Ideas and Validation September 4, 2020

Tips for building in public?

Janet A. Carr @janetacarr

I see a lot of people talking about building in public, but not a lot of how to do it effectively. For example, I've been trying to build a new thing in public ala my twitter. I think it contributed to my recent followers increase, but until makerlog followed me I kept asking myself if this even works.

So let's here 'em.

  1. 4

    Hey Janet!

    I recently started building in public on Twitter, inspired by other Indie Hackers.

    Things I've found to work:

    • Sharing step-by-step guides on how I tackle problems
    • Being vulnerable, asking for help on problems
    • Sharing the free resources you use, so that others can benefit as well
    • Sharing your thought processes in a thread

    When people ask you questions, always engage and add value.

    You can use the #buildinpublic hashtag on Twitter for visibility.

    1. 1

      I saw that hashtag the other day! :)

  2. 3

    Building anything in public, whether that's software or a blog, is about keeping people updated. I write a blog about creativity and personal branding. I workshop a lot of my ideas for what I'm going to write about as tweets, messages to friends, and in the actual blog posts themselves.

    The idea of building in public reflects how we can gauge feedback from others that our ideas actually make sense. That way we don't waste hundreds of hours of time building something that nobody wants. This applies to anything! Blogs, podcasts, software - anything. Always helps to have people tell us that we're not completely insane.

    But of course it also helps to have some time to think things through by yourself. To shut off the noise and focus on what matters to you.

    Building in public also helps you connect to folks who'd love to help you. I've met so many fantastic people through Twitter just by following fellow bloggers, writers, and podcasters.

    Creativity (and I'd definitely call you a creative person) is more than just having ideas. It's also about getting ideas from people. Perhaps someone you connect with on Twitter after asking a coding question has an idea for what you're working on. And let's say its a fantastic idea and you implement it into whatever you're building. Now, it's like a part of that person's brain is in the software you're building. We are all collaborators at heart.

    Good luck to you, and keep tugging away at your goals.

    1. 2

      Now, it's like a part of that person's brain is in the software you're building. We are all collaborators at heart.

      I love this.

  3. 2

    Contributing to an open-source project can be a good option - obviously doesn't build your own product, but can help you feel comfortable building in public

  4. 2

    I've been doing it via Twitter and Indie Hackers for my newsletter. It's been great tbh, definitely an increase in followers, mentions and being associated/tagged in with other people. I did a quick update on IH today.

    This is also worth a read: The Building in Public How-To Guide

  5. 2

    I think it depends on your favorite medium. I like to blog, so to me I like to write blog posts as I build stuff. I'm technical, so my posts are usually about the technology. Also, I can queue up posts so they might lag behind my actual timeline by weeks. Sometimes I can only write about things after it's done.

  6. 1

    doesn't require much... just a simple schedule to share your updates. that's where it starts! don't over-think this!

    keep it up!

    https://www.indiehackers.com/post/building-in-the-open-buildintheopen-51b3ae613b

  7. 1

    Very helpful advice as I'm currently on my day 5 building in public on Twitter!

    I almost gave up as first 4 tweets didn't get any attention at all and somehow I got lucky and bigger twitter account retweeted my building in public thread.

    That way I managed to find first customer and real feedback on my MVP 🥳

    To all you trying, don't give up and continue doing hard work!

  8. 1

    Videos, use them if you do not.

    They see it an action instead of something abstract...