On the surface this is about open startups. It’s really about a lot more. Another name? How to Profit from Transparency.
Startups have to cut through noise to stay top of mind for customers. And prospective employees.
Open startups tell a story (mostly) with exhaust data.
Revenue, page views, salaries and more. Data generated from business activities.
This is a marketing strategy. Not only for customers. But prospective employees.
In 2013, Buffer listed staff salaries publicly. Job applications doubled. Jumping to 2,886 from the 1,263 they received 30 days prior.
- Vera —> Metrics
- Product Disrupt —> Metrics
- ConvertKit —> Metrics
- ScrapingBee —> Metrics
- Starter Story —> Metrics
- Remote Leaf —> Metrics
- Marketing Examples —> Metrics
- Gumroad —> Metrics
- Makerlog —> Metrics
- Hypefury —> Metrics
Makers sharing metrics and stories.
- Gabriel Chuan
- Darshan Gajara
- Jack Butcher
- Steph Smith
- Pat Walls
- Fajar Siddiq
- Daniel Vassallo
- Alex West
- Karthik Puvvada (KP)
- Dianna Allen
- Exhaust data will become more publicly available and accurate.
- We’ll see the rise of the Open Maker. These founders track and share their work. They are sawdusting. Gaining upside from exhaust data that would otherwise go unused.
- Remove information asymmetries and profit from transparency. Need ideas?
- Decide if you should run an Open Startup. Ask yourself…
- Do I have a moat? If not, you may reverse course like SnapShooter and Transistor.fm.
- Do my customers care? If not, why are you doing this? See the conversation between Amar Ghose, Patrick Campbell and I.
- Do prospective employees care? Will this attract talent?
- Do I need accountability? What gets measured gets managed. More so in public.
- Transparency — This TED radio hour episode tells stories of transparency. Covering everything from salaries to CIA operations.
- The End of Asymmetric Information — Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok take a deep dive into information problems and their effects.
- Doubling Down Instead of Shutting Down — Nathan Barry is the founder and CEO of ConvertKit. In an interview with Eric Siu, he said “…another important thing for us is storytelling. I want you to buy ConvertKit not just because it’s the best tool for your business. I want you to buy because of the team and the story and who we are and what we’re building.”
- ‘100% copycat’ — Pierre de Wulf, co-founder of ScrapingBee, tweets about downside of sharing numbers. This is why moats matter.
- Research: Gender Pay Gaps Shrink When Companies Are Required to Disclose Them — Denmark required companies over 35 employees to disclose gender wage gaps and the gap to shrunk to 7% from 17.5% between 2003 to 2008.
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