Gatekeeping is a complicated topic that has various definitions across sociology and numerous industries...
The gatekeeping I am referring to is the general nature of people to not share their knowledge openly for fear of someone else using it or improving it.
I think gatekeeping information is counterproductive in the majority of cases.
... and why I share the original files to all my product designs (coming soon, just putting this here so I remember to update this post).
... and why if you ask me about almost anything at the right time, I will happily tell you everything I know.
All I ever ask for is credit for my work where it's due... but I don't even expect that. If you don't give people credit for what they do, that's just a reflection of your own insecurities (and inadequate genitalia 🙊) and at most a minor setback for the person who deserves the credit.
We're all just here to help each other out.
One of my favorite stories of all time is that of Nils Bohlin and Volvo, the man who invented the V-type 3-point seat belt and the company that released it to all its competitors for free, putting the safety of humans above the profit they could have made from licensing the invention (as far I can tell, this is a true story).
At the end of the day, we're all on this planet to help each other out. I love capitalism. I love business. I love competition... these are all brilliant systems and/or mechanisms for the progress of humankind, but all too often I feel we forget exactly that... the real end game: a better life for all humans.
I believe every company should be all but 100% transparent about everything they do. Everything they spend their money on. All of their technical drawings should be public. All software should be open source. End of story. If monopolies are illegal why aren't patents? Lawsuits over technological IP are a huge waste of time and human resources. They should be outlawed until everyone on Earth has access to clean, running water, shelter, food, and a sanitary sewage system. But I digress...
Like, seriously? We argue about copying smartphone designs (which have all been FAIAP the same since the iPhone) while kids in developing countries are playing in their own feces because they have no way to dispose of it?
The real winners in this world should be those who can best use, sell or distribute a product, service, technology, etc. Not those who have an exclusive license to do so because they what... thought of it first? Laughable. The open market should be the biggest factor which decides who wins and who doesn't. If someone else can do what you do better than you, then they should. And you shouldn't be allowed to stop them.
I'm as competitive a person as they come. I'm as pro-business a person as they come... but the real winner in business and life is the one who advances humankind the most, period.
A couple more thoughts...
I'm not totally against people putting their information behind reasonable pay walls, sometimes, in specific circumstances... like selling a course (although please remember that 99% of courses you can purchase today aren't worth the electricity your computer uses to display them — they suck.) That said, I think there are huge benefits to and I admire people who post all their knowledge for free for the world to see.
One thing that has bothered me is that a lot of the content creators that I love (e.g. SmarterEveryDay and Veritasium) get their content reposted by no-names on platforms like TikTok with no credit going to the original author... it feels unfair: a creator puts a lot of time and effort into creating a great piece of content, and then a complete stranger reposts the exact same content on another platform, and potentially gets lots of attention and makes money off of it. But come to think of it... the original creator could have done the same thing... so why didn't they? Now I'm of the opinion that, especially if the content covers a noble cause or spreads information worth spreading, the fact that it is being spread is more important that who is spreading it. The original creators should say "touche", analyze why any particular reposted content/clips of theirs went viral on a no-name account and re-create it... or start taking advantage of the platform they were either sleeping on or misusing.
On a final note, gatekeeping is also just plain ugly... I've worked in a couple of startups... and it seems many startup founders romanticize the idea behind their startup. They insist on NDAs, carefully plan what they will say in collaboration and investment meetings so that they don't provide too much "top secret" information... every time I see these behaviors, I cringe a little inside. I understand why people have these feelings, but I think we're all better than that.
Thank you for reading this post! You're awesome and I love you 🥰