Do you support the idea of openly sharing how the product is developing with the community?

Olga Trykush
11 replies
Hello, hello! Curious to hear your thoughts: 1) don't you think that this strategy is good only if you are an experienced entrepreneur? 2) don't you think that this is not an original strategy nowadays? 3) any interesting hacks/examples regarding the topic?

Replies

Analytics Manager at Cinebody
People always underestimate how hard it is to build product. You can have a great recipe and still bake a shitty cake ;)
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Community & branding enthusiast
@travispage yep, there is always a chance to ruin everything, unfortunately :(
Content Marketing Manager @ Reply.io
I do think that might be a great idea to build a community around your product (or at least raise awareness about it) among fellow makers here, on IndieHackers, etc. Being able to see or even participate in how a product is built creates a sense of involvement. That is why so many established companies have a public roadmap including features requested by the customers.
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Community & branding enthusiast
@elen_u Thanks for your comment, I agree with your opinion, Elen, but still have some concern: what if people think that it's too much - like, redundant information, and they don't want to know the business-related stuff, they're interested in the product only; and there is a chance that people would consider your openness as false one. What do you think?
Content Marketing Manager @ Reply.io
@olha_trykush I guess it all depends on the product and your target audience. Sure, most sales managers that we target wouldn't care about how our product works under the hood. So you should carefully pick what to share based on your ICP.
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Product Mgmt · Frontend Dev · Design
I'm not convinced that transparency into product dev is the best idea. A public roadmap is a good idea. So is collecting user feedback & feature requests in a public place. I think product should be polished before release; you don't want everyone to see how the sausage is made …
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Community & branding enthusiast
@rowemore A great idea with "collecting user feedback & feature requests in a public place", we did it privately, but I guess we will follow your suggestion from now, thanks!
Techie + Serial Entrepreneur
@rowemore I'd argue that totally depends on your reputation. SpaceX, Hyperloop and Tesla built a significant following off the back of the work they did behind the scenes. Warts and all. However, this was Musk and his own personal brand at work. So carried a host of fans across between the products.
Techie + Serial Entrepreneur
It really does depend. You also have to target the right people: 1. Crowdfunding - It's essential. That builds both social proof and confidence in the people who have invested in you and ideally, prepares the groundwork for the deployment of further crowdfunds, or series A's. 2. Closed/VC funding - Never! As they worry a lot about IP! Certainly earlier in the roadmap is easier than later. 3. Bootstrap - it's up to you, but make it work! Depending on whether you are targeting one of the above or not. If so, the latter will be less happy unless it's a polished marketing pitch Original? Probably not. Though for some of our innovations, we have done this for social content. As the team have nothing to show otherwise and requires the appointment of a social media manager to generate content. Which is expensive early on. Interesting examples? SpaceX, Hyperloop and Tesla. However, they of course built on top of Musk's reputation for innovation. So it wasn't a cold approach.
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Community & branding enthusiast
@ethar_alali Thanks for the explanation, I agree with the idea to analyze the project from all sides before going "public" - there might be some negative effects if not to take into account the origin or mindset of target audience, partners and business type.
I m a developer of desire.
There are different projects for different purpose. One made for community can be shared with the community but one made for business can not be openly shared.