Undoubtedly, one of the key factors to launching a successful product or service is secrecy. However, the more famous the brand is, the more difficult it is to keep that secrecy strong. Curious media and tempted employees can only make the process a little more complicated. Therefore, first of all, what a company needs is trustful staff that are fully committed to their workplace and its ideology.
All the other stakeholders in the situation at hand can either help by doing wonders or damage the situation beyond repair. So you see? The process is ever so delicate.
Public stock bindings and other regulations for example, may represent an obstacle in order to withstand confidentiality. Such is the most recent example of Apple and the petition that was made to them to publish a succession process for anyone in the company (preferably referring to Steve Jobs) See here http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20110107/apple-opposes-proposal-on-ceo-succession-planning/?mod=ATD_rss
Of course, in order to protect the near sanctity of confidentiality and still keep that stronghold of advantage over competitors, a most definite (yet apologetically) “NO” had to be responded. If we don’t have some sort of privacy, be it personal or corporate, how can we protect ourselves in the end?