I’ve become captivated by companies that are building in public (sometimes referred to as “open startups”). These are companies that share internal information on how they are doing, how they operate, and what their priorities are. It’s fascinating to read what challenges they’re facing and their strategies for tackling them.
Not many companies are doing this though, and so I’ve put together a list of 6 companies that I found that share almost everything. They’re all worth checking out and I highly recommend following their journey.
All the companies on this list share genuine internal company information. This may include:
The best way to summarize this is that if a new employee were to join the company tomorrow, there will probably be very few surprises since so much information is already public.
Being radically transparent implies being radically progressive and so, unsurprisingly, all these companies are remote-first with teams distributed around the world.
Cal.com is an open source alternative to Calendly. It allows you to easily schedule meetings without the email back-and-forth. Peer Richelsen, co-founder of Cal.com, wrote a blog on why being an open startup matters. In it he describes how being an open startup makes it much easier to build a culture of transparency and thereby trust.
Levels helps you see how food affects your health with personalized insights so you can optimize your nutrition and activity. Sam Corcos, co-founder of Levels, wrote a blog on why Levels is building in public. He shares how being transparent forces rigor and improves the hiring process as it eliminates the possibility of mismatched expectations.
Buffer helps you grow your audience by providing a platform to manage your social media presence. They’re well-known for their company value of “Default to transparency”. To prove that they practise what they preach, they have a dedicated page on their site which links to all their transparent resources.
Posthog is an open-source product operating system platform. They provide engineers with everything they need to build something people want. For example, product analytics, video replays, feedback tools, feature flags and experimentation.
ConvertKit is a marketing hub for creators that helps them grow and monetize their audience with ease. Converkit says that working in public helps them learn and hence they share successes, failures and everything in between! This includes publishing a monthly Deliverability report, which holds them accountable to successfully deliver on their promises.
Gitlab were one of the early advocates of the Open Startup initiative and were among the first to publish their company documents. Their internal handbook is a whopping 2,200+ pages!