In what could prove to be the dumbest thing I've done, or one of the most useful...I've made the demo of Baremetrics our own business data. In other words, I've made the Dashboard that we use for Baremetrics public. Real numbers. Real data. Live. For all the world to see.
On Being Helpful
What initially spurred this on was at first a practical thing. I needed a live demo page of Baremetrics in action. We don't have a free demo (for reasons I'll write about soon), and so people constantly ask to kick the tires to see what Baremetrics actually does. This solved that with the flip of the proverbial switch.
But past that, there's something deeper I wanted to do.
I feel like I'm in a startup/small business bubble where everyone says they're doing great and their business is growing and "getting traction," but in reality, I don't think any of us knows what that means.
I don't know if the $1,000 I made in the first month is something to be excited about or if it's proof my business will never succeed. I don't know if having an ARPU of $50 is great for a B2B, or if I'm so off the ball that it's the primary thing I need to work on.
There are all these metrics that I know I need to track, but nothing to look at and say "Ah, that's normal" or "My gosh this is awful."
So I wanted to change that.
How Open is Too Open?
In the past year, more and more startups are starting to open up about how their business is doing. The highest profile one is probably Buffer. They're extremely open, all the way down to posting the salaries of everyone that works there.
From a business-owner perspective, it's really quite amazing to get that much insight, and so I wanted to extend that type of insight to other business owners who are at the same early-stages that I'm at.
But that brings up the question, is it possible to be too open? What about competition? What will customers think? Will they think my revenue is too low right now so I'm not a legitimate enough business? Will they think my ARPU is too high and that I'm gouging them on prices? Without having their own data in there, will potential customers gloss over the features and think it's not worth their time?
I don't know. I literally have no answer for any of those, or the hundreds of other questions I have about this little experiment.
But I do know it's worth a try. I've already had quite a few people email and say how helpful it's been for them to have some sort of reference point and insight in to how another business is doing.
And that's all I really want.
Could someone take a look at all this data and copy me? Sure. But people who are that shallow and uncreative don't last. Plus, they're always a step behind because they're incapable of producing anything original.
So what do I really have to lose? I haven't come up with anything substantial at this point. There's the risk that my ego takes a hit if Baremetrics stops going so well and that instantly goes on display.
But why should I care? If every entrepreneur keeps acting like their business is going great right until they're out of business, then what do any of us gain?
I'd much rather be open and helpful to others than closed and useless.
I'd love for you to give it a try: https://demo.baremetrics.com
It's literally got all of our revenue-based financials. MRR, LTV, Churn, ARR, ARPU and lots of other acronyms that you may or may not love to see.
Share it with other entrepreneurs. Not because I want yours or their business, but because I want to be helpful to the community.
If you'd like to talk 'shop about any of our metrics or just running a business in general, please reach out. I'm happy to talk anywhere at any time.