When To Surf became #1 app in Sports, Weather, Surfing on Product Hunt + 3000 people tried it

Last week I launched my app - When To Surf on Product Hunt and I want to share my results that were achieved. You can read how I done it in my previous article I learned to code, build a web app and launch it on Product Hunt in 2 months.

3–2–1 Launch!

I had never launched anything before so it was my first launch and I was scared what people would think about my product.

So I worked on my on the app all of Saturday night prior to the launch, to have it ready. I got 20 minutes of sleep and finally launched it. Then the beginning of madness started after the launch: answering questions on Product Hunt, Twitter, Email, Medium. I was also fixing bugs on production at the same time. The app crashed a lot, but I tried to fix as fast as I could. It was like 48 hours crazy marathon.

Online traffic was insane. I had only 500 free API calls per day, but it was moments when I used this limit just for 5 minutes. So I was creating new accounts for new API keys every 5 minutes for a period of time. 
I had to do a few debug sessions on Twitter — Thanks, John O’Nolan gave quick feedback and helped to fix the first critical bugs after the launch.

Product Hunt

I submitted the app to Product Hunt at 00:10 PST time on Sunday, and I hoped to get at least 60 votes to become #1 in the Surfing category.

I didn’t ask any famous hunters to hunt my app because I wanted to have organic results.

But, after the launch, When To Surf got 149 votes, during the first day and climbed to the TOP-7 products of the day!

After the first week, the app received 285 votes and became the #1 app in the Sports, Weather, Surfing categories on Product Hunt.

Even Mr. Ben Horowitz voted for me! (But after he deleted his vote. Maybe it was just mistake but anyway, it was pretty cool 👍🏻)

Medium

A couple hours before the launch, I published a Medium post “I learned to code, build a web app and launch it on Product Hunt in 2 months”. It is a story behind the app. It went viral.

One guy even translated it to Chinese !

Also, Quincy Larson from Free Code Camp asked to publish my article in their community, which has over 165k people

Twitter

Twitter become insane … All of my timeline was filled with likes, retweets, and mentions.

I was reposted by Product Hunt and by Ryan Hoover

Email subscribers & feedback

I thought: “If it’s free app, how I can measure the usefulness of my product?” … So I decided to add a “Subscribe” button, to check how many people were interested in getting a few updates about when to catch the best waves.

I gained 26 subscribers, other 26 people also left me feedback. So I suppose that my Medium article about the product become even more successful than the app itself.

Google Analytics

So in total I got more than 3000 users that tried When To Surf during last 7 days. It’s about 437 users per day.

New features that I added last week

I read each feedback and instead of developing features that I felt would be cool, I decided to listen to what people wanted. Many people asked to add a search for locations and to optimize the app for mobile device. So I went ahead and did it:

Lessons learned

  • The best to launch is on Sunday, 00:00 PST time
  • It’s a great idea to write the story behind the product/app on Medium.
  • People like to read stories that are similar to movies, where there is a problem, a goal, overcoming of an obstacle and a happy ending.
  • Sometimes, an article on medium about the product will become more popular than product itself :)
  • Make sure to buy API calls 3 days prior to the launch — not in last 5 minutes like I did.

Thanks!

Thanks to all people who voted and who gave me feedback.

And a special thank-you to Pieter Levels for his support and advice.

It was a great experience for the first launch of my own product.

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Recently I quit my job and I have one year to get to profitability

Want to see if I reach my goal?

And follow me in Twitter

And if you’re feeling really generous, you can buy me a pack of ramen by sending $2 to my PayPal address or become my Patron

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