Bits of Delight

Building community through delightful surprises

Ryan Hoover

Yesterday I spoke at CMX Summit, a conference on community-building, led by my buddy, David Spinks. I shared a bit about the Product Hunt story and things we did to grow our humble email list into a community of hundreds of thousands of product-loving supporters.

I spoke about delight to the crowd of 350 attendees at San Francisco’s Pier 35. Since the beginning we’ve tried to surprise people and (at the risk of sounding cheesy) inspire a smile.

We welcomed people that signed up on Product Hunt with a personal email, including a GIF on occasion.

We highlighted those that contributed thoughtfully to the discussion, in our email digest and on Twitter.

But sometimes surprises inspire the most delight.

Delightful Surprises

The night before we announced our Series A funding, Erik came up with a genius idea. In our email announcement, we included a link to a form, asking people for their mailing address. We didn’t say what we were going to send.

Nearly 4,000 people submitted their info and with MailLift’s help, we shipped the first thousand letters and a “meowvelous” kitty sticker.

On Wednesday, tweets began to pour in. Our handwritten letters were being delivered across the globe, from San Francisco to the United Kingdom. As I’m writing this, four more tweets appeared from recipients, expressing their appreciation with an accompanying photo. Here are just a few:

Worth It?

Someone at the CMX Summit asked me how we measure the effectiveness of these efforts. It’s hard to quantify but we know these bits of delight have helped cultivate a loyal community of people who have hunted great products and given us great ideas. These small things are important and regardless of its “ROI”, we’ll continue to try to delight those that (quite literally) make Product Hunt.

If you have ideas on how we can deliver more bits of delight, shoot them my way. ☺

on startups

building the dream

    Ryan Hoover

    Written by

    Founder of Product Hunt. Weekend Fund investor. Follow at @rrhoover.

    on startups

    building the dream