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Why building in public might be your worst idea yet

Ever thought about building in public?

We talked about the pros in yesterday’s newsletter. Now let’s cover the cons.

Building in public can feel like the moments leading up to a first date, or a bungee jump into a 300-foot canyon. It’s exciting—and more than a little scary.

Here’s why you might hate building in public, based on our experience:

  • Being transparent means being vulnerable, and you might not like that. Under the veneer of every company, there are mistakes and inefficiencies and insecurities. Building in public exposes some of those. If your product needs to be perfect to sell—like, say, a medical product—then building in public might be detrimental.
  • People might not care. Depending on what your product is, there’s a chance people just don’t care about hearing your learned experience. Evaluate whether there’s an audience for your insights.
  • It could give your competition good ideas. While it’s true that obsessing about competition isn’t usually productive, it’s also true that revealing your strategies in public might give your competitors insight into why and how you’re doing so well. Choose what you share carefully.
  • You could get lots of unwanted criticism. If you can’t take the heat, don’t give people the opportunity to dish it. There have been plenty of times when founders on Twitter have been dragged over the coals for controversial insights about their business. Decide if you want that to be you.

Regardless of what you decide to do, we wish you happy building, publicly, privately, or otherwise.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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