Growing up, my entrepreneurial parents did an amazing job in upgrading our lifestyle despite the fact that both of them didn't receive higher education. They were relentless in pursuing what's the best for me and my two sisters, yet one thing never changed in their principles to life: the value of integrity and transparency. No matter what, we're a family that has always put the truth forefront, and I am grateful for that. These values continue to make an impact throughout my career.
Running a company with transparency
In 2015, I came across a startup called Buffer and I was fascinated by their level of transparency. Opening up their salary model, talking about their failure on flat management, and sharing key financial numbers, they have established themselves as the transparent company, inspiring with Building in Public early on.
I was so inspired that I put together a deck about a set of values for the future company I'll start one day. Transparency was the first slide I added in, and over the years, I've added other values too.
In 2020, I was finally running my first startup, Toasty. Although I didn't get to be as transparent as Buffer was because we were fighting chaos in our early days, I kept transparency as our core DNA. With our team, we were open about our funding status, how we spent, and how we made certain decisions. Externally, we were always putting our users' outcome as a priority, even if that meant sharing our product's weaknesses.
When I found out about Building in Public, I was obsessed with the concept. But, upon searching for hours, there were just a few good articles I could learn from. I didn't know how to start and what to share publicly, and I ended up just doing it my own way through a lot of trial and error.
I talked to a few dozens of people who are Building in Public, and there were clearly many confusions and misconceptions that could be answered.
My goal in writing this guide is to help the many creators out there to win by being transparent, be it winning fans, customers, or even internal confidence. Transparency is going to be the key differentiator for the next wave of companies or individual brands, and I want this guide to be there to help another creator, perhaps you, get started.
Thank you to @buffer @nateliason @AliAbdaal @whizzzoe @sahil @arvidkahl @damengchen @JanelSGM @yongfook @felix12777 @josberco @basakbuilds who inspire this guide. Thank you to @mj_makes @deepika_rn @karabatov @kevcodez and @JasonMcFeetors who kindly offer their help in editing.