If You Aren’t Building In Public, You’re Missing Out On A Huge Opportunity
I’ve been working on getting my startup off the ground. While doing so, I’ve been focused on building in public. I see it as an opportunity to get people excited about my ideas and build up a user base before I have a product. While doing so, I’ve found a supportive community that supports its members. Whether it is programmers building out their SaaS offering or authors writing their book, building in public has a number of advantages.
Grow Your Audience Before You Try To Sell
One of the major benefits is that you can attract potential customers to your product before you have a product. This is something that can be an incredibly powerful force as you work up to the point when you launch. What’s one of the keys to building a good product? Solve a problem that people have.
If you are in a community of people who are having the problem you are addressing and talking about how you are building a solution to the problem, you will find that you have an audience willing to listen. This also gives you a great chance to test out ideas or features. It makes it a lot easier to test products when your users are also your audience.
Get Valuable Feedback
In the same vein, you can also get valuable feedback from your audience. Imagine you have what you think is a great idea. You start talking about your idea with your audience. Then you get a response that points out some giant flaw in your assumptions. That is incredibly valuable to figure out as early in the process as possible. The further into a build you go, the more expensive the mistake becomes.
You also need to remember something. The users in your audience are very likely connected to other potential users who aren’t in your audience. If you are building something that solves the problem for the users in your audience, there will be more users right behind them. If you get positive feedback from your audience, they will likely be sharing that positive feedback with others who are potential customers. That’s why small audiences can still have powerful effects.
This has been one of the unexpected benefits for me personally. I’ve started to develop friendships with others who are also building in public. When you engage in communities of other builders, there is a camaraderie that naturally exists. It can be difficult to bring something new into the world. Share that experience with others who are going through the same thing.
Friends also make the building process more fun. Sometimes the building process can overtake your life a bit. That’s something I’ve struggled with. I let the process of building be the overwhelming force in my life. When that doesn’t go well, it takes an emotional toll. Balancing that with the fun of friendships can make it a lot easier.
People Who Are Building Cool Things
Kevon Cheung — Everything you need to know about building in public.
Kevon is someone I’ve been looking to for advice on building in public. He literally wrote the definitive guide to building in public. If I’ve convinced you that you need to start building in public and you want to get started, check out Kevon’s guide. That’s what I’m following to get better at it each day. I also took his free email course and I started to get more engagement on Twitter. The proof is in the results. He’s helping me discover the power of building in public.
Ben Putano — Writing a book in public
Ben is writing his book “Great Founders Write” in public. As a founder who is focusing a ton on writing, his title drew me in. I want to be a great founder. As I started to read his writing, I got inspired to write a bit deeper. Once I did that, my life started to open a bit more. I started to become more successful in my attempts to build something that works. I can tie successful experiments to his writing. You could say I’m a fan. I’m going to buy his book when it comes out. And I’m going to recommend it to others. He’s guaranteed some sales by giving it away for free. The power of building in public.
Kenneth Cassel — Building his side-hustle in public
Kenneth is building out a cool product, Slip. It’s a platform for programmers to create interactive programming courses. I was one of his first customers. I still haven’t launched my course yet, but I wanted to support him because I thought the idea was awesome. It’s been really fun to watch his growth as the product gets bigger. He’s built a community around the product and I’m excited to be a part of it. The power of building in public.
3 Tips For Harnessing The Power of Building in Public
- Just Start — the truth is, it doesn’t matter what you do to start. The important part is making sure that you do start. Just make an introductory post on whatever platform you’re the most comfortable with and see what happens. Talk about what you’re working on. You might be shocked by the results.
- Be Vulnerable — don’t just talk about what’s going well. Talk about the problems you’ve had. Take your audience on the journey with you. Let them see you fail so they can see you succeed. That’s how you form a deeper connection with your audience. That audience wants to support you.
- Be Responsive — When people are supporting you, try to make them a part of the process. Show them you are taking their feedback. Figure out ways to include them in the process. Run a poll to let them vote on the next feature. Fix bugs they mention. Make them a part of what you’re building.
By now, you should see the power of building in public. You have the keys you need. You have no reason to put it off anymore.
Do it. Start today. Tell me what you’re building: My Twitter
I’ll be your first fan.