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How to build loyalty by showing customers and employees to one another

According to Ryan Buell, operational transparency is "the deliberate design of windows into and out of the organization’s operations to help customers and employees alike understand and appreciate the value being created." 

Every startup should be considering how to bake transparency into their business. If you facing the challenges, do read Buell's article. He covers the dangers as well as the benefits. 

Harvard Business Review: Operational Transparency , 2019-Mar/Apr by Ryan W. Buell

Customers are, as a researcher in the 1960s boldly called them, “environmental disturbances.” As the argument goes, separating customers from internal processes through physical distance, time, or the introduction of technology enables companies to perform more efficiently and, in turn, create more value for consumers. But my research shows that the pendulum can swing too far. When customers are cordoned off from a company’s operation, they are less likely to fully understand and appreciate the value being created. As a result, they are less satisfied, less willing to pay, less trusting, and less loyal to the company over time. Employees also suffer when they are cut off from the business’s front lines, as they lose the motivation and enjoyment that comes from making a difference in people’s lives and are denied the opportunities to learn and improve that arise from interaction with customers.... 

In contexts in which designing a face-to-face connection between employees and customers is impractical, technology can be used to successfully facilitate operational transparency. In 2013, Domino’s piloted a feature called Domino’s Live in one of its Salt Lake City locations, installing web cameras in the kitchen. Building on its Pizza Tracker app, customers ordering pizzas in Salt Lake could log on and watch a live feed of their pizzas being made. As it turned out, tens of thousands of people from around the country logged on to watch other people’s pizzas get made. Recognizing the potential, Domino’s promoted Domino’s Live on Facebook, and anytime someone clicked the “Like” button, a “Like Light” in the kitchen went on. This gave the pizza makers a signal that someone looking on appreciated the work they were doing. Although Domino’s discontinued Domino’s Live, the company added a feature to Pizza Tracker that enables customers to send notes of encouragement through the app to the people who are preparing their pizzas—prespecified messages such as “I don’t know what I’d do without you” and “You are my pizza-making heroes.”