Every company that I’ve ever worked for has said something along the lines of, “We are really transparent, it’s unprecedented that a company would share this much information with employees.” And all of the companies I’ve worked for did share things like quarterly financial numbers, business data, and other secrets that they’d prefer not be leaked on TechCrunch.

Things were never leaked, as far as I know.

That type of transparency is actually really easy. Sharing what’s happened in the past is fine and it makes people feel like they know more than the outside world, but it’s not that interesting (to them or TechCrunch). The interesting things are what’s next. What deals are being worked on or which people are interviewing?

Sharing future plans that will almost certainly change is scary. Opening up half finished ideas for discussion and criticism can seem counter-productive. People ask questions that might seem obvious or unimportant. In the early stages of something new it can feel like a waste of time addressing everyone’s concerns.

Sharing these things are the only way to be a truly open company.

Being open takes extra time. It takes extra planning. Allowing hundreds or even thousands of people to comment on an unreleased design or a new idea slows things down. Finding the balance between keeping people involved and moving quickly can be tricky, and its different for every company. If you’re not sure what the right level is, be more transparent. Tell people more.