How we started and finished on the front page of ProductHunt
Anyone can launch on ProductHunt (PH) but this is usually what happens to the hundreds of products that get submitted.
Can we execute
It took 3 months from deciding to get on PH that we actually did. We did it to push ourselves, force discipline and ultimately improve the product. PH is like street magic; there’s no smoke and mirrors. Can we execute at that level of inspection. Can a user hit a button and see a response that delights. Can that happen instantly and repeatedly over hundreds of users and 48 hours. Can we even get in front of hundreds of users.
- Jack Smith: Jack’s a British dude in San Francisco probably best known for founding Shyp and Vungle. As a prodigious product builder, he gets perks like front page access to PH. By recommending our product to PH, we were guaranteed a start on the front page. So how do you get in front of someone like Jack. It might be ten minutes after you pitch him here. Or it might be a year after you bootstrap -> show traction -> get funded by UnshackledVC -> meet Jack (a friend of the fund) and show him you’re building something cool.
- Network: For maximum PH visibility; stock, flow, and quality of votes all play a part. With hundreds of products being submitted, votes don’t just come in, you need your network to back you up. Jobs once said, poke the world at one end and something comes out at the other. Going through an exercise like this, you realize… people don’t like being poked, much less, poked to attend a potentially unpopular party. This is a moment when you hope you’ve been good to the people around you over the years.
- Team: Pulling off an intense 3 month marathon-sprint like ProductHunt without a team that’s really excited about the mission is near impossible. The excitement has to make up for monster bugs, late nights, arguments, shifting priorities, and opportunity cost. Our team worked incredibly hard and pulled off a miracle. We had record traffic, our servers held up, airbrake didn’t fire once and the product worked like a champ.
It was all over in a day, but took over a year for the pieces to come together.