How i fucked up launching Datastarta on Product Hunt

For 5 years i worked as an investment analyst for a global accelerator. A few months ago i left the job to ship my own products. Datastarta is the first one.

During the accelerator journey, I met thousands of startups and hundreds of investors from many countries. Some of them were looking to work with accelerators. From my experience, 50% of startups who apply to an accelerator actually need a program. Another part is strong enough, has a great team and just want to setup meetings with seed investors on a demo day. Why spend 3–6 months to do that?

I set down for a month and made a solid research on markets I know. I collect a lot of data, structured it, analyzed and decided to launch the first product as a database of angel investors from around the world. What you can find here: name, investment score (calculated by my own secret formula), investment criteria, location (city and/or country), the last investment/position, Linkedin profile, some contact information.

I’m not a tech person, so I spent another week to set up an app using So much fun! I even set up a flow to apply a special promo code for every person who signed up from Product Hunt.

The launch

On Friday, July 14th, i found Datastarta on the first page with 50 upvotes, so i started commenting and responding to email tickets. A hundred upvotes later I had 5 paying customers. So i switched my focus from Google Analytics to Webvisor to see what’s going on with those users on the site and found that two of them just scraping the data. I wasn’t happy with that fact but continued customer support. Two hours later, when i got 20 paying customers, i noticed that 8 of them was scraping the data. Even worse, previous 2 customers canceled their subscriptions and asked for refunds. OMG, what? What should i do now?

I decided to close the page with the data from those who are paying customers. And I wrote something like «We have some technical issues. Please come back tomorrow to see the data».

But those of you who paid didn’t want to scrape the data and found the message decided: «It’s a kind of scam. I paid and don’t see the data. Fuck you, Lu. I want my money back». And you canceled your subscription and asked for a refund.

I ended the day with 1200 upvotes (#1) and 30 paying customers only who decided to wait until tomorrow to see the data. I super appreciate their support.