Jan 12, 2023 5 MIN

From open source to open startup

Being open source isn't enough, we want to accelerate the transparency in the financial world

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The OpenBB Terminal is discontinued. Please find out more about it here.

I want to start this blogpost by introducing the concept of an open startup. As this phrase can often be interpreted differently, here’s the standard definition that ChatGPT gave me:

“An open startup is a company that practices open innovation and transparent communication with its stakeholders, including customers, employees, and investors. This means that the company is willing to share information about its products, services, and business operations with the public and is open to input and feedback from all stakeholders.

Open startups typically have a strong focus on collaboration and community building, and they often use open source technology and principles in their operations. Some open startups may also be structured as cooperative or worker-owned enterprises, in which ownership and decision-making power are shared among employees.”

Why now?

I’ve been learning about the open startup movement for a while now and I always knew that I wanted OpenBB to follow this trend. At the end of the day, I want us to accelerate the openness and transparency in the financial world.

But until recently, this wasn’t one of our top priorities. This all changed when the cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed. This was a house of cards and they stood for everything but transparency - not only with their users but also with their shareholders and team alike!

John J. Ray III who has spent a career tackling large corporate failures involving allegations of criminal activity (like Enron), was appointed CEO of FTX to deal with the bankruptcy, and this is one of his quotes to the US congress:

“Never in my career have I seen such an utter failure of corporate controls at every level of an organization, from the lack of financial statements to a complete failure of any internal controls or governance whatsoever”

OpenBB wants to pave the way of transparency in the financial world.

Why Open?


Transparency across team, shareholders, users and new hires is key. Everyone can see our growth in the same location; A single source of truth accessible to everyone at all times. We already have our code open source, which shows transparency in our engineering, so it only makes sense for us to behave in the same way with our business.


Everyone will know how we’re doing, for better or worse. This will make us feel responsible to show accurate sustainable growth as this information becomes public. Since everyone has equity in the company, this will be our own skin in the game.

When people ask, “How is OpenBB going?”, this can be answered with a single link to our open page.

Community building

Every company is trying to build a community these days, but building a community is hard. By having all of our information publicly available, anyone from the community will know how we are doing at all times - similar to what the team, shareholders and investors know.

This helps to build trust in OpenBB and allow us to attract and retain talented employees who value transparency and an open culture.


Users will be able to share our open page to share OpenBB metrics with other users, which will help to increase awareness for us.

In addition, we want to become leaders of open culture in the financial world, which is known for being a very closed industry. We want to influence companies in this sector and start a movement.


Since starting OpenBB, I’ve met well over 50 different investors, even without actively fundraising. Whilst this is a great way to start relationships, it’s not sustainable as it takes valuable time away from talking with users/customers (and let’s be honest, even developing :slight_smile:). So by having an open page, we will be able to discuss our growth async and more efficiently. And then, when we are actively fundraising, we can focus on the details.

How are we going to do it?

We are adding all our metrics and stats to /open.

What metrics?

Our open metrics will contain 4 main distinct sections to start with:

  • Social Media metrics: Twitter followers, Discord users, LinkedIn followers, YouTube views, Reddit followers.
    • Allows to understand the strength of our community in the social media channels that we focus on.
  • Team stats: Team distribution and employee engagement coming soon.
    • Allows to understand where we are based and employee experience at OpenBB
  • Product metrics: OpenBB Platform users, OpenBB Bot, OpenBB SDK and OpenBB Terminal
    • Allows to hold us accountable for our user growth and the usage that our products have
  • Developer metrics: Stars, forks, merged pull-requests, closed issues, contributors.
    • Keep up-to-date with our development speed and how engaged the open source community is.

For all the metrics that are open source, there will be an ⓘ in the top right to share information on why this chart was made open source and why it’s important to us. Once a metric is open, we do not intend to close it ever again, that is why all the metrics we are making public have gone through a thorough reasoning process and there’s enough contextual information to understand its meaning.

If you can think of a metric that you would like to see on our open page, please feel free to message hello@openbb.finance.

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