How We Launched One of the Top Games on Product Hunt
The Story Of Disrupt Cards
A few weeks back, I had this idea of creating a multiplayer, laugh-out-loud card game for people in tech that’s pretty similar to that really popular, multiplayer, laugh-out-loud card game for normal people that everyone already plays.
Let’s just say that successfully building Disrupt Cards was nothing short of a miracle. Whether it was our Airpods disconnecting during our calls or the fact that Sunrise shut down so we couldn’t plan any standup meetings, the odds were clearly stacked against us from the get go.
The only way I had even a remote chance of building this thing would be to have a killer team. After Snapchatting (that’s what millennials do, right?) two of the most talented school dropouts I knew and, of course, re-reading the color coded notes I took on Zero to One, we somehow gathered up enough (false and Justin Kan inspired) confidence in this idea.
We received over 550 upvotes, tens of thousands of views on our website, and landed as one of the Top 5 Games to Ever Be on Product Hunt.
Our parents are really really proud that all that typing on our computers resulted in something “useful”.
What? How? Why?
Jokes aside (you’ll get plenty of those neatly wrapped up when you get your Disrupt Cards Box), we have learned a ton from building this game. Now is the part of the medium post where I give you some tips to be successful on your launch day, so here it goes!
5 Things You Can Do To Prepare For Your Launch Day
(It’s a listicle so you know we mean business)
1. Test Your Assumptions
One thing that we did quite diligently early on was test every assumption that we had about the game. We thought what we were making would be funny, but we knew there would be only one way to know for sure.
So we started testing our assumptions like crazy. Is this card funny? What color scheme do you think would work best? Is the name good? What should our domain be? You get the point, be critical of your own work.
Once you identify your assumptions, the natural progression is to figure out who you can ask to get feedback. Does everyone’s opinion matter? Whose opinion matters most?
It’s easy to get affirmative feedback from friends, family, people who know you. This is called a convenience bias; it is one of the many influences you want to avoid when testing your assumptions. Others include cluster sampling, where you add bias because of a lack of diversity in the people you talk to, and groupthink, where your results are influenced by group mentality.
We went about it by asking people we knew would be critical of our game. Journalists, tech people, engineers, designers, students, etc.
Weirdly enough, people kept on wanting to play it. That’s how we knew this game must be built.
2. Think About Accelerating the Inevitable
It is odd using a quote from Elon Musk to talk about a simple card game, but trust me when I tell you that this phrase has helped shape the way I think about business. While it sounds gloomy, “accelerating the inevitable” is a great way to think about building a product.
The exercise is simple, think about the future. It is pretty agreed upon that the future will look substantially different from the present. It is up to us, the “entrepreneurs,” to figure out what that difference is, and then go ahead and build it.
We did that, even in the smallest way, by creating a card game that we were confident would exist in the future, regardless of if we built it. So confident, that we bet that if we accelerated that future, we would build a winning, memorable game.
3. Create A Voice
A “hilarious card game” better be funny. We took that challenge to heart, and centered each and every aspect of our brand around a satirical tone. And people loved it.
The important thing to note is that we have kept this tone constant throughout our entire brand. From our tweets to emails to copy, we have stuck with what people loved, and that is the satire. Hell, I even spent the first half of this blog post stuck in that tone.
Building a voice for your brand, while definitely a risk, is one of the best ways to stick out and be memorable.
4. Build A Press Kit
Producing a press kit, like ours, is a small investment of your time that can go a long way. Inside the drive or dropbox folder, it’s important to keep a few primary pieces of information. Ideally, you’d include:
- A few images/gifs
- A One Pager telling your story (who, what, where, when, and why)
- Your Contact Information
The idea behind a press kit is that you want to make it as easy as possible for a reporter to pick up your story. You want to provide all the resources and digital assets that a random person would need to produce a story about you.
5. Have Fun With It
Of course it may be easier when you are building a card game that is supposed to be fun and laughable, but make sure you are having fun while building your company.
Entrepreneurship is hard. 2 am nights are hard. Losing money is hard. Those parts of creating things are not fun. So it is really easy to get down on yourself and others when things do not go according to plan. The truth is that things never ever go to plan.
Yes you will have to make sacrifices if you want your long term vision to succeed. But no, entrepreneurship does not have to ruin your life. So make sure you are enjoying what you are doing, because if you are not, you should maybe ask why you are doing it at all?
Thinking of a gift? (Christmas is coming 🎄🎅🏽)
You can buy Disrupt Cards TODAY. Perfect for entrepreneurs, wantrepreneurs, engineers, designers, coffee shops, co-working spaces, expensive VC offices, birthday gifts, wedding gifts, the list goes on!