Just because many established companies have stopped doing it, doesn't mean it's the end of some kind of golden age. The reason these companies built in the open is in the first place is for selfish reasons - free promotion for their business while they ship. Once they have figured out the business, why should they keep putting in the extra work to tell others about it?
I also argue that there is no net advantage to Apple's secrecy. If they had openly talked about the M1 (Apple Silicon) when they were working on it they would have just had more mindshare and the whole Apple ecosystem could have been preparing for it. By staying silent until they released it, it bought them nothing other than the element of surprise, which is like when little children don't want you to see what they're working on, in case you would take over their creative process, and instead want to surprise you with their brilliance.
I very much doubt that secrecy in the absence of insecurity has any value.
Interesting how when revenue was likely equating to profit, they are open to sharing. When they have to pay someone else to help out, they want it to be a secret. I don't think the motivating factor here is very complex at all.
Thank you for writing this and sharing this, I was oblivious to all the startups that were doing this and there were quite a lot going by this article.
I think it is unfortunate that companies are deciding not to be open anymore. In a perfect world, do we want organisations to be open? It would mean investment would be easier and less risky, due to transparency.
In the interests of transparency and openness, I share all my ideas and startup ideas in the open with the hope that someone can extend the idea and society can benefit from the ideas. I am up to 700+ computer ideas and 25 startup ideas links on my profile. Society progresses one idea at a time. Somebody invented calculus with an idea.
If openness isn't safe, then we should normalise openness becoming safe and reject actions against open actors or anything that causes openness to not be safe. Reject behaviour that means openness is not safe. For a better world.
We are using Plausible.io (kudos to them!), a privacy-first analytics platform that provides just enough data without abusing our users' data. This way, we don't even have to show a cookie notice.
I'm planning to open up our financial details as well as soon as we have enough transactions so that our clients can't be identified based on our data.
If what you are doing is a real business, then given the choice to protect your business or aspiring to be "open" (but with no benefit, just risk") - you focus on the business.
It's really no different than releasing too much of your secret sauce as open source - can only hurt you and is a sign you aren't that mature about what running a business through various problems is like.
This was demonstrated lately using the AI Stable Diffusion Portraits. A thousand rivals arose right away after the original author stated their money was derived from doing nothing more than setting up a website connected to steady dissemination on the backend. It increases competition even if none of those rivals are inherently superior.
Transparency is a tricky thing. Much information came from tribal knowledge. As rules have changed for private companies in the US, we saw some of the information being provided "as open" became the norm or required so there is less of a need to share it and there is not that "goodwill" factor. Most of what was being shared was available to some extent if you knew/know where to look.
Well sure, if that's why you were posting. You could ask the same question about being a nice person "What's in it for me?"
But if the goal is to pay to forward in thanks for the help you got along the way, this argument doesn't hold water.
If you are small, being open brings alot of momentum and notice.
This blog post isn't acknowledging that being open is actually even more viable for thousands of new startups given previous successes.
He has confused popular startups closing as the end of all openness.
There be treasure in the long-tail of a fragmented market sector. lol =)
FTFY What if general demise of startups (due to funding drought, covid, market saturation, bad timing aka world wasn’t ready for our idea, or leave your favorite excuse in comments) also impacted open startups? And what if they weren’t successful because open but because market was easier?
What matters much more is that you’re open with your own employees.
The “open startup” idea always seemed superficial to me, founders seeking external validation.
Over the long-term, what really matters is keeping your people (employees) happy, and one very easy way to do that is to show that you appreciate and respect them by sharing your company’s key metrics with them.
Not every month will be great, but that’s ok. If you’re running your business responsibly, you’ll be able to say “we didn’t have a great month, but we have 5 years of runway”.
If you hide metrics because your business is unsustainable, then yea, don’t show your metrics to anyone… and if you work for a private tech company with very guarded metrics, it’s safe to assume they are not doing well financially.