The Origin of Product Hunt
A story about building something cool over a weekend
On November 6th 2013, I got an email from my friend Ryan, asking if I wanted to contribute links to his new email list thingy called Product Hunt:
Based on my experience at Olark (saw it grow from 6 to 30 employees) and General Assembly (grew from 100 to 450 in my time), I don’t think unicorns actually slow down. It’s not as if all those smart people are slacking off, or spend all their time on useless projects. I think they just appear to slow down from a user’s point of view. Here’s why:
I remember watching the announcement video for the first iPhone at my friend’s house. I was senior in High School, and not really into technology yet, but I instantly knew I wanted one.
The idea of an interface made entirely of glass and pixels captivated me. I thought people would build really cool stuff for it. But I had no idea it would become such a deep part of my life, and of the economy at…
I left my job a couple weeks ago to build something new, so, logically, I’ve been spending a lot of time talking with people about it.
My favorite two meetings so far have been when really smart people have forcefully disagreed with me.
Not just “…oh this sounds interesting but it’s a tough market and I’m not sure…”, I’m talking full-on “I…
To me, it’s not just “Startups ≠ Freedom”. It’s actually “Startups = Less Freedom”. Starting a company is a huge commitment, and you can’t just walk away when you have customers, employees, and investors depending on you. It’s a lot closer to getting married and having kids than it is just getting some regular job. You can’t just walk away.
Birthdays are when you can’t ignore the big, scary questions that usually lurk in the background.
Today I turn 26, and I’m leaving my job.
I’ve worked at General Assembly for a little over two years, and I still love it. Creating Dash was the happiest experience of my professional life. Over 250 thousand people have used it to learn how to make…
Today I noticed another one of Medium’s wonderful typographic details. I have no idea how long it took to code, but I’m guessing it was non-trivial.
“In typography and graphic design, when you start a new paragraph with a quotation, it’s generally considered a best practice to align the first actual letter in the quote with first letter in all the other…
I started writing “Navigating the Product Maze” as a short post, like this one. It ended up ballooning into a full-blown essay. It occurs to me that I probably wouldn’t have started writing it in the first place if I knew it would take that much work. But once you’re in the middle of something, it’s hard to stop.
All this to say: good job, Medium. The new short-form posting feature works, at least on me ☺