The concept of radical transparency, a philosophy of honesty and openness, is part of everything we are and do at The New Review. We've built our business on top of this idea and it's visible across the site, from our Document History pages to our extensive policies and disclosures.
It would be an understatement to say that a lack of transparency is common with review sites. Frankly, it's a problem across much of the internet and business in general, but there's a particularly dangerous level of secrecy that's far too customary among sites that review and rank products and services.
This lack of transparency results in millions of people spending billions on dollars on "the best" of something or other that is often anything but. The desire to solve this problem is what first inspired us to create The New Review.
Our commitment to "radical transparency" is core to who we are and influences every decision we make!
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What radical transparency means to us
We define radical transparency as an uncommon commitment to honesty and openness in everything we do.
Instead of only being transparent in ways required by law or where our competitors are doing the same, we're transparent in everything we do by default, with a notable exception for privacy and editorial integrity (more on this below).
Full transparency: (see what we did there? 😉) We did not invent the idea of radical transparency. You can dig deeper into the concept on its Wikipedia page.
Bottom Line: As stated above: an uncommon commitment to honesty and openness in everything we do!
How we exercise radical transparency
Radical transparency isn't just lip service for us. Each and every member of our team lives and breathes it every day in the work we do. We've even built transparency into our site itself!
Here are a few examples:
Our Content: Like all review sites, we continually update our reviews, lists, and other pages to keep them accurate. We took this a step further and include a Document History page with each one so you can see what, when, and why we made an update, no matter how small. We also share, in great detail, how we review and rank the services you come here to learn about.
Our Business: We remind you on every page how we make money (and maybe more importantly how we don't). We also share very specific information, in understandable language, about the data we collect (or, in our case, don't) and how we do and do not use it.
Our People: Every page on The New Review has an associated author page where you can learn more about the individual or team who authored and manages that page. We even make it easy to start a conversation directly with them to ask questions, provide feedback, or just to say hi!
This is just the very beginning. As our business grows, we'll be sharing a lot more details including our specific impact on the environment, our commitment to accessibility, detailed diversity and inclusion statistics, and so much more. Please reach out if you have ideas of your own!
Bottom Line: Among other things: we provide detailed changelogs for all of our content, we're clear about how we make money and who we work with, and we're available for questions and comments.
The risks - or not - of being this transparent
Many businesses consider their ideas, processes, and other behind-the-scenes activities as the "secret sauce" driving their success. Sharing those things with the world, and thus their competitors, isn't often considered a good idea.
We feel differently because we have a very different view of what drives success.
Our founding team has over a hundred years of collective business experience at every level, across a number of industries, and we all agree that the secret to success is rarely an idea or a special process; it's simply doing the work.
That's it. That's the secret. Ideas themselves tend to be easy. Execution is hard. Radical transparency isn't risky when you understand that it's primarily hard work that drives success.
Bottom Line: Because it's more often hard work and less often state secrets that define success, we're not too worried about sharing everything possible with you.
Transparency and... anonymity?
While it may at first seem at odds with our commitment to radical transparency, we have chosen to keep our team's names, locations, and other personal information anonymous. This is another major difference between us and our competitors, who very often share names, photos, social accounts, and plenty of other personal information about their authors and other members of their business.
Bottom Line: By being a little less transparent in this area, we can be far more transparent with our reviews.