GOOD

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.

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

Articles
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics