Building in public can be a great way to build interest in your product, generate users, and force yourself to finish and release your products. But there's several reasons why you might not want to build in public. Of course, everyone is different, and you may have different reasons, all of which are valid by the way, but I'm going to discuss some of the reasons I've seen people give for not wanting to, and turn those into reasons why you should!
What if No-One Likes My Idea?
Building in public exposes our ideas and presents them to the world. This can trigger a fear that no-one will like your idea, so you don't want to show it off. But if you're worried no-one will like your idea, why are you building it? Surely it's better to find out people don't like it before you spend months, and money, building and releasing an app only to find out no-one is interested.
What if Someone Steals My Idea?
If you have an idea that is so amazing that someone wants to steal it and release it before you do, then you have proved your idea is a good one. If you've been talking about your app for a few months and people have expressed an interest in your app, then all of a sudden a clone of your app appears, that doesn't necessarily mean everyone will flock to this new app. If anything, those who have expressed an interest may defend your app, saying you did it first.
App theft isn't as common as people may believe, especially if you've been talking about it for a long time. But there are some instances where people try to rip off an existing app or idea in order to cash in on someone else's idea and hard work. But if you're worried your idea is so revolutionary that people will try to steal your idea before you can execute it, then consider getting a patent for it. If you don't think your idea warrants a patent, then you've got nothing to worry about.
Execution is far more important than being the first. Facebook wasn't the first social media app. It wasn't even the first to use the word "face" as the first word in their brand. But it was executed better than it's competitors, and that's why so many people use it, and why the others were committed to the archives.
What if I'm Not Good Enough?
You may be worried people will ridicule your efforts, and say you should use X Framework, or the idea sucks, or they hate it, and you're right. They absolutely might say that. But on the other hand, they might not.
If you truly believe you aren't good enough, then that's ok. Doing anything in public is all about confidence - even this blog article! Not everyone has the confidence to do it, and not everyone wants the confidence to do it, but if you're reading this, the chances are, you want that confidence. Confidence isn't really something I can tell you how to get. The only advice I can give is to keep building projects, do work for clients and employers, and keep at it until you gain that confidence. There isn't really a timescale for that. Some devs I know started building in public from day 1. Others it took years before they became confident enough. Everyone is different.
These are just some of the "reasons" people have given me as to why they wouldn't consider building in public, and while they're all good reasons, they're not reason enough to stop. Of course, no-one should feel obliged to build in public, you may not want to because of NDAs, or for several other reasons, but if you're considering it, I hope to see your progress updates soon, and that you make awesome, publicly!