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Open Source Startup: The Open Startup Movement

Welcome to Chapter 10 of Open Source Startup: The Open Startup Movement. This is the last chapter. For a table of contents, head over to the Introduction here

Ever since I wrote the epitaph for Real Time Wine, I've been a strong supporter of more honest sharing in the South African startup landscape. There's a lot of ego floating around. Everyone is a CEO. Every CEO is a Rock Star. Until they fail, then they go away quietly.



Failure is stigmatised - and the result of this is we have a skewed view of what constitutes success and more importantly, we can't learn from other attempts in our ecosystem.

There's a movement in the US that may have particular relevance to our local ecosystem as we slowly grow up and de-stigmatise failure. Quoting here from a HackerNoon article...

"The Open Startup trend is a transparency and openness movement seemingly initiated by Buffer, quickly adopted by Ghost, capitalised by Baremetrics, and recently popularised in the Indie Maker community by Pieter Levels

There’s no official definition yet, and the Oxford dictionary weren’t available for comment, so let’s write one; A product or company which operates in the open and shares their statistics publicly. 

All a company needs to declare themselves an Open Startup is to share their metrics such as revenue, users, and traffic. This is usually done on a dedicated page with lots of numbers and charts hopefully showcasing growth, and it can sometimes tells a story of the company (like Hacker Noon’s)."

- - -

BareMetrics has a summary page of Open Startups they're currently tracking. Click through to their page. Isn't that refreshing? Isn't that quite the opposite of most closed ecosystems?

Sure, these aren't unicorns. They're not even babycorns. Politics intervene when a company goes past a certain size, with Boards and Shareholders unwilling to share metrics. Of course, that all changes when a company lists and you're forced to once again be transparent.

It doesn't really matter either way, the learnings all happen in the $0 - $1m monthly turnover space. That's where the gold lies.

Even forgood isn't totally ready to go open. Perhaps one day... Are you?

The point is simple. Through transparency and honest sharing, we can learn. Through learning, we can leapfrog and build better businesses.

It's for this reason that I wrote Open Source Startup.

I hope you enjoy.

Andy Hadfield. 2019.


Disclaimer: The information in these posts work for us. I cannot guarantee that it'll work for you. Consult the right professional to make sure.

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