Why Nathan Barry Build’s in Public and why it can harm you

Do you #BuildInPublic? Why do you do it? To build an audience? to market your product?

Why Nathan Barry Build’s in Public and why it can harm you
Why do you do it?
To build an audience? to market your product?
Nathan Barry does it as a mission💪
He wants to leave a trail behind for future founders to learn from.
Here’s how Nathan does it, and why you probably shouldn’t –

First, some numbers about Nathan’s company ConvertKit
ARR 👉 $28.4M
ARPU 👉 $64
New Customers 👉 -9.3% YoY
Refunds 👉 +108% YoY
How do I know this?
It’s available for all to see (including competitors!)
Check CK’s baremetrics page —
None of ConvertKit’s competitors share these numbers publicly.
Most companies that #BuildInPublic stop sharing numbers after reaching the $1M revenue mark.
At that stage, sharing is more harmful than beneficial.
Nathan Barry knows this.
Still he does it.
He does it because he wants to help fellow founders.
He actively blogs about the wins and losses at his company.
In fact, CK started as a “Web app challenge – 0 to $5k MRR” Back in 2012.
Long before #BuildInPublic was a trend.
Read the origin story –
Nathan’s mission is to help creators earn a living.
And that’s what ConvertKit is focused on.
But by working in public, he wants to inspire other indie hackers to build their own profitable businesses.
His journey gives others hope and strength when times are tough.
You can find numbers of very young companies as they use #BuildInPublic as a marketing strategy.
You can also find numbers of very large companies, as they are publicly traded.
But there’s a huge gap in the middle – from $1M ARR to IPO.
CK fills the gap
So should you #BuildInPublic?
Not if you’re only looking for marketing and get some early users.
Nathan says its not worth the effort if its not for a mission.
The ROI is just not there.
A good read on the topic is a post by Arvid Kahl –
Looking for more inspiration?
Many companies are sharing their numbers publicly.
No surprise ConvertKit is the largest company on that page. Nathan Barry is the original builder in public.
Massive respect 🙇‍♂️
Want to Read the full story – Lessons from Nathan Barry ?
– Why he works in public ?
– Why he was advised to shut down the company ?
– Only 4 value props businesses can have ?
– How he positions ConvertKit in a crowded market ?
Listen Up IH episode 17 –

Have thoughts? Let’s discuss on Twitter
I tweeted about this post here –
Read why I Build In Public in my “Build In Public” manifesto –

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Eternally Curious. Writing, Learning, Building in Public. Writing about Ideas + Inspiration + Insights for Indie creators 🎨| Simple tips to make 10X Decisions in Business and Life 😇 | Creator Economy FTW 💸 | Product Manager