Why #BuildInPublic Doesn't Work

May 05, 2023

Somber news, friend...

#BuildInPublic (where you build your startup and post about it all over the internet) is dead.

Well, actually, it never really worked all that well.

Let me explain:


The purpose of building in public is to showcase your progress on a new startup or product - this could work only if certain criteria are met.

1. The target customer is interested in seeing the process of building.

2. The target customer has $ to buy your product.

In the end, there are only two important points to hit, but many people are missing the mark.



Most customers don't care how it's built.

The only people that really care are going to be other people building their own products.

But here's the real kicker:

People building their own products usually don't have the $ to spend

A common scenario to bring this home:

  • An indie hacker builds a small tool to help fellow indie hackers
  • They spend a few months building it in public - they even get a decent following of other devs!
  • Launch day comes and they get next to $0 in sales
  • They spend the next 2+ years clawing their way to 'ramen profitability'.

Why was this so hard? Why did it take several years?

A poorly positioned offer in a not-so-rich niche.

Selling products to other bootstrapped startups is a recipe for a long, painful journey of fighting for every single customer.

This is because - like many bootstrapped startups - they have no excess capital.

Can it work anyway? Sure - you can cram a square block into a round hole. But why play on hard mode?

Key takeaway: make sure the niche you're building for has disposable income to spend.


- Jordan


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