Building in Public — A Breakdown

There’s recently been a trend in entrepreneurship to be more authentic and open when creating new products. This trend was coined “Building in Public”, and it’s a practice that’s been repeated by a variety of companies and products in the last couple years.

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Pieter Levels was one of the first entrepreneurs to Build in Public. His blog article about building Hoodmaps, found here, details the process. He actually livestreamed the process of building it, showing true commitment to the Build in Public trend.

As described by buildinpublic.xyz:

Build in Public is:

- sharing stories (wins/lessons)

- being authentic and vulnerable

- rallying a community around your cause

Build in Public isn’t:

- a gimmick to go viral

- a shortcut to fame

- a ploy to get users

Lets talk about a couple key advantages that make Building in Public attractive for companies:

What Makes Building in Public Effective

The central tenement of building in public is story-telling. Marketing is really all about stories, and by building in public, the entire product process is turned into a story. This creates a community of interested users who are word of mouth advocates to build product momentum before the product is even launched!

This process also brings the users into the process, allowing them to give feedback as the product is being built. This decreases the time for each product feedback cycle and makes users feel a bigger part of the design and development.

It’s really a win-win process. It’s a win as the developer because you get to be closer with your customers, add real value, learn lessons, build public credibility, and have accountability. It’s a win for the community because you’re providing them value that’s rooted in their experiences, they become part-owners of the product and solution that you build.

People will see you not as a soulless corporation or website, but as a real person, persevering through struggles and basking in success just like everyone else. By genuinely relating with your audience and building a relationship based on trust, the product and community is made better.

Conclusion

Building in public is a great way to create, iterate, and launch products that provide more value to the community. Are you building something in public? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to check it out!

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Passionate about building cool shit. First-year undergrad student studying EECS and Business @ UC Berkeley MET Software developer at Carline.