I first started "building in public" back in 2017.
Not sure if the term existed back then, but I started talking about my newest product at the time (Claritask), which I ended up selling in 2021.
The reason why I started sharing my work publicly was to slowly get back in the groove of making products after a failed one in 2015, make friends with other makers, and ultimately get feedback on my thinking.
"Leaving a trail behind" is a big part of my "building in public".
To "leave a trail behind" typically refers to the act of leaving evidence or a trace of one's presence or actions. It implies that as you navigate through life or engage in certain activities, you leave behind a series of clues or markers that can be used to track your movements, understand your behavior, or uncover information about you.
Marketing and sales are not a part of my "building in public".
On the contrary, how I do "building in public" may even hurt my sales because I share so much about my business: the doubts, wins, conundrums, decisions, and reasons behind my actions.
This brings me to the most significant downside...
As I share everything in and around my business, it can cast doubt in my customers' minds, which may cause them to lose trust in the product.
Today I experienced one of these downsides.
One of the customers who has been very supportive DM'd me this:
His comments reflect exactly my doubts when sharing something that might be considered a business struggle.
And another reason I do it is to bring my customers along for the ride. Have them be part of the whole story.
I know it's a bit much for someone who only wants a product, but one of the reasons I make products is to have it mean more than just dollars.
Anyway, this was my reply to the worrying customer:
And an additional reply:
I honestly don't mind sharing the rawest moments, which may be only a blip out of my day full of other unmentioned successes.
But, as things go with anything shared online — everything is "permanent", which is a conundrum considering the ephemeral nature of social media.
Hence the big downside.
So what now?
I will keep sharing the ups and the downs as they come up.
I want customers, friends, peers, and those coming up to see what it's really like to grow a SaaS from the ground up.
I don't want to hold back.
I think customers and friends alike by now understand that overall I am a positive person with a progressive outlook on things, but that I am also not afraid to share the doubts and the downs — because that is life, and the downs are nothing more than valleys between two peaks.
And I'm all in with blogstatic.
It's becoming bigger than me.
I'm its steward.
The only thing I can do from here on is facilitate its growth.