If you’ve listened to The Entreprogrammers podcast at all, then you know I’m not shy about sharing metrics and stats for my business, including WatchMeCode.
To that end, I’m happy to say that I’ve taken yet another step to making my company and my stats open for everyone to see by joining the Baremetrics Open Startup program!
Baremetrics And The Open Startup Program
If you’e not familiar with Baremetrics, they take your Stripe.com payment processing events and other information and produce reports and graphs that can be critical to helping you understand your business. From monthly recurring revenue, to user and income churn, and so much more beyond that. If you’re running a business with Stripe as your payment processor, you need to be using Baremetrics.
One of the things Baremetrics has done, is provide a way for their customers to share their metrics with the world. This is done through the Open Startups program – a listing of companies that allow you to see their full metrics.
Here, for example, is a snapshot of my metrics as of writing this:
An Incomplete Picture
In spite of showing everything that Baremetrics gives me, what you see here is still an incomplete picture.
I have about a hundred subscribers still on PayPal, for example. I also do screencast bundle and package sales, ebook sales and other things which often come through PayPal and other sources.
In the end, my Stripe payments account for about half of my actual sales. But the numbers I see in Baremetrics are still incredibly valuable to me.
Using the metrics shown here, I have begun to adjust some of the emails I send when someone signs up, cancels, has a failed payment, etc. I’m working to keep subscribers around longer and make sure they are happy – all of which will be reflected in the stats as time moves on.
And I want to share both my success and failure, as it happens!
Why Show My Metrics To The World?
The Open Startup program is best described in Baremetrics’ own blog post:
With Open Startups you get to follow along in real time and discover companies that want to run open and honest businesses. Customers get to peek in to the financials of the businesses they depend on and new startups get to learn from the people who’ve gone before them.
This simple paragraph gets to the heart of the issue, explaining why anyone would want to do this – and it’s not about vanity. If it was, I would be lying through my teeth to tell you how awesome my company is, and how I’m making way more money than I am.
But the reality of my income is now out there for everyone to see, which helps me with these things:
- to be open and honest
- to give others some insight into business they trust
- to help those that follow, to understand and learn
These are the core reasons that I want to share my metrics with the world, and to let people know what’s going on with my business.
These are the same reasons I am part of the Entreprogrammers podcast – a recording of my mastermind group’s weekly meeting. We share everything about our business, because we believe it helps others to see and hear. It provides ideas, good and bad, success and failure, to help and inspire those that follow behind us.
Perhaps as much or more than these reasons – to help others, ultimately – I also want to work against what I see as a problem in our culture, regarding money and income.
A Culture Of Silence
Here in the U.S. (and probably in plenty of other countries) there is a culture of secrecy and almost shame about money. It’s a forbidden topic.
We are told by employers not to discuss it, to avoid “why do they make more than me?!” situations. And we as a society have largely listened to what these companies are saying, to the detriment of our coworkers.
By allowing companies to silence us when it comes to income levels, we perpetuate the problem of women, minorities, and other marginalized people making less than straight white men for the same work. When we are not allowed to talk about our income, this disparity is pay is hidden from the world.
We can’t fix problems that we can’t see.
But then, not everyone has the privilege of sharing like I am doing.
The Privilege To Share
I believe most of my audience has more privilege than they are willing to admit or recognize. Most of you that are reading this have the opportunity to be more open and honest about the levels of income you earn. However, not everyone has the level of privilege.
Some legitimately fear losing their job for being open and talking about money. Some fear the social backlash from a mob of hateful people. Still others have other reasons which prevent them from sharing. And chances are, those that are worried about these problems are the ones that are being negatively affected by our cultural silence, already.
I have the privilege of sharing these numbers, fortunately. I am not going to be attacked. I am not going to have belittling comments thrown at me. I will not be challenged on the validity of my income levels, and my job will not be in danger for sharing this. If any of these things do happen to me, I know I’ll survive.
And since I can share, I will share.
I Want To Share, To Be Open
I want to share with the world. I want other screencasters and technology minded entrepreneurs to see what can be done. I want to show the results of the efforts I put in, and share my success and failures in a way that helps other people learn.
I have rarely shied away from talking about these numbers. Now, they are only easier for everyone to see.
So if you’re interested in seeing what kind of revenue WatchMeCode brings in… if you want to know how many subscribers I have… or whether they stick around for more than a few months – check out the WatchMeCode Open Metrics, and feel free to ask questions!