I’ve noticed that, for the last few years, Moz has consistently released an end-of-year infographic.
The staggering thing about these info graphics is how MASSIVELY transparent they are. Every business metric — metrics that most companies guard with an incredible level of secrecy — is thrust open to the world for everyone to see.
Moz provides profit/loss data, employee attrition data, raw client huber data, revenue growth information, even office space and web traffic data.
Most companies are very resistant to releasing this level of data on such a grand and unfiltered scale. It is human nature to hide certain blemishes from our competitors, our stakeholders, and even our employees. It is staggering, and quite refreshing, for Moz to unfurl everything, to open the curtain and let everyone see inside.
For example, they openly show sometimes slowish (by SaaS standards) revenue growth in the 30%+ range. They’re not embarassed by this. (Note: They’ve also had several years with 100%+ revenue growth).
They also acknowledge employee attrition, which is a metric that sometimes companies are less than thrilled to acknowledge.
So…is this transparency a good thing? If so, why?
The answer to the first question, is yes.
But, why is it good? That’s a more complicated question. Here are the obvious answers.
– PR: Because people like me are so inspired by the transparency that we’re writing about it.
– Fearless: When I was a TV reporter during the heart of the recession I covered many a company that closed it’s doors suddenly. In some cases the employees were not even aware their company was going out of business until they showed up for work and found the doors locked and the lights off.
Why didn’t management just tell their employees in the preceding weeks and days that the company was struggling? The employees would have been annoyed, but ultimately, they would have understood. It was a tough time for everyone. A lot of companies went out of business. The employees would have understood. There was no shame in admitting it.
Instead management insisted on keeping everything secret.
That’s what I LOVE about Moz and their transparency. They will openly show the data–good and the bad. (And to be honest, there is almost no bad).
– Authenticity: This level of transparency exudes authenticity. Consumers love authentic companies.
– It Attentuates The Positive: The majority of the data–the vast majority of the data–is extremely positive. Heck in just a few years Moz has grown from a tiny startup to a nearly 30 million dollar company. That’s incredible. It’s a true American success story.
The question, then, is this: will your company (or mine) follow the example Moz has set and be transparent? Or, will we simply focus on keeping the internal business data a secret?