First off, I should confess I don't have much competence or inclination towards the topic of this StackExchange, quantitative finance. For that, I apologize in advance if my questions are of an obtuse nature. I only know what I know of your field vaguely, from friends who went to Wall Street after college. Still, I'm curious as to what will make this sort of site work, as in StackOverflow, or fail, as in various others.
Anyway, to the point: I can think of 2 major reasons why this site might fail, and I'm interested in seeing evangelists' answers as to why this site will overcome these obstacles.
A lack of communitarian spirit. In most jobs, there is a distinct lag between effort expended and reward received. This seems to me distinctly not the case in the financial industry; in a world of high-frequency trading and million-dollar bonuses, time is money, lot's of it. Why would anyone dally here or give non-trivial information that you couldn't find in standard textbook, for instance? I have never seen non-trivial financial information given for free; one either has to subscribe to someone's paid newsletter or buy some obsequious software. I've never come across research on financial topics on SSRN that is free to access, either. I don't get the impression information is given for free in your industry; is that wrong?
NDAs and lawyering. I read a blog by an independent quant blogger who has described the lengths his former employer went to to prevent him from using very basic methods on his own, claiming them as their intellectual property. As he portrays it, employers have alot of power to mire traders in discovery and lawsuits even when the law is not entirely on their side. Why would anybody competent risk triggering such a quagmire by say, mistakenly divulging some essential part of their firm's strategy on this site?