Building in Public for Entrepreneurs

Jan 17, 2024
Building your company in public is an increasingly popular strategy among entrepreneurs, allowing them to reap the benefits of transparency, authenticity, and early adopter engagement. In this blog post, we’ll explore the essence of open startups, why more founders are choosing to embrace the “building in public” approach, and share strategies for successfully sharing your business progress with the world.

Building your company in public is an increasingly popular strategy among entrepreneurs, allowing them to reap the benefits of transparency, authenticity, and early adopter engagement. In this blog post, we’ll explore the essence of open startups, why more founders are choosing to embrace the “building in public” approach, and share strategies for successfully sharing your business progress with the world.

Embracing Transparency: The Essence of Building in Public

Open startups champion transparency, giving entrepreneurs the freedom to broadcast their company or product creation journey to the world. This approach can lead to incredible benefits such as heightened visibility, invaluable feedback, and a passionate customer base.

Proudly showcasing your business progress can draw in early adopters, yield helpful insights, and open up opportunities for audience engagement. Many entrepreneurs are embracing this transparent approach, leveraging emotional stories and authenticity to create strong connections with their audience.

Playing into Authenticity

Authenticity is a big aspect of building in public, as it helps your business establish a genuine connection with customers and other people in the community. By living with transparency in your actions and communications, you show people that they can trust your business. Building in public makes sense for companies looking to establish a strong connection with their audience, as it fosters trust from the ground up and differentiates your business from competitors.

Sharing your story, struggles, and learnings can generate engaging content and instill a sense of empathy and understanding in your audience. This humanizes the founder, making them more relatable and authentic in the eyes of customers, investors, and stakeholders.

Engaging with Early Adopters

Early adopter engagement is a key advantage of adopting an open startup approach, as it helps you gain invaluable feedback and build a strong, dedicated customer base. Some benefits of early adopter engagement include:

  • Gaining feedback on your product or service
  • Building a strong, dedicated customer base
  • Creating a community around your business
  • Easier connection with your target audience and prospective customers

By sharing your progress and fostering a community around your business, you can take advantage of early adopter engagement and create a successful open startup with a round up of valuable insights.

Platforms such as and niche communities provide excellent opportunities to engage with early adopters and other founders, allowing you to maximize your reach and gather feedback. Investing time in building relationships with early adopters can lead to invaluable insights and a stronger customer base.

Leveraging Emotional Stories

Sharing emotional stories and failures in public can help create a more personal connection with the founder and a relatable narrative. By humanizing themselves and showing vulnerability, a business founder can form deeper connections with their audience and inspire trust and empathy.

To effectively integrate emotional stories, you can share your journey, engage the audience, and communicate authentically. By incorporating emotional stories into your build process, you can create meaningful connections and increase trust with your audience.

From Stealth Mode to Spotlight: Why More Founders Are Choosing to Build in Public

The trend of building in public is driven by the potential advantages of transparency. Building privately can have several drawbacks, such as missing out on valuable opportunities, not being visible to the right people, and not getting the feedback and validation you need.

More entrepreneurs are eagerly choosing to build in public to reap the benefits of transparency, such as heightened visibility, invaluable feedback and validation, and the capacity to generate anticipation. Platforms like LinkedIn can also be effectively leveraged to promote your products and reach a wider audience.

The Drawbacks of Stealth Mode

Operating a startup in stealth mode can present significant challenges, such as difficulty in gaining visibility, attracting customers, and receiving feedback. Additionally, keeping the startup’s activities and plans confidential can restrict the startup’s ability to participate in industry events, conferences, and networking opportunities.

Capital One, for example, overcame obstacles while operating in stealth mode, demonstrating that startups can still find success even when faced with the limitations of stealth mode. However, the potential benefits of building in public often outweigh the challenges and drawbacks of stealth mode for many entrepreneurs.

The Growing Trend Among Entrepreneurs

Building in public is becoming a popular trend among entrepreneurs due to its numerous benefits, such as:

  • Increased accountability
  • A shared vision
  • Open-sourced problem-solving
  • Meaningful connections with customers

This trend has evolved over the years, with entrepreneurs embracing openness and sharing their progress of creating new products with the public, leading to improved products and deeper connections with customers.

Strategies for Sharing Your Business Progress Publicly

Effectively sharing your business progress publicly requires determining what to share and selecting the appropriate platforms. Maintaining consistency is vital in public building; if sharing your journey is interrupted, many followers may lose interest.

Utilizing platforms like Indiehacker, Reddit, and Hacker News can help you engage with your audience and gain visibility, while platforms like Twitter can provide both benefits and drawbacks, such as the challenge of forming a lasting connection with followers. Careful selection of the platforms and content for sharing can optimize the benefits of public building.

Deciding What to Share

Deciding the right level of transparency and content type to share is a key consideration in public building. By sharing information about your business concept, team members, and progress, you can create engagement, attract potential customers or investors, and build a community around your business.

However, it’s important to think about the social effects and potential negative outcomes of making certain information public. Balancing transparency with privacy is crucial to ensure the safety of your business and maintain a healthy relationship with your audience.

Choosing the Right Platforms

Platforms like Indiehacker, Reddit, and Hacker News provide excellent opportunities to engage with your audience and share your business progress. They offer a supportive community and the potential for increased visibility and reach due to their active user base. By exploring these and other channels, you can maximize your online presence and connect with your target audience.

On the other hand, platforms like TikTok can offer the potential for increased visibility and virality, especially for businesses targeting younger audiences. SideHustleStack, for example, went viral on TikTok, demonstrating the potential benefits of leveraging the platform for building in public.

Inspiring Examples of Public Builds

Learning from successful public builds, such as Pieter Levels, founder of Nomad List and Remote OK, who boasts an impressive 130k+ followers on Twitter, can provide valuable lessons and best practices for entrepreneurs. Additionally, platforms like TikTok have seen products like SideHustleStack go viral, showcasing the potential reach and impact of building in public.

By studying both successes and setbacks in public builds, entrepreneurs can gain invaluable insights into the strategies that have proven successful and the challenges to be aware of in their own journey towards building in public.

Distilled Thoughts

Building in public offers an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs to engage with their audience, create trust, and build a supportive community around their business. By embracing transparency, authenticity, and early adopter engagement, entrepreneurs can reap the benefits of this powerful strategy and navigate the potential risks and challenges. As you embark on your own journey of building in public, remember to assess your business model, protect sensitive information, and learn from the inspiring examples of those who have gone before you.

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