Examples of transparent product & company handbooks

Joe Tannorella


We've been posting semi-transparently about our product development journey in building Rocket Role. We know our users – product managers – tend to enjoy watching products grow from 0-1 (and hopefully beyond!).

We have a lot of admiration for the transparency of some of the awesome companies out there. It's not easy putting yourself out there, especially for all to see, at all times.

There are some exceptional examples of product and company handbooks out there. We've collated a few examples for you.

Transparent product and company handbooks: pros and cons

Before we dive into the handbooks, let's talk about why a company might choose to be transparent—or not.


  • Trust Building: Transparency fosters trust both within the team and with the external audience.
  • Collaboration: Open access to information can encourage cross-departmental collaboration.
  • Accountability: Publicly sharing processes and goals holds everyone accountable.


  • Security Risks: Sensitive information could be exposed.
  • Misinterpretation: Without context, information can be misunderstood.
  • Resource Intensive: Maintaining up-to-date, public-facing documents can be time-consuming.

The examples



We have 2 clear favourite examples here, and number 1 comes from Posthog.

They clearly outline all of their ways of working, how they prioritise, and much more. It's a fascinating read, even if you're not in the market for their (very very good) product analytics tooling.



Another super, extremely transparent example. GitLab are large (in the thousands of employees), whereas Posthog I believe aren't much more than 100 folks (or maybe less?)/



Valve's approach to product development is super unique. Their entire company is unique for that matter. Nobody has a manager!

I'll save you the explaination - check out their handbook.

Some Honourable mentions








I love how transparent Buffer are in everything they do. They're not just following the build in public trend either, they were genuinely one of the first companies to be overtly transparent... from day 0.

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