Failing on Kickstarter: a Product Hunt Success Story

Corey Stone
2 min readApr 17, 2015


I’ve got a week left on my Kickstarter campaign for version 2 of HERO Keyboard, and I gotta tell you: it ain’t going to happen.

But that’s okay, because fail or not, running a Kickstarter gave me a hard 30-day deadline that pretty much forced me to do things I might not have done, such as:

  • refine my pitch a few times
  • send a press release to a bunch of reporters
  • make sure my web site was completely ready
  • make a nifty video
  • try a paid promotion service or two

That last one resulted in (a service I was impressed with, btw, and no affiliation) informing me that my “social capital” gave my Kickstarter about a 10% chance of succeeding. Crap. And apparently they were right! I also learned (too late) how it’s imperative to prepare extensively for a crowdfunding campaign. Oops.

On the bright side, the PR push produced a few blog reviews and some good retweets, which resulted in a good web traffic spike with a 2% conversion rate on purchases.

About a week later, I woke up to a Tweet saying that HERO was on Product Hunt (which significantly alters one’s plans for the day, I might add). If you haven’t heard of it, Product Hunt is a great community of people who love finding new and useful things. The PH post resulted in a similar web traffic spike, but a conversion rate around 10%! (And that’s without an Android version.)

Furthermore, getting on PH also gives you the opportunity to get valuable feedback from the community, as well as being eligible to join Maker Hunt, which is another good resource.

And finally, I even had someone offer to make an Android version of HERO — yay! (But I am still looking for an iOS developer-partner. Please let me know if you have any ideas!)

So failing on’s not so bad.



Corey Stone

Sr. Product Designer at Thinkful division of Chegg. Portfolio: