What is a ‘Product’?
Is Cheese a product?
How do you explain Product Hunt to a person who has never heard of it? An easy definition could be — a site that lists new and exciting products, and allows you to vote on them. But what are these Products?
The official Product Hunt FAQ has a straightforward list of types of products : “mobile apps, websites, hardware projects, and tech creations.”
Can any new and innovative product be launched on Product Hunt?
Can I list the new nutritious breakfast chocolate cheese I’m planning to make?
Surprisingly, the answer maybe YES!
Not all products on Product Hunt actually exist yet! In fact, some products on Product Hunt have not yet been released.
There are a few cautionary stories about the dangers of launching a product on Product Hunt too early. That said, some products launched early did pretty well. For example, Leader’s Guide, Eric Ries’s newest book has been a real success. It earned Eric Ries $588,903 on Kickstarter, and he hadn’t finished writing it yet! Also checkout The Product Hunt Effect by Eric Willis, a Kickstarter campaign for a book about Product Hunt (it’s first on the list today!). Another yet unavailable product is Tesla’s Powerwall, the house battery that has 1847 upvotes.
These products are not yet available for the community to use but they get a lot of positive attention. These pre-launch products are the promise products. Products that had enough credibility and grew enough of excitement to keep them in on top of the listings. Although there are some notable products that got at first site into the most popular products, like Treeline, most of the products that get to the first page are fully existing, newly released products
Whether, it’s the credibility of the author or company that makes a pre-launch listing successful, it may not be the best idea for me to try to list my Cheese on Product Hunt before I make it.
Once I make it, can cheese qualify as a hardware product?
The term “hardware” in most cases refers to physical components of computers of tech objects and is meant as the opposite of software. However, I haven’t found a single ‘simply hardware’ product that will require software but does not provide it (feel free to tweet at me if you see one).
On Product Hunt hardware seems to be meant as a physical tool, as in kitchen hardware which is a fancy way to say kitchen tools.
Sometimes physical tools on Product Hunt come with software like an activity tracker — Jawbone UP3, sometimes they do not even require software at all, like Banchoballoons, which provides a way to blow many water balloons in a short time.
Some products on Product Hunt are clearly not tools, yet they make it to the top of the page. For example, Snoop Dogg’s newest album, Bush, was on top of the list yesterday. While clearly not hardware, his product is not software either, and it isn’t a mobile app or a website. Would it qualify as a tech creation? I’m not sure. But it was awesome enough to list, and enough people got excited enough to upvote it.
Good news, my cheese still has a chance! I just have to make it very exciting and awesome! ^_^
Speaking of awesome, Snoop Dogg responded to our inquiry on Product Hunt yesterday. We are all so thrilled!
My cheese does not qualify as a tool, but there may still be hope because neither does beer, and beer is a product on Product Hunt. Just checkout Noble Brewer, an awesome website the sells artisan beer. If beer can make it, why not cheese? All I would need is to wrap the cheese in a neat site and on we go with #operationproductcheese!
But what gets other people excited?
Product Hunt’s most upvoted page shows us that one doesn’t have to be super cool like Snoop Dogg to make it to the first page (BTW put * in the Product Hunt search bar, to see the list of most upvoted products). One of the most upvoted products on Product Hunt is Be My Eyes, an app that uses the smartphone to make it easy for the sighted to help the blind.
Isn’t it great that helping others gets people excited?
Interestingly, both in the case of Bush and Be My Eyes we can support the product through upvoting without having to use it. So we get the benefit of knowing we support something we value without buying it or doing it.
What is a ‘Product’ then?
Product Hunt is a list of products, either tools or ways to fulfill an aspiration. If the maker has enough credibility or authority they may score high on Product Hunt even before making the product. This tells us that a product on Product Hunt may just be an idea that makes life easier, more meaningful or/and just fun, provided the idea is wrapped in a Kickstarter campaign or a website, that idea can be a ‘product.’