How to Build in Public

"Building in Public" is a big deal in the online world, especially on X (formerly Twitter). It's a new way of doing things for entrepreneurs and creators.

After writing this article on Pieter Levels who spearheaded this trend, I thought it deserved its own blog.

Think of “Building in Public” like opening up your workshop for everyone to see. Instead of keeping your business journey a secret, you share everything - the ups, the downs, and all the nitty-gritty details - openly with people.

This approach isn't just about showing off your wins; it's about being real and honest about the whole process.

#buildinpublic activity on X this morning

Where to build in public

The origins are hard to track, but it’s clear that Twitter (now X) played a big ass role.

X is great for this movement because it's all about quick, real-time chats and has a huge mix of people. Creators can share their stories in a way that's straightforward and grabs people's attention.

Using tweets, live updates, or polls, they can tell their story in a way that's easy to follow and gets people involved.

You create a movement this way where people who have the same goals (launching a company/side project) and customers follow your journey.

Both are extremely valuable.

And that brings us to…

How to build in public

If you boil it down, it’s actually extremely easy. I grew up watching a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk content and this always stuck with me:

Document, don’t create.

Just tweet your thoughts. Or share exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it. Then after, share what the results are.

I could share a long chapter on this but that’s basically all you need to do. Less thinking is better. More sharing.

That being said, here are a few rules of thumb to follow:

1. Being Real, Not Just Perfect

Online, people often only show their best side. Building in Public changes this. It's not about looking perfect but about being real and open, even about the not-so-great parts. This makes the brand feel more human and relatable.

This authenticity fosters a deeper connection with the audience, as they witness the struggles and perseverance, making the successes all the more rewarding and inspiring.

2. Talking and Listening to Your Audience

Building in Public turns followers into a community. It involves them by asking for their opinions, ideas, and sometimes letting them help make decisions. This back-and-forth makes people feel like they're part of the project.

It also harnesses the collective wisdom and insights of the audience, which in turn, leads to a better product.

3. Using Honesty as a Way to Attract People

Being open isn't just a good thing to do; it's also a smart way to get attention. By sharing the behind-the-scenes, creators make stories that keep people interested and coming back. It’s a natural way to build a loyal group of followers.

Why you should do this

At this point, you should start to see the picture. Community = word of mouth. Word of mouth = +MRR.

This is how Plunk also got started and is still growing btw.

Dries making Plunk better on the daily
But we don't only share the wins

This approach has its tough spots too. Sharing a lot can lead to privacy issues, and keeping everyone updated can be stressful.

Also, handling negative comments can be tricky, so creators need to be strong and smart about what feedback they listen to.

Being honest, always, is the best remedy here.

Building in public is a testament to the power of community and shared experiences in the digital age, proving that sometimes, the most effective way to grow is to let the world watch and be a part of your growth.

So, share what you are doing. Just get started. Engage in the community and slowly start growing your audience, and thus, your project.

Carlo D'Agnolo
CarloFounder & Head of Growth at Plunk