By now you’ve probably heard of Product Hunt, the Hacker News-like site for discovering and discussing products. It’s community helped discover Yo before it was the talk of the Valley, companies have been introduced to investors through it, and even Snoop Dogg is a member.
As I’ve been building Eventjoy for the past year, I’ve fallen in love with all things product. Now everything from onboarding to user experience to clever UI elements interests me. So naturally when I discovered Product Hunt I was instantly a fan. It helps me find other cool products and have meaningful conversations with other product-minded people.
Empowering anyone to launch to a global audience
I think that one of the things that Product Hunt does really well is it empowers anyone to launch a product to an engaged and insightful audience. Yes, people do share established products, but where I see Product Hunt really shine is when something new is released.
First off, you’re going to get a lot of traffic — especially if your product starts to get upvotes from the community. This could translate to new users, sales, referrals, etc. But if you’re looking for just traffic, there are better outlets (for now).
The real value from Product Hunt comes from the community. You’re going to get insightful feedback on your product. Ideally, this starts a meaningful conversation that can help take your product to the next milestone — whatever that may be.
And of course, there are other potential fringe benefits like getting in front of major investors, follow-on press, and the ability to be featured in their daily newsletter.
Note: Right now only about 1% of their userbase can post products. They should be opening this up to a wider audience soon.
A look into a successful launch on Product Hunt
On July 9th, we launched ActivityWalls.com, a super simple tool for anyone to display social media at their events. That morning we decided to solely launch it on Product Hunt. Until that moment, it was an unheard of product and the domain was purchased three days prior.
We posted shortly after midnight PST since we knew the hunts (what submissions are called) start from a blank slate at that time. I went to sleep shortly after and when I woke up early, I noticed we were the sixth most popular hunt for the day. Our servers had scaled up due to a large increase in traffic and people were continuously upvoting the product.
I made myself available in the comments throughout the day to answer questions, seek feedback, and spur discussion. As time passed, we made it into the top 5 where we ultimately wound up at the end of the day. The next day it was like Déjà vu as we were featured in the daily newsletter and a second wave of traffic came in.
Overall, I’d say this was a successful launch. Here is some interesting data (7/8 to 7/10) based solely from launching on Product Hunt.
Visitors: 2,744 (52% US; 48% international)
Countries reached: 84
Activity Walls created: 705 (25.69% conversion)
Upvotes: 77 (a few came in days later)
The Product Hunt Factor
I know these results are not atypical. Product Hunt has a unique opportunity to get new products visibility and help their creators get to product/market fit faster thanks to insightful feedback. I call this the Product Hunt Factor. In fact, I’m quite bullish on Product Hunt and am excited to watch it evolve. A few thoughts on why:
Community over technology — The founder, Ryan Hoover, has done an amazing job at building an engaged, high-quality community. The site isn’t the most technically complex thing out there, but I believe their strength is in the community. This is something that can’t be “hacked” on over the course of a weekend. The challenge here is to continue to grow it and still keep the quality consistent.
Product Hunt as a platform — People have already been hacking around Product Hunt and the data it provides. They’ll soon be releasing an official API which I believe will help with distribution and allow others to easily access its data. This could help connect Product Hunt into other ecosystems such as AngelList. Imagine releasing a new product on Product Hunt and then with a few clicks you’re raising funds for it online through AngelList.
A Facebook Timeline for products — As companies release more products and evolve their existing ones, I think Product Hunt has the potential to document it. I’d love to see how products evolve and even engage the Product Hunt community along the way to gather feedback. There’s also the aspect of discovery, but these are topics for another day.
I’m looking forward to seeing where Product Hunt will be in a year from now. In the meantime, we’ll continue to post new products on the site and update existing posts when we release major product improvements.