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Being less-than-fully transparent on IH: etiquette? Anyone else?

I'm so glad I finally got off my rear and set up an IH account, after following Courtland and IH since way before Stripe.

Leaping into the community, just one thing is holding me back from participating "fully": I do not want to share identifying details (name, website, market, etc) about my business.

I should rephrase that. I want to do those things, but I've decided I cannot, for a bunch of business-related reasons I'm not likely to let go of:

  • SEO: I don't want my business name leading to forum posts here. (It's hard enough competing with other results - don't want to have to compete with myself!)
  • Optics: I don't want customers, or potential customers, knowing the 'small' scale of the business, because for the market I'm in, I think it could only be a negative. (I do answer anyone who asks, but I've worked hard to punch above my weight in looking and operating like a larger shop.)
  • Competition: Let's face it, copycats exist, and I've got a couple. I want to discuss business challenges here (and have started!) without worrying about handing a playbook to my lazy, uninspired competitors.

I'm sure I'm not the first IH'er who's felt this way. I did a quick glance of the forums, but, not really sure what the precedent and etiquette is here.

Any advice for me on being a good community member in light of above? Are there others in this camp that would like an additional member of the "paranoid and anonymous, but well-intentioned IHer" squad? Is there a shorter name for it? :-)

  1. 2

    Glad you finally joined.

    Your points are fair, but probably more important for certain types of industries where the perception of "big company" and business secrets are critical (security, financial, etc). In other cases, not so much.

    Copy-cats and competitors are unavoidable. They'll find you no matter what, but I guess it matters more if your product is a) easily-reproducible and b) still in an early-stage where they could catch up easily. If that's your case, by all means, keep it to you.

    The main caveat is that you'd miss potential useful feedback and collaboration from others if you keep everything to yourself.

    But of course, you can still be a good community member by helping others and participating in discussions or sharing facts without exposing yourself more than you wish. After all, it's not a requirement to "go public" to be an indie-hacker.

  2. 1

    SEO

    I wouldn't worry about the SEO part. If IH is outranking your site, it just means you have some SEO work to do. Ultimately, backlinks from IH (or any social media type site) will not outrank your site, but just help you build a backlink profile to boost the domain authority of your main site.

    Optics

    There are a lot of ways to assess that a business is small. Look up their web presence on similarweb, crunchbase profile, social media followings, G2 reviews, App Store Reviews, etc. etc. Did the customer take a sales call with you and talk to a founder or CxO? Dead giveaway the company is small.

    I guess the point being, any potential customer that does even a small amount of digging can figure out that you are small, so I wouldn't worry about posting on IH is the thing that is going to unveil that "secret".

    Competition

    Your competition will find you eventually. Best defense is to have something that isn't easy to reproduce. If that's not possible, be stealthy and move fast, but once you are in-market, the stealthy ship has basically sailed.

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