Want to start building in public but you’re afraid of copycats stealing your idea?

Chances are you’ve already heard that ideas are worth nothing. They really aren’t. Spend long enough on X for example, and you’ll see creators rifting on the same exact ideas again and again. Dozens of indie makers all building basically the same things (AI wrappers FTW 🙃). All with different level of success.

You’ll also see creators making money with objectively debatable ideas, stuff that doesn’t really hold up from an entrepreneurial POV. UIs for ChatGPT, code boilerplates for shipping, snippets for notifications. Vitamins everywhere.

Yet, lots of them are having considerable success. While you and I debate and play spectators.

But I can’t really convince you that your idea is not worth that much by itself.

Heck, I can’t even convince myself that my ideas aren’t.

So I won’t try to.

Instead, here’s a simple tactic to still build in public, while at the same time giving you a bit of reassurance about copycats.

By the way, you want to build in public. Building in stealth is pretty much a liability in 99.999% of scenarios. Marketing and sales are probably going to be the hardest obstacles you’ll face. Building in stealth not only doesn’t help, but it’ll actively hinder you.

You’ll ship your app with little to no validation. You’ll have no customers, no leads, no interest. And this will be devastating. You’ll feel deflated and depressed. Right when you need to be strongest to perform your marketing outreach and actually make sales.

Been there, done that.

Spare yourself the trouble.

Building in public gives you momentum and accountability as you’re building. It can help you validate while you’re building. And if you do it right, it can also give you a pool of leads before you even have your MVP.

So you definitely want to start building in public.

Fine. How do I deal with copycats then?

Give yourself a head start!

Draft your build in public posts as you go about your day.

But actually publish them and share them only after a week or two. Use a scheduling tool if you need to.

This way you’ll have a nice head start on any potential copycat while still building in public as you go.

It’s really a simple middle ground between building in public live and building in stealth (i.e., sharing it only when you actually release it).

I’ll be honest, this is really a psychological hack, letting you progress from a building in stealth mindset to a building in public one.

As you progress, you’ll notice that that head start is really not to hinder copycats, but rather to ease your sharing process.

And that’s perfectly fine. Eventually, you’ll be able to transition to building in public live if you want to. Or, even better, just ship so fast that you’re basically building in public as you ship each day.

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