A tool for transparency

While working on our other project called Devise, we wanted to share our progress. Since we didn’t find anything that filled our needs, we decided to make something of our own.

Transparency isn’t about numbers

Companies are becoming more and more transparent, sharing their financial information in and out. Why? It isn’t to boast who has a bigger wallet, they do it because it builds trust with their users. On the other hand being transparent within the company makes employees more satisfied (when they know they are being paid fairly) and improves company culture.

But that’s just the first step. Why not engage your users, make them feel like they are part of some community. They are the reason you are able to continue working on your project, it wouldn’t hurt to celebrate that once in awhile. You show that you care when you inform them about upcoming features, new blog posts, milestones, etc. It becomes clear why they are using your product and they value you even more. When you reach 1000 customers, get featured by Mashable or TechCrunch, let them know that each of them contributed.

Transparent companies

Let me give you some examples of transparent companies, what they did and where are they now.

Buffer

One of the most well known companies for its transparency and sharing everything with the public is Buffer. They do it on their blog. Around April 2014 they published their dashboard. The following year, their monthly revenue nearly doubled, going from $288,000 to $509,000.

They are at whooping $1.2 million now and steadily moving forward. Being transparent obviously wasn’t the only thing that got them where they are, but it certainly helped.

Baremetrics

Baremetrics weren’t afraid to share their information since the beginning. Their reason for sharing data was just to be helpful to the community.

Even though their numbers weren’t impressive, it helped them close their deal with Buffer that changed everything for them.

They continue to grow and today, their monthly revenue is around $89,000.

Wufoo

Then there’s Wufoo. They shared new things they did for their users and made a tool to show what happened since they last logged in. In one of their lecture videos they say and I quote: “Hands-down, this was the most talked about feature that I heard every time I went out to talk to users”.

We can see from their example that sharing things like this means alot to users and keeps them informed.

SurveyMonkey bought them in April 2011 for $35 million. They added payment processing options and to this day more than $100 million in transactions have been processed through its forms.

All of them exposed themselves to the risk of being copied by others, but copycats generally don’t last long because they lack creativity and they will always be one step behind and fall short. They prove that, if you have a vision, it doesn’t matter if you have big or small numbers, 2 or 5 features. What matters, is that you’re open to your users.

Barelog steps in

We want to combine things mentioned above and much more, to help you become transparent and show your users how much you work and care for them.

Barelog is a tool that allows sharing your product updates, new features, milestones and analytic data. In short, to share your “business story” and accomplishments.

The name symbolises transparency between users and product makers. Some of core features involve full widget customisation, custom domain page, Twitter and Slack integrations (more coming soon) and its simple design makes it easy to use on both ends.

Idea behind Barelog is to help companies become more transparent, gain trust from their users and be valued for the work they put out for them.

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