I had raised this issue previously in the mailing list, which resulted in Beeminder joining the Open Company Initiative.
However, since that list depends on the companies individually joining, it is quite incomplete, with efforts to expand it currently bottlenecked in the target companies.
So in light of the recent fever of “awesome-x” lists, I decided to create a community maintained list of open companies: I present to you Awesome Open Company
This way, in a similar spirit to open licenses, anyone is empowered to improve the list without requiring the explicit blessing of the companies in question. To preserve the integrity of the list, in the absence of this authority model, the same strategy adopted by Wikipedia was used: a set of guidelines the community can follow consistently.
So far, the only rule is that each company added to the list must link to a “values”, “principles”, “openness” or similar page (check the current entries for examples), and optionally to a blog post expanding on those concepts. This is why I’m writing: to ask @dreev et al. to produce such a page (or perhaps add a section to Beeminder’s overview page) so that Beeminder can be added to the list while making it immediately clear, to those unfamiliar with it, why it belongs there.
Awesome; thanks for doing this! Off the top of my head, there’s our willingness to share all our metrics (beeminder.com/meta) and our very gradual progress on open-sourcing Beeminder’s code. So far our iOS app and a few other things are open-source at github.com/beeminder. We’re also very open about users’ data (we’ve had an export feature since the very beginning and have an API, etc).
Oh, don’t get me wrong – I think you guys have proven your commitment to openness in various ways, that’s not in question here. The problem is that for any non-insiders, knowing all that is not trivial. I think if you set up a page explaining your values and pointing to the things you mentioned as examples of your commitment to those values (which of course need not be solely about transparency/openness), that would make the overall picture easier to grasp and fit with the inclusion criteria I’ve used for the list.
Otherwise, I am open to suggestions if you guys think those criteria are not optimal.
No, I know, I mainly wanted to jot down my answer as a reminder to myself. I have to think harder about the “values” part. I’m kind of allergic to things like corporate values…
We do have a grandiose mission though: “End Akrasia (at least for the nerd elite)”.
Btw, as for openness, I’m hugely impressed with Buffer and want us to be as much like them as possible when we grow up, in terms of how we run our company.
PS: This Hacker News thread from yesterday may have ideas for companies to add to your list: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9366129
Hahah, that’s understandable. That is probably why, instead of “values” or “mission statements”, many of the companies in the list have pages about their commitment to openness, transparency, etc., which is more about setting the ground rules for mutual trust (and it does go both ways particularly strongly in your case, since Beeminder depends on the honesty of the users to work).
Another reason it wouldn’t pass for a bunch of empty grandiose statements is that you can back it up with what you’re already doing, as the links you collected above show already.
By the way, the meta page is great for showcasing transparency, but I’d highlight the UVIs goal specifically, since it is a particularly inspiring --for me at least-- example of a company working in close partnership with its customers, rather than the usual us-vs-them mentality that is prevalent elsewhere.
Thanks! I expanded the list with the companies for which I was able to find a openness/transparency page. Let me know if I missed any.