Week 0: Why build in public?

The homepage explains why I’m building this website. There is a dearth of real-time stories of people building startups in emerging markets and most of the examples we read about of startups getting built are from the USA. I wanted a platform where I could share how much things cost when building something in India, what the unique challenges and opportunities are, and create content that inspires others to build too!

There’s a lot more to it though, and I wanted to share that with you upfront. This post will cover the 6 reasons because of which I think building a website and newsletter like this, that covers my startup building journey in real-time is a brilliant idea!

The Reasons

1 – I’m a writer at heart! I’ve always written stuff because I believe in the power of sharing experiences and knowledge as a means of bettering society. Writing is also something that helps me clarify my own thoughts. The fact that you need to transfer thoughts from your mind to a keyboard forces you to make those thoughts clearer! This means that writing about my startup build process consistently will make things clearer to me than they would be otherwise.

2 – I’m planning on using this as a feedback mechanism / mastermind group. As the journey progresses, I plan on asking the readers what they think of specific ideas, which marketing material they like better, what do they think will work and wouldn’t work. I plan to turn this into a competition with rewards. An example: Do you think Facebook post A will perform better, or post B? Get it right and be rewarded. This kind of A/B testing has shown itself to be invaluable in my time of building political campaigns. As a bonus, you’ll all get to learn how we do it and implement it in your own projects.

3 – I might have ADHD! I try to do twenty things at the same time, but, this project prevents that! Once you start building in public you’re kind of committed. Because I have to send out a weekly update, I’m forced to stay focused on this and get things done. After all, I don’t want to look stupid in front of strangers on the internet!

4 – I think this reporting to you all will force me to test out things more thoroughly and explore options in more depth. When you’re deciding things for yourself and don’t need to justify your decisions to anyone you’re more likely to choose based on whims and gut feelings. You’re also more likely to dump ideas and move on to the next one without giving it a fair shake. When you have to justify decisions to others, you’re more likely to persist with an idea for longer, thoroughly test it out, collect more data and develop a stronger reason for iterating or pivoting from an idea.

5 – In due course, I see this becoming a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs. Once this gets some traction, my idea is to invite other founders, marketers, business leaders and experts to come and talk about their learning. If we have an audience, they’ll want to talk to build their own brands and popularize their own startups. In the process, we’ll get their secrets and repurpose them for our own projects! Mwahahaha! 😈

6 – I see this becoming a legit hiring and outsourcing channel. When I ran election campaigns, I got some amazing people to work with me from Twitter. Sometimes amazing people reach out, and serendipity happens when you put content out into the world. I really think that’ll happen with Behind the Build!

So this is what this newsletter and blog is all about. Sharing my weekly progress reports, financials, expenses, research findings and the lessons I pick up from others I talk to in the course of building this startup! I hope you find this to be informative and engaging.

Please do scroll down and sign up for the newsletter if you’ve ever wanted to learn to build a startup or if you’re just curious! Hopefully we’ll build something great, but surely we’ll learn a lot on this journey!