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46 Comments

I'm scared of building in public

So for the along time i've been ghost from the internet just lurking and never really participating in social networks and after years i've looked at my life and i don't have any connections or network which really sucks when you want to build a business. The only good thing is that i've dedicated myself and i've become a software engineer which is super valuable but i've just been in a bubble all by myself which does suck.

I see a lot of makers build in public on twitter, twitch and other platforms. i've always just overthink things and i don't even know where to start.

so i'm going to make the decision that I'm going to start taking the first step and start documenting my journey here on indie hackers and just see where it goes.

Also My writing kinda sucks and i'm much better when speaking, but its probably due to the fact that i don't write a lot so i guess practice makes perfect.

i've read somewhere that the only way to grow is to be uncomfortable and this makes me extremely uncomfortable lol

  1. 3

    Usually, a mental hack or a different perspective can help here.

    On the internet, everyone has opinions, and you've probably seen how terrible it can be. However, that only happens when you've actually done something of note. What isn't obvious from using the internet is that before you get to that point, no one cares.

    You'll find that it's a lamborghini problem. And it's freeing to just do stuff and no one cares. On the other hand, it can be frustrating as you try to get attention.

    The other thing is to pick a medium that you find really easy to do anyway. If you write, do blogs. If you fire off a thought or two, do twitter. If you just like to talk, do youtube. Whatever it is, consistency is key, and just do it everyday.

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      Wow thank you so much that is deff a different perspective, i guess i've been caught up in the chicken before the egg problem lol, thank you for taking you time to respond, i appreciate it :D

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        No problem. Worrying about random strangers heckling you is kinda like worry about random 2nd cousins coming out of the woodwork to ask you for money. Gotta get rich first.

        One hack I've been doing lately is to "work out loud" where I stream on twitch when I'm working on something, and announce on twitter that I'm working out loud on twitch. It actually helps me focus immediately, rather than check HN as a way to "warm up to working". Even though I just have a single viewer that consistently shows up(which I'm mystified as to who it is), it helps me get use to the idea of just working in public.

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          lol that is super funny because i know people like that, its just like the Homer Simpson meme they just come out of a bush like "Hey bro you remember me" lol

          I like the idea of working out loud, i've tired streaming and it def is a productivity hack for sure i agree with that. i have to revisit it, what software are you using to stream and what computer are you using?

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            Just OBS. Its UI isn't great, but once you get over the slight learning curve, it's pretty easy to use.

            My computer is a 2011 Macbook Pro with 16GB of memory. It can't actually handle a full screen stream from the monitor, but just streaming a quarter of the screen is good enough, honestly.

            1. 1

              Alright that is good to hear i tried using SLOBS and added a bunch of effects and green screen plus more stuff and my computer which is 16 inch Macbook Pro couldn't handle

              i was kinda let down because i was like man i spent all of this money and i can't even stream but its i was just probably putting to much load on the CPU and upon doing research i saw that a lot of gamers have a dedication PC just for streaming.

              I have to revisit it with a more minimal setup i think i could work and i want it to work because i really find the value in it.

              Thank for the input @iamwil

              ps. whats your twitch btw? i would def stop by every now and then.

                1. 1

                  Dope, i sent you a follow 😎

  2. 3

    For what it's worth, @RealKelvinPerez, based on this post I don't think you're writing sucks. In fact, it's conversational, which is a good things imo. It's relatable, friendly, open, etc.

    I think that the real reason people are drawn to public builders isn't their expertise but their vulnerability and authenticity. Seeing that it's okay to make mistakes and look dumb in public is actually encouraging.

    So one way to frame it is, as hard as it is to build in public (and it is!), in addition to growing yourself, you're also empowering other people to do the same.

    1. 3

      Very encouraging words, Thank you for that perspective. it's hard to gauge where you're at in life when you're just in a bubble, that is why i want to continue to put myself out there. Thank you for this it means a lot 😀

      1. 1

        You bet. Best of luck!

  3. 3

    Start writing and you'll get better at it before you know it @RealKelvinPerez! You just need to write the way you think. But good to see that you've realize growth lies in the uncomfortable places. Kudos to you!

    1. 2

      Yeah that is my goal continue to write, thank you for your insight.

      what i have learned is that deliberate practice is the only way to grow. I like the written medium as a way to communicate because i feel like it helps me organize my thoughts a bit better and your can search through it.

      I'm thinking of building my own private journal so that i can document my journey could be fund.

      1. 1

        Yeah go ahead and make that! Journaling is a great way to do it!
        Hey infact, if you have a medium blog, do share it over here!
        I'll become your subscriber haha!

  4. 3

    Been in that position myself. Also broken free and then returned to fear. It is not something to just suck up and commit to.

    One thing I can try to advise is to document, not create. For me this breaksdown the walls of fear a bit and gets me started. It sucks to stare at a blank page and mostly get stopped by fear that nobody cares.

    For the most part, yes, nobody cares. This is base humanity.

    1. 1

      Yeah i totally agree with you, i've had moments in life when i've been free and then contracted once again.

      The past year has not helped in the slightest lol, i've heard gary vee say the same thing about documenting and its so true.

      I'm going to start documenting and stay detached from the response because the purpose is just to leave a trail to see how far you've come 😄

      Thank you for your insight, i appreciate it.

  5. 2

    Just a thought, have you tried just doing your own handwritten/typed out 'journal to document your progress each day/week? That can feel like less pressure - and you'll also notice some of the intrinsic benefits of documenting your journey, away from the external validation.

    1. 2

      I have tried it in the past but my hand writing sucks so i never go back and read them.

      But i have found tremendous value in documenting and kind of just dumping all of your thought somewhere so that you can receive new ideas.

      I feel like that would be a great gateway into being more public with my thoughts, i will deff consider it. Thank you for your comment. Some great food for thought.

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        No worries! Just yesterday, I found out about reflection.app which looks cool.

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          Dude! Thank you so much just signed up for the app.

          This is the exact reason why i'm wanting to put my self out there more i would have never known about this, the power of word-of-mouth is alive and well lol.

          I wrote my first entry and I can already see the use, i was using notion just to free write some thoughts out but i like this app much better and supporting the community.

          1. 2

            You're welcome man :) I might give it a try myself, it could be a nice way to ease into 'laptop mode'.

            I found out about it thru micro.blog which I'm loving, btw; it's the coolest, friendliest, community-focused 'social network' (it honestly doesn't feel like a social platform), out there. I'm trying to get all my friends to join me on there lol. I think it's also a great platform to begin experimenting with sharing stuff publicly; I've only been there a couple of weeks, but I've never felt so comfortable sharing things.

            1. 2

              what is laptop mode? lol

              I signed up for micro.blog the other day and it does have this very friendly & open vibe to it which most social networks don't at least in my opinion feels more like the old days of the internet which is super dope.

              I'm going to practice building in public on there it sounds much more approach.

              whats your handle so that i can follow you?

              1. 1

                haha - it's my phrase for 'starting work on my laptop'🤓. It can be easy to start my day in an unfocused/scrolling manner. I do handwritten journalling, but I feel like using 'reflection.app' as the first thing I do on my laptop, could be a good move. (maybe after hitting 'start session' on Freedom.

                And yes, exactly that! Just a few days in, I'm spending more time on there vs twitter. I'm @jasraj on there; say 'hi' or let me know yours so I can follow you, too :)

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                  I love it and i've been in unfocused/scrolling mode way to often i know the feeling of hours going by and your just like alright i need to do something right now.

                  BTW i followed you on micro.blog

                  Thanks for everything so far and i appreciate all of the insight.

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                    yeah, procrastination is real -_-. I also notice my energy levels can go a bit crazy / I get scattered when we enter springtime.

                    great to connect man, and I 'got you' on micro blog 🤜 There are a bunch of indies/developers/creatives on there, so hopefully you'll feel 'at home' :)

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                      Awesome bro, i'm loving it so far.

  6. 2

    Building in public isn't really a problem for me. I always showcase my projects so people can test them and I can improve the projects. Maybe you should join a hackathon or something where everyone builds their project and build while the other competitors watch. If you want to have good projects, you'll need others to test them.

    1. 1

      I totally agree with you, having a feedback loop is very important and most of the time when you build in a bubble you tend to focus on this that aren't important, you end up wasting a bunch of time lol

      Do you know of any hackathons to recommend, i'm sure there digital nowadays.

      Thank you for your time and the insight.

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          Thank you i've always been interested in participating in one of these, i've heard Game Devs do game jams and they say that it is very productive when you start finishing projects.

          What has been your experience with hackathons, if any?

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            I have done a portfolio hackathon that was nine hours straight. I woke up at 1:00 AM and finished at 10:00 AM.
            It was quite hard to wake up early, but the outcome of my project was fantastic.

            If you can manage to find some, you can really boost your skills.

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              Dude, that is freaking amazing i love the artist nature of it that is something i'm always striving for with code to create artist experiences man that is awesome.

              Great job on the portfolio, how long have you been coding for?

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                I've been coding for about five years now. My first portfolio looked so trashy LOL

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                  Dope me too! I wouldn't say its trashy just a work in progress, i'm a designer so i didn't focus the current state of it because sure there is many things that can be changed but the direction and message are clear.

                  What stack do you typically work with?

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                    I use Flask (Python backend framework) for the backend and HTML/CSS/JS for the frontend. I don't really use any libraries/frameworks except an additional google font or FontAwesome.

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                      I've use python a bit i love it, its super expressive and from what i hear Flask is very similar to ExpressJs for node in the sense where its really light weight and you can just build anything on top of it.

                      Google fonts are awesome i love them.

  7. 1

    You’re not alone. But don’t give up too early.

    When I first started sharing my learnings and building in public, I only have less than 160 followers.

    Building (and learning) in public allowed me to build a lot of connection with people who is also pursuing in a similar journey.

    I’m not a native English speaker, hence I don’t really produce professional writing. But that’s not a friction. You just need to take a step forward. Be a do-er.

    It has been a year, I’m running 3 passion projects and been interacting with people on a regular basis.

    You will hit your goal. For sure! @RealKelvinPerez

    1. 1

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me that really helps to see things in perspective.

      What platforms are you using to build in public?

      1. 1

        I usually update here, Twitter and LinkedIn

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          Alright cool whats your twitter so i can follow?

  8. 1

    What is your objective in building in public? I think it depends on why and what you want to do. There have been some people talking about how they don't want to be a public figure and so prefer to build under a different account or name. Cybersecurity experts and some in crypto/cyphers is one such example.

    So the Q is why do you want to build in public and how does it benefit you specifically? If the benefits for you (emphasis again on you) than do it/if not, and it puts stress on you etc, do want you feels best for you! :)

    1. 1

      Hello Daniel,

      You made some really good points here and i have seen that movement in both of those industries to separate professional and public accounts for security reason and that makes sense in that respect.

      In my specific situation i want to build in public because i want to build a community around me of like-minded individuals and have others that i can share my thoughts and ideas and give feedback and do the same for them as well.

      For a very long time i've developed myself in isolation with no feedback from the outside world just like spurts here and there so now i've reached a point in my life where i no longer want to be alone and in solitude. I want to grow around a community of people.

      Thanks for the time and the reply, this was a really good perspective.

  9. 1

    You're right about "overthinking". Most people do that.

    Since there are already so much good advice in this thread, I'd add one thing - which is to figure out your goal for building in public.

    What do you want to achieve with it?

    Some people do it because it is a trend, but they don't understand how it is helping them get to their goals, and then they give up.

    So I'd suggest to figure that part out. I agree, from your writing, you're totally fine. You write fine. You're genuine. You're asking for help. These are all super amazing qualities already. You have a head start :)

    1. 2

      Thank you so much for this perspective and this is the exact reason why i want to build in public, i want feedback to break out of the cycle of just being all in my head.

      So to break it i just have to continue to put myself out there because i no longer want to build and learn in isolation anymore it's not conducive my growth as an individual anymore.

      I just believe that continuing to put myself out there through various mediums is the only way to connect with other people that share similar beliefs as me.

      Posting here has really shown me that power and i'm motivated to continue on this journey and press forward because this is the only way.

      Thank you for your input Kevon i really do appreciate you taking your time to respond.

      1. 1

        Right on, I also feel much better having a small support group to do things together :)

        In addition to an accountability goal, can I suggest setting a goal that is directly impacting your product/biz? This will help you go further and make this even more sustainable.

        I talk a bit more here: https://kevoncheung.com/building-in-public/how

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