Flash Read

Is transparency still 'radical'?

IT Budgets & Strategy

November 12, 2020
min read
A glasses in front of a photo of a busy city street

Josh Pigford personally just received USD 3.7 million for selling his company, Baremetrics. He plans to ‘financially retire’ his family with the cash. Good on ya, Josh.

How do I know this? Pigford laid out all the details in a wonderfully transparent blog post.

We hear such actions described as ‘radical transparency’, but there was nothing radical about this move from the founder—Baremetrics is a proud member of the Open Startups initiative, where contributing companies share their MRR for all to see. These benchmark comparisons are insightful for startups, where gauging success can be tricky.

Radical transparency doesn’t always work, though. Buffer, the proudly transparent social media management tool, gained a lot of attention for their publicly accessible salary database (which apparently led to a 229% jump in job applicants). However, Buffer decided to retire a company-wide transparent email policy—because it was too damn overwhelming to read everyone else’s email on top of your own.

But, generally, wouldn’t some selective transparency improve our professional lives? The salary negotiation game would be easier for all involved, and potentially reduce discriminatory wage gaps. Plus, defined wage structures may attract the right level of talent (and applicants aligned with company culture), as well as subdue aggressive negotiating strategies. That compensation budget becomes a fixed, reasonable tool for finding a unified, diverse workforce.

From an IT executive’s point of view, wouldn’t it be helpful to have tool databases that weren't filled via pay-to-play but by genuine peer experience? To know how much spend others are allocating to, for example, innovation? To be able to have conversations with other leaders about how hard everything is at the moment, and share coping strategies? To genuinely be told if the latest -Ops acronym actually means anything?

Obviously we have to keep sensitive information secure and confidential. But the behind-closed-doors approach that’s supposed to offer something like a competitive edge is starting to feel antiquated. Transparency might help businesses rise together, clean up murky practices, and ensure that genuine quality is rewarded above all.

Maybe we should all be more like Josh.

Access data and intelligence from thousands of verified technology CxOs, VPS, and Directors, while engaging in compelling conversations about what's top-of-mind for tech leaders today.

Join the Pulse Community

Join the executive community

Make and shape business decisions with tried-and-true advice and benchmarks from technology leaders

Executives powering Pulse

“With its survey data, Pulse skips the anecdotes and provides deep context and real numbers for the topics that are top of mind for my organization.”
Julie Cullivan photo
Julie Cullivan
Chief Technology and People Officer, Forescout
“Pulse beats any other platform, research company, Slack groups, etc. at getting me the most relevant advice and content. I rely on Pulse for all knowledge and insights. The answers are consistently exactly what I need.”
Roberto Torres photo
Roberto Torres
CTO, Taimingo
“What the IT community has needed is a vendor free, agenda free platform which encourages discussion and debate amongst peers. Pulse has nailed that in both their Q&A and timely reports.”
Lee's headshot
Lee Vorthman
CSO, Oracle
“I love that Pulse is a one-stop shop for all the peer conversations and insights that are presently super scattered and disconnected among various Slack channels and other CIO groups.”
Enrique Jenkins photo
Enrique Jenkins
Head of IT, DoorDash
“Being able to drive discussions on new tech with my peers and getting immediate feedback is exactly what has been missing until Pulse.”
Manjit Singh photo
Manjit Singh
CIO, Toyota
“For the past two weeks, the first news source I check [every morning] is Pulse. I look at Focused Five everyday. Pulse first, then Twitter, etc. You're that good.”
Miguel Borbolla Olea photo
Miguel Borbolla Olea
Director of IT, OCESA
“I’m excited for what the Pulse team have built to better connect the CIO community. It’s been exceptional for many of us in the community to get clarity and aid decision making as we develop our strategy.”
Yusuf Khan image
Yousuf Khan
CIO, Automation Anywhere
"Transformative change and real-time insights can only come from the people who are doing it day to day in an innovative way. I get a wide variety of that insight from Pulse."
Malcolm Harkins photo
Malcolm Harkins
Chief Security and Trust Officer, Cymatic