Tip: Gain a loyal following by sharing your company's numbers

With open startups growing in popularity, sharing your numbers is a great way to gain exposure and increase trust — especially early on. Join the movement to gain loyal customers.

Radical transparency is in demand, and since it's still relatively rare, it makes companies stand out. It can also work as social proof, while increasing trust and customer loyalty. There are even people out there who prefer working with open startups to the degree that they specifically seek them out. Of course, there is some risk involved. For example, potential customers may be hesitant to sign up if your revenue is low, and copycats may show up if your revenue is high. But many founders swear by it, especially in the beginning. Take @mattiasgeniar, who opened up Oh Dear ($8,000/mo). He attributes up to 3% of his current signups to this transparency. Create a dedicated /open page sharing your revenue, users, traffic, and so on in numbers and charts. Add yourself to open startup lists. And if you haven't already done so, put your product on the IH product page. Then tell your story as it unfolds (including the numbers) on social media.

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  1. 4

    The unfortunate side effect that doesn't seem to be discussed is that many signups find their product being ripped off by someone else once they've told the world how much their idea is making. Competition is good. Combatting a stolen clone is not.

    If we can find a way to combat that I'm sure many more of us would come back to the open startup movement.

    1. 2

      That's a good point although clones are inevitable for any lucrative business idea.

      Also, I question whether the people following you for your numbers are the same type of people that would buy your product.

    2. 1

      Yep, that's a risk but many feel it's worth it — either in the name of transparency or because they think the benefits outweigh the risk. There are also ways to get around copycats. For example, a lot of people are talking about building "moats" these days with intellectual property/innovation, audience, and so on.

      But I hear what you're saying and appreciate your input 👍 And I agree that open startups aren't necessarily right for everyone.

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