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What I've learned from working in public

Hey - stop keeping your work a secret.

People building new products have a tendency to keep their projects secret until launch. Usually this is chalked up to a fear of a person or company stealing your idea. I'm willing to bet that we all know someone who has hidden their work from the world until it is "ready" or "done".

Here's the thing: When you keep your product journey a secret, you are robbing yourself of the chance to connect with people who might be interested in you and your product. There are countless success stories from people building in public online -- I'll even share a few below -- and very, very few success stories about things that are built in stealth, and only revealed to the world on launch day.

You don't have to trust me on this, but you should - I've made this mistake before.

You have more to gain by sharing your work with the world than you do by keeping it a secret. It's simple: make the process of building your product part of marketing it. Let people see the bumps and bruises, the moments of joy, and the uncertainties you encounter. Use this to build yourself a community of people who are interested in your product and your journey. Their interest will go past just your product - they'll be interested in you, and your story, and you'll see attachment that is difficult to replicate with a traditional marketing campaign after launch.

The #indiehackers community has been doing this for years, and it's a big reason why many have been so successful.

A chart comparing the kinetic energy of a Tesla Model 3, a Honda Civic Si, and a Hummer EV in a crash

Bigger trucks endanger us all

Have you noticed trucks are getting bigger? Next time you see a new truck in a parking lot, stand next to it - the hood on a new Chevy Silverado comes up to my forehead!

Trucks are extremely popular in the United States - there's no getting around that. I saw some friends sharing an article about the New Hummer EV, which weighs in at an absolutely staggering 9,046lbs. I made the chart above to highlight an important point: in an accident, the hummer EV carries much more energy with it, especially at speeds above 40mph. It has the potential to be far deadlier than the other two cars in the chart. For the sake of comparison, I also included two lines for the F150 (the most popular truck in the world) - depending on its configuration, it can weigh between 4,021lbs and 7,050lbs.

Heavier trucks are worse for the road, more dangerous in collisions, and worse for the environment. I'd wager that more than 90% of these trucks are bought for the sake of vanity... and that's a problem.

What I've been working on

Practice what you preach, right? It's been a busy few weeks over here.

I recently published an article showing how to recreate The Orton Effect with CSS and React. A few weeks back, I shared a post about my thoughts on working remotely, and finding happiness. It has started some great discussions, which was exactly the goal. Check out my article on the third place and let me know what you think.

I've also been publishing new episodes of my podcast, Tiny Improvements, which you can subscribe to here.

Great products being built in public

Todo lists for people with ADHD Llama Life is a thoughtfully designed web app for keeping track of the things you need to get done. It's a project that I've been watching for a while, particularly because the app's creator, Marie Ng does an amazing job of sharing her story over on twitter. It's a simple product that is changing peoples' lives, and has a serious following.

Write like a doc, present like a deck Gamma.app puts a new spin on the presentation tool. It allows you to create beautiful presentations with a workflow much closer to authoring a document than something like a traditional PowerPoint. If you like writing, and hate laying out slides, this one's for you. Built by @by @thatsjonsense and @thisisgrantlee

Convert your most engaged readers into newsletter subscribers Polite Pop is a website plugin that politely prompts your readers to sign up for your newsletter. I use it on my site (you may be reading this because of it!), and it's been a great way to grow my newsletter. It's built by @panphora, and you can see updates for the product on twitter at @polite_pop

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What I've learned from working in public

I'm a big fan of working in public. It's a great way to get feedback and improve your work... you just have to be ready to deal with The Internet™️

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© 2019-2022 Mike Bifulco

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Disclaimer: 👋🏽 Hi there. I work as a Product Builder at [Incognito Mode]. These are my opinions, and not necessarily the views of my employer.
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