What We Hope to Learn From 30 Days of Honesty
What do you do when you're struggling with a company you love? Be honest.
It's common to hear stories of triumphs in the business world. Hitting one million users. Raising a round of funding. Launching a new market. It's easy to share stories when things are going well.
But what do you share when things are not going as planned? As a struggling startup, we are trying a new approach. Honesty.
My co-founder and I launched our company in 2011 and have since touched thousands of lives with our baby, Dabble. While our small community loves what we are doing, the truth is we aren't yet profitable and have reached the end of our funding runway. We are facing some tough decisions and a "do or die" turning point in our business.
Instead of enduring silently, we decided to face these challenges openly by being totally honest with ourselves, our users and the world. The goal? To see if transparency can help save our company. Our blog, Thirty Days of Honesty, is a place to document the ups and downs of our journey for the next 30 days.
How does it feel to expose our underbelly to the world? Well, it's been scary. It's been cathartic. And the results have already been nothing short of astonishing.
We have received hundreds of emails from people across the globe offering their words of encouragement. Doors have been opened. Help has been offered. Ideas have been shared. Who knows what might happen next, but we believe we are on track to turn around our business. That's a pretty big shift from a few weeks ago.
So, what have we learned so far?
Honesty opens doors to improvement.
The truth is, we all face difficulties. We all question things. We all have weaknesses. When you're honest about what you need help with, the world does a pretty good job at helping you compensate for them. This frame of mind is the first step to either deciding you need to learn more or reconsidering your preconceived notions of about what's right. You grow as a business and as a person.
We cannot control outcomes.
Our original plan for Dabble was to grow the business and share our mission with millions of people. Instead, we're airing our dirty laundry to thousands and trying to figure out what happens next. Despite all this, we're actually more excited about what we're doing. Turns out the worst outcome was not that bad. We should all give ourselves more credit to adapt and "be okay" even if things don't follow your original plan.
We can define our own success.
As a business owner, it's too easy to think of the glass as half empty. Focusing on what we haven’t done instead of celebrating our small (but real) accomplishments. Sure, we haven't proven ourselves as the next Facebook—but that doesn't mean we haven't been successful at bringing something good to the world. We've stopped comparing ourselves to other people's standards of success. As the saying goes, "don't let comparison be the thief of joy."
Follow our journey on thirtydaysofhonesty.com
Should Society Fund Mindfulness? Putting taxpayer money toward meditation programs? It’s not as crazy as you might think.
Syrian Refugee Women Learn Self-Defense with Predictably Badass Results Two Arab-American women hope to empower Syrian women fleeing their home country’s conflict with physical training and emotional healing.
Achilles’ Password: Online Security’s Susceptible Straggler These new technologies promise to make your vulnerable passwords obsolete.
Guess Which Wealthy Country Can't Guarantee Access to a Basic Human Need? This week, Detroit's neediest had their water turned off. Here's what you can do about it.
If More Couples Smoked Weed, Would There Be Less Domestic Violence? Spouses who smoke weed are less likely to inflict physical, sexual, or psychological harm on their significant other.
Better Living Through Science: Women in STEM A look at pioneering women in fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
How You Type Says a Ton About Your Emotional State This new computer program can see right through your poker face.
Let’s Do More. A Call-to Action by Gap CMO Seth Farbman Data shows that 24% of the 21 million Americans making minimum wage are working in retail, and 64% of those are women.
Meet the Self-Proclaimed President of Colombia’s Hottest Music Trend Champeta started as an outsider Afro-Colombian folk movement. Now it's taking over the country.
Cryptocurrency Regains its Reputation in Paradise Can a renowned tourist hub in Bali become a bitcoin wonderland?
Can a Miracle Fruit Overcome its Unsavory Reputation? Conservationists, farmers, and nutritionists are singing the praises of the breadfruit. If only it didn't taste so bad.
New App Could Tackle Hunger, Will Help You Find a Good Deal PareUp wants to connect food purveyors to thrifty consumers looking to score deals on unused, but still edible, items.