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

Nathan Barry Build in Public

Do you #BuildInPublic?

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?

Check out the Baremetrics Open Startups page.

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 –

0 to 28M ARR While Building In Public📈 | Nathan Barry

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 –

Read all my blogs around the Build In Public movement in this tag

in Blog | 464 Words