I am going to argue that as a group, product development professionals have a bias toward excessive secrecy.
By nature, PD requires some degree of secrecy. It is obviously a poor idea to disclose all the details of your company’s strategy.
Inventors by instinct keep their best ideas under wraps. After all, you are only as good as your last idea. I have had customers with cubicles within yards of one another working on projects with us, but they never share the information with their co-workers. There are also the dark cautionary tales about people who disclosed confidential information through carelessness or negligence.
Simply put — in most organizations you can get in trouble for sharing too much.
Here’s the dilemma: by definition, product development relies on an exchange of ideas. New products do not occur in a vacuum.
Of course, as practitioners we will never be criticized for excessive secrecy, but our organizations will pay the price over time through a failure to innovate.
I have seen very few ideas lost or stolen, but thousands that have failed because of poor execution.
This brings me to another of my favorite aphorisms: “Every time I think I see conspiracy, in the end all I find is ignorance or sloth.”