Author: Viraj Chhajed
Written on: 2nd September 2021
Elon spends very little on advertising his companies, yet they're some of the most renowned companies. How? Of course, his strong personal brand and also by building in public.
What's building in public?
Why should you build in public?
What disadvantages it has?
How can you build in public?
Before we continue, a short intro — I have been building Basch in public for the past 6 months and we recently acquired our FIRST 30 PAID USERSbefore even the product because of building in public!
Now, that you have understood its power, let's get right into it!
What exactly is building in public?
In simple words, it's sharing your entrepreneurial journey on social media/blog — the wins, failures and every milestone as you build your product publicly.
Why should you actually build in public?
Well, there are a lot of advantages and also a few disadvantages, let's discuss them one by one.
Build larger community and distribution
There is nothing more important than a community for startups now, community is a moat.
As you share everything in public frequently, people start resonating more with you & your brand and this helps you build trust. This is an important reason for our success in Basch Believer's Deal and getting our first 30 paid users!
Serendipity simply means "getting lucky". The more people you reach, the more opportunities you get and the luckier you might get!
I have around ~10 VCs already approach me from my posts due to building in public!
Accountability and Feedback
Building in public also adds the social element and keeps you accountable while you are building your product. You can also get some awesome feedback!
Inspire the next generation builders
I can't tell you how my DMs and emails I receive daily from people starting their own stuff, getting inspired by watching me build stuff in public.
I myself started building in public by getting inspired by people who were building in public like Paul Yacoubian!
Hard work is recognised
Even if you fail to build this product, your skills, your personality and hard work is now known to your audience by building in public and they'll be ready to support you in the next one!
Although building in public has a lot of advantages, it requires a lot of time which can be spent on better things (for example - building the product, marketing, user research etc) especially if you are a solopreneur!
Can't be useful for hard-tech
If you are really building something very innovative or revolutionary you probably don't wanna share your behind the scenes with everyone. You can still share your statistics or milestones every now and then though!
Along with support also comes some hate and criticism and you should be prepared to handle that and use it if it's constructive criticism else just ignore it.
Won't work unless you have a strong personal brand
Trust me, it works only if you have a strong personal brand. But don't get disappointed, because it can help you build one if you don't have one. That's how I got started.
How should you do it?
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages, let me tell you, how to build in public. There's no specific method or process but these are the main elements of my version of building in public
P.S This is heavily inspired by Paul Yacoubian(CEO of Copy AI) —
Sharing monthly statistics transparently
Sharing small wins and notable events
Sharing what we are doing and the processes behind it
And also post some fun tweets sometimes
Like this 😂
So, should I build in public? The conclusion
If you just want to acquire customers, don't. There are a million better ways to do this. If you want to build a strong personal brand, get comfortable with failures, and make a strong community, sure!