Tailscan is now an Open Startup
By: Erwin, 31 March 2023
This is the third article in a series of articles about building Tailscan in public. However, this article is a bit different from the previous two. I won't be going into details about what I've built recently this time.
Instead, I want to announce that Tailscan is now an Open Startup 🎉
What is an Open Startup?
An open startup is a startup that publicly shares its metrics, such as revenue, user growth, traffic numbers, churn, and other metrics.
Or, as Danielle from Leave Me Alone defined it: "A product or company which operates in the open and shares their statistics publicly."
Why make Tailscan an open startup
I fundamentally believe that transparency and openness are good qualities for a startup to have. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but in general, I think it's a good thing.
Transparency is an easy and consistent way to show how Tailscan is doing, and holds me accountable and focussed on continuously improving it. And that, in turn, also helps to build trust with current users.
There is also the fact that Tailwind CSS is an open source project and Tailscan is built on top of it. So, it makes sense to also be as open as I can be about Tailscan.
Last but not least, it's also beneficial because helps to attract new users. Building in public gives me more to write and talk about and as a bonus, can inspire others like you (yes, you!) to take the leap to entrepreneurship as well.
Alright, this sounds great and all but, are you sure there aren't any downsides?
There are. In recent times, many have closed their books. NomadList and RemoteOK, VEED, Testimonials, and a few others have stopped sharing their metrics.
Damon Chen from Testimonial even wrote an article about why he stopped sharing metrics.
From what I understand, there are two main reasons:
- As startups become bigger, the milestones they share become less interesting. Going from absolute zero to the first $1000 MRR is interesting because it's relatable. But the bigger the amounts, the less tangible it becomes.
- The metrics can be valuable for competitors and attract copycats. Competitors can see what's working and what's not, and can use that information to their advantage. Copycats are attracted to your revenue and will try to clone your product.
Both of these concerns are reasonable. However, at the current size of Tailscan, number 1 is not a concern and might never be a concern to me. Number 2 is somewhat of a concern to me, but I don't think competitors or copycats can make use of what I'll be sharing.
Where to find the metrics
You can find all the metrics I share on the Open Startup page.
List of other Open Startups
Are you curious about other open startups? Here's a list of the other Open Startups I know of. If you know of any others, please let me know, and I'll add them to the list.