Table of contents
AboutWall of Love ❤️Know-howResourcesPlanningBiP Strategy ContentTestsFurther readPublic list of those who Build In PublicPast versions of the Cheatsheet
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It's very simple: I'm running my main business, which has got tens of thousands of paying customers and ~6,000,000+ all-time viewers.
I heard about building in public a few years ago, and really loved the concept, but thought it's not for me, as my audience is not influenced/benefitted from building Legit Check By Ch in public.
However, I am now building a side-product for LCBC — it's called PriceUnlock. And it is aimed at an audience that Building in Public reaches. So here we are!
The Cheatsheet initially represented my notes, but as I shared it with others, it got some positive feedback: it was not only wanted, but also needed. I made a few extra steps (which I wouldn't have done if it was just a private note) and here we are.
I also plan to expand on it, as the responsibility is on my shoulders. I hope these 'private' notes would help you get started, or help you become a better builder in public.
Don't forget to duplicate the Cheatsheet, delete what's not relevant and make it your own.
"There's no one more committed to Building in Public like Daniel. Not only is he doing it, but he's built a beautiful database of other founders building in public so we can all support each other. I'm a huge fan and reader!"
"Incredible resource for building in public! Daniel did an excellent job with this comprehensive guide and cheatsheet."
"Great resource! I'll be using this as I build my startup. Build in Public is a powerful way to build rapport with customers, and this how-to cheatsheet makes it crystal clear."
“The essential playbook for building your startup in public”
"A go-to resource for anyone building digital businesses"
"It's a wonderful resource, super actionable and incredibly pragmatic. It's very clear that this is experience distilled into insight."
"Daniel’s been an absolute inspiration for Building in Public! BIP is responsible for a majority of our startup’s success to date!"
"You’ve been doing incredible work for years, educating indie hackers through your articles and tweets. This guide is taking it to the logical conclusion, empowering us to educate each other by building in public!"
“I love your content Daniel! It's like peeling an onion. Layer after layer the intensity of the content gets stronger and stronger until you end up crying”
"I am huge fan of frameworks. This cheatsheet generalizes how to build in public step by step and provides makers like me an easy way to get started"
“Absolutely amazing! Very insightful and inspiring!”
What is BiP?
Simply put, you share your journey as you build your product. It comes hand-in-hand with transparency, humility and healthy vulnerability. It takes courage, but it's likely to be worth it (especially as it's an early trend, at the moment).
Why should I BiP?
- Attracts the audience. Grows the product, if done well.
- Builds trust. You're accountable for your public persona, so people know your reputation is on the line. That gives them another reason to trust you
- An alternative to boring SEO. May help you get faster to a set of resources that allows you to put money into the boring SEO
- Can get your product media coverage.
- Keeps track of your progress
- Keeps you accountable.
- Builds personal brand — an asset that has got lifetime value
- Connections and network
- Allows you to create connections...
- ...But also possible talent you can work with. That is how CopyAI's Paul and Blake met.
- Allows you to connect to generally smart people
- Enables you to get quicker access to advice/mentorship from those you may look up to, as your profile gives you the validation that you're doing.
- If you're looking to raise VC money, it's... a pitch in itself! That you write automatically.
- In the long-run, it can attract not only VCs, but also acquirers: private-equity, micro-funding etc. If you'd ever consider selling, of course.
- Allows you to just get funded without giving out equity
- Leverage for alternative funding. Think: Sahil raising money for Gumroad via Republic.co. That's leveraging a personal brand and building in public.
- Future products
- If your product fails, the path is automatically carved for your next release. You're starting with a head start
- Could be fun!
Ok... where do I start? How do I BiP?
Right now. Or whenever you're ready.
Start announcing it or just start posting. Go at your own pace, but there's no need to over-plan it!
Where can I BiP?
- This is answered below - scroll down to the "Content" board!
- But really... anywhere your audience spends time! Just remember to be respectful to the platform and the 'culture' found there.
Why/how/when not to BiP
- You have to be either all-in with this, or not start it at all. If you do it in a half-assed way, you'll get only the downside (exposure, competition, all of the points below) without the upside. So you have to 'force' your way into making this move a positive ROI. How do you do that? By being consistent and doing it properly.
- This won't work if you have proprietary research/IP or if you have to be, by nature, a closed-doors company (e.g. healthcare, security, etc). But otherwise it works with both bootstrapped or funded companies. Works fantastically well if you're heavily-funded.
Be aware that being bootstrapped in a niche will attract competition, assuming things are going well. I would not go at building in public unless you've got at least a plan on how to enforce a network effect or a reinforcing growth loop. A strong personal brand is in itself a moat, but perhaps not strong enough by itself. Why is this important? When the copycats are coming, you want to make sure you've got a strong differentiator that will widen/keep the gap between you and them. Preferably something that'll beat the 'competing on price' copycats.
- This won't work if you keep an eye on competition more than it's healthy to.
- This won't work if you'll over-analyse your moves. That would just slow you down. Some people manage to do it by never looking back, while some adopt a healthy dose of introspection/analysis — whether technical or personal. But too much overthinking while building in public can slow you down from either building, or publishing.
- There's no wanna-be BiP - you need to share the insights, otherwise every upside we're talking about does not apply. If you only share the ups but no downs, or if you show only the ups in a certain way (I'm pleased to announce today that...) then you're back to square 0:LinkedIn. You'll swear at BiP and call it useless.
Top 10 tips for BiP?
- Think of what's attractive: graphs, numbers, or what kind of lessons attract
- Think of who you want to attract while BiP
- Don't overthink it
- Don't spend too much time studying it. Create your own flavour of BiP rather than copying too much of what other ppl do.
- The purpose is to keep track, keep yourself accountable, and get people to ride-along your journey
- Have some fun with it. You're not a public company, so it's up to you whether you want to be serious, humorous, or anything in-between. Public companies don't have this advantage: they have to be serious.
- The point is to be open: you can also 'ask', not just 'give'. Ask for advice, opinions, past experience etc.
- Double down on what works, skip what doesn't
- More transparency can lead to better results
- Share both the good and the bad. Both are interesting.
- BONUS: More here
Don't forget to duplicate the cheatsheet to add your data!
- Building in Public Definitive Guide: Use Transparency to Win by Kevon Cheung
- The Ultimate Guide to #buildinpublic by Jelmer Pé
- Why you should build your product in public (2014) by Ryan Hoover
- I (Ch Daniel) run Reddit SaaS, where we've got weekly AmAs scheduled back-to-back until... at least August 2021! Join us there
- I write "Dear Mom/Investors", a full-transparency subscription to all my projects, built in public (the $15,000/mo business I, 23, built with my 17 yo brother + this very sheet + etc)
Want to suggest another piece for here?
🏅 Want to join the list? The price is very fair: share the cheatsheet and get added to the public list!
No past version so far! You're reading v1.0 (Whow! Thanks!), but we'll add here past versions when v1.1, v2.0, etc. come out