Today is the start of a dream in public / build in public experiment. I'm excited and nervous to tell you about it.
I first came across the term "build in public" in someone's short bio at the end of some article they wrote and latched onto it, diving into a worm hole of online research.
Some background about "build in public," if you want
About folks who have built businesses in public and why it might be a good approach to use in acquiring customers.
Why Build in Public?
Sure, I'm interested in building trustworthy connections with people before there's even something to click "buy" on but really, there's another reason I'm fascinated by the concept.
If you and I have talked about work or starting businesses in the last year or so, I likely have mentioned that I am enamored with cooperative businesses.
One element that intrigues me is what Hakanto, a new board member of a music streaming cooperative business called Resonate, shares in his introductory letter to the board:
Part of what led me to co-operatives is the reality that few get to live a democratic life other than through disconnected moments like voting for distant representatives. We are denied complex personhood in the majority of institutions and businesses we interact with, hurting our minds and hearts. We are excluded from conversations and decisions as the norm.
This learned separation may leave us bewildered when we encounter a lively co-operative for the first time. Co-operatives are resolute businesses with over a century of experimentation and success. They are places that not only provide a different governance and ownership model; they are places where people can engage with a more welcoming and egalitarian way of being themselves.
Reading his words I think of another layer... I wish to ask more from this supposed democracy in which I live. I wish to actually take the reins on the democracy and cooperative models that are available to me – to us.
I don't need to admit defeat to the billionaires and massive corporations running the show. I also don't need to go at it alone.
I don't think I need to choose between being a solopreneur or working for someone else's business. I think there are alternative, more expansive pathways that will not only feel more aligned but be more fruitful for me individually and us collectively.
The vision for Be With Cassandra is not solely about the socio-emotional elements of cooperative partnerships; the vision is to also support the work and business elements of cooperative partnerships.
Connecting the dots now, I'm curious about the idea of dreaming and building a cooperative business in public. The build in public approach loops wonderfully with the tenets of cooperative business and could even increase the opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. In this present moment, several different cooperative models are simmering within me and within conversations with others.
Questions that I've been asking myself lately
- How could the act of building in public contribute to my value of joyfully, mutually beneficial partnerships?
- What are valuable elements to share through the building in public approach?
- How do I discern when to bring more beings into the co-creation process and when to contain the co-creation process to a smaller group?
- What strategies (one example being emergent strategy as shared by adrienne maree brown and as seen in nature) could I integrate into the build in public approach so it would be imbued with flow and ease?
- What are you thinking about when you consider cooperative business?
I welcome you to let these questions simmer within you too and to respond to any that may call out.
P.S. More of adrienne maree brown's writing:
…we can define emergent strategy as intentional, strong because it is decentralized, adaptive, interdependent, and creating more possibilities. bringing emergent strategy to our organizing means we become creators of our future together.
we are not limited to how things have been done in the past in terms of how we share leadership, how we manage interpersonal justice, how we make decisions, how we grow our work. even our smallest acts of integrity grow our collective capacity to live our visions into reality.