This is what happens with most Product Hunt launches.

Jan 22, 2016 · 4 min read

I was hoping for a life changing event, something extraordinary.

Well, that did’t happen.

It looks nothing like all the blog posts and articles I’v read on how to successfully launch a product on Product Hunt. Nothing at all!

This is what happened when I launched Firesub on Product Hunt.

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2 votes! Right after posting Firesub!

The preparation

It all started in december of 2015, I wanted to release my product, Firesub on Product Hunt. I had seen the stories, read the articles and felt the overnight success that comes with a product launch on that site.
Some of you more battle experienced entrepreneurs might roll your eyes, “thinking that’s cute, good luck buddy“.

I followed a checklist I found after some 30 second of googleing on how to successfully prepare and how to do everything right to reach the top.
There was some really shady suggestions, like spam the bloody crap of everyone on Twitter just for the sake of getting a lot of votes. Another suggestion was to buy 500 twitter followers, which I did’t do. I have 39 followers!

Some other suggestions was very helpful, not to get to the top, but just getting in contact with interesting and helpful people, I joined some Slack channels, Facebook Groups and found some great people on Twitter.

I did not have posting permissions at the time, so I needed to find a “top hunter”, that’s a person with a lot of followers. So when they post the product, all their followers get notified, which in theory will bring in a lot of votes.
I found out whom was the best hunter to ask and sent a request. Dead silence, for two weeks nothing.

It’s now mid december, and that’s probably not the best time to try to launch a productivity app. So I decided to put a hold on the launch plan and wait till januari. In the mean time, I could foster my new connections in the Slack channels and the Facebook Groups.

Januari came and I reach out to another hunter, one recommended in the checklist I tried to follow. After a couple of days I got a reply. IT WAS ON!
We deciding a date and time, and I had everything ready, pre-written comments for Product Hunt, Slack channels, Facebook Groups, I was ready!

The launch

January 13th 3 PM, T minus 1 hour to launch. I was super excited.
I get a email from the hunter.
— “Sorry man, I double booked, can I post tomorrow instead?”

The launch

January 14th 3 PM, T minus 1 hour to launch. I was not as excited but a bit tense. He posts my product at 4:44 PM. Now let the overnight success come to me! Nothing! at 4.50 PM, still 2 votes. But after 5 pm things started moving, 3 votes, 5 votes, 9 votes, wow! This is going to be the best day in my life.

Firesub is on 13th place, climbs to 12th place going up, this is going to be a walk in the park. Then up to 10th place, still climbing. Refreshing the browser, replying to comments, checking the place… 11th place, what? No higher then this? Is this it? Is my product I’v built for so long not worth more than 11th place?

This jumping up and down continues for the rest of the day. And eventually I’m to tired to just sitting there, refreshing the browser. I go to sleep!

The result

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This is where Firesub ended up the day after launching on Product Hunt

Well that sucked!

Not the top product of the day, not the top 5 products featured in the email sent out every day, not even on the top 10 products for that day. I can at least say I’m in good company with 30 other products sharing my destiny in the “Show more products” section.

At the end of the day, Firesub ended up in the 14th place. I don’t know what I did wrong, there was no Google or Apple releasing products that day, I sent a lot of tweets, and a lot of other messages to people on all kinds of services, it might be so simple that my product is not good enough to be among the top products. I don’t know.

I bet you are curious on how the stats of a 14th place product looks. Well here you have it!

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Unique views on the landing page from Product Hunt visitors.
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Signups for the service from Product Hunt users.
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Conversion rate for Product Hunt users

To summarize things up, after launch on Product Hunt I got 74 new users.

It’s been an exiting experience, a lot of learning and fun and I’m not sitting around feeling sorry for my self. I take this as a challenge to keep working and make Firesub a better product!

Firesub is a product that let’s you build simple, reusable checklists for your team.


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