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24 Comments

Why is Building in Public a good thing to do?

Why is Building in Public a good thing to do? What are the psychological drivers behind that?

  1. 7

    I think it depends what you're building and who you're trying to attract. It can definitely be helpful if you're building something related to indie hackers or entrepneneurial folks because they'll be really interested in your journey and what you're doing.

    But if you were building something with a completely different user base, for example...a website for sufers (i dont know) it probably isn't as relevant in building the community you're looking for.

    1. 1

      Totally! Thanks, super interesting.

  2. 5

    Some good thoughts in here but I think for me the biggest one is accountability in a way, probably one of the biggest factors in actually getting it done.

    1. 1

      I agree with this, accountability motivates me, and building in public provides more than I would have without.

  3. 3

    So many. Just to name two:

    1. If you use Twitter to build in public, you're also gathering a group of people around you. They can give you feedback and they can help you spread the word, so you're speeding up a lot of things in building + marketing plus have a support system in this lonely journey.

    Best examples:
    @benbarbersmith https://twitter.com/benbarbersmith
    @damonchen https://twitter.com/damengchen
    @dinkydani https://twitter.com/dinkydani21

    1. But if you don't want to be tweeting all the time, a reflective monthly retrospective works too. Just once a month review your journey. This works well to improve yourself. But when you write it out and share it, whoever gets to learn about your work can instantly read into your mind, and the so-called "business effects" that come from these connections are unpredictable but definitely positive. Imagine not having to get on a video call to make a new friend, that's the power.

    And people really get inspired when they read retrospective, then follow you. Relationships are super important in business, and it is the same on the Internet.

    Best examples:
    @momoko https://monicalent.com/
    @allison https://allisonseboldt.com/
    https://www.ondrejmarkus.com/

    But all in all, building in public is not for everyone and every project. It works better for some.

    1. 1

      Thanks, I love these 2 highlights

  4. 3

    I've just started on my building in public journey earlier today (made my first post on IH today about it) but I've been interested in trying it for a while.

    The best experience I've had with my own endeavours has been when I've collaborated with a friend (👋 @alistairtweedie) but that's been safe, a friend, a colleague, someone who won't bash my work to hard.

    I'm hoping by building in public I push myself out of my comfort zone a bit and rid myself of some of the imposter syndrome that seems to sabotage things. Hopefully I'll make something interesting and useful and make some good connections along the way as well.

    1. 1

      OK, I like that. I can relate to receive "harsher" feedbacks.

  5. 3

    As most things it is more valuable if you are among the firsts or if you do a great twist in the formula.After that the value decreases exponentially among the me-too crowd.

    1. 1

      Ok, I see. You think this is a trick that has been used too much already?

      1. 2

        I wouldnt say a trick , it is just a strategy, and first-movers have an advantage. I remember when Google started offering free "unlimited" Gmail ( actually it was like 2-3 GB ), that was astounding and revolutionary compared to the paltry size of the inbox offered by hotmail.Nowadays everybody expects an email service with "unlimited" size, it is the new normal.

  6. 3

    I’m not building in public yet, but I’m seriously considering it at the moment. The two clear benefits to me at the moment are:

    1. By publishing your journey, successes, failures, etc you attract and build and audience who will/might use a product you are building once it’s released;
    2. By building in public, you get an opportunity to validate your idea quickly. People are likely to tell you what features are cool and useful and which ones you shouldn’t bother building.
    1. 1

      Yes, this is interesting. I also consider it as some kind of direct marketing - where you build a really close relationship with your users.

  7. 2

    To me Building in Public is like being 'Agile' in a sense that you get feedback early on from your users and you can integrate those changes immediately rather than going through the whole cycle and waiting until release. Then only to find that's not what your users/customers are looking for.

    You save development time, build up audience / loyal fans for your product. It's a great thing to do.

    However, it can also put a bit of stress on developers if they feel that they are not updating their users consistently, I certainly felt that. I learned that it's okay to take my time to build things and update users when I'm ready to do so. Now, I take it like I'm talking to a friend about my product and updating him about my progress, that takes the edge of 'Building in Public' and makes it more approachable.

    1. 1

      OK! Thanks, I love that.

  8. 2

    Lots of reasons:

    • you feel less alone
    • easy way to get feedback on what you're building
    • start building an audience to sell to
    • find your first customers
    • get support from like minded people when it gets too hard
    1. 1

      Oh, hey there!

      On the other side, what would be the psychological bonds that your users/readers particularly love when reading your Building in Public thread? Why does it matter for them?

      1. 2

        The number one thing is definitely learning. If they can learn something new from you, they'd want to follow you to get more learnings.

      2. 2

        I feel like the people who follow "build in public" are other people who build in public. So it's a sense of community. Also this might be helpful to people who dream about starting their own thing but are scared to. This gives them a feel of what it's like form the inside.

  9. 1

    I am now convinced about the why.
    If you have any guide about how to do it -- I am asking for resources on this thread

  10. 1

    I am sorry - I don't want to sound like I did not even look at the past resources, but really I wanted to check what makes it a good strategy. Like if you take 2 similar projects, one building in public and one not building in public - and compare - why would the building in public reach a higher MRR more quickly?

  11. 2

    This comment was deleted 3 months ago.

    1. 3

      Totally agree. I think most people just learning about building in public think they need to share everything. That's not true at all. Pick your comfortable line and just be authentic and transparent within that. Of course, the further you push the line, the more differentiated you are. But it is not a must.

      Here I wrote about the top 5 misunderstanding I keep hearing: https://publiclab.co/blog/misconceptions-building-in-public Hopefully can help answer some questions!

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