm not going to tell you the idea. This always makes me smile. Forget about the fact that I have more than enough on my plate, and I am not looking for ideas I can steal from other people. More to the point, you shouldn't be afraid to tell other people about your idea, and you shouldn't be afraid of competition. I always ask these people a few questions: Are you going to do this in New York (where I live)? Do you think everyone in New York is going to use your product or service? Even if you do manage to keep your idea a secret, you're going to have to launch it eventually, aren't you? Potential competitors will certainly hear about it then, won't they? The bottom line is, don't be afraid of competition. If you have a good idea and you execute it well, you'll be fine.