1. A strong community is a competitive advantage
There are dozens of blog posts out there trying to understand why Product Hunt is having this huge success. What’s the secret sauce?
I think one of the most important ingredients in that sauce is the community! The Product Hunt community is just astonishing.
We have been sharing links, products and thoughts online from the day one using several tools like forums, Digg, Reddit, Hacker News, and so on, but none of them can rely on a community like Product Hunt one.
Every single user is a passionate early adopter that loves to spend time on Product Hunt because he loves to try new products and, most importantly, he enjoys to give feedback!
On the other side, all the makers are excited to receive tons of constructive feedback from smart users like developers, designers, UX experts, entrepreneurs, etc.
In this video interview the CEO Ryan Hoover says that is not easy to build a community and explains how they did on Product Hunt.
2. You need to blog. Now.
That’s pretty straightforward. Having a company blog is the best way to influence people, communicating your vision. That’s true both for your clients and for people from your industry. It makes your company more accessible and transparent.
Product Hunt has an amazing blog where they interview the best startuppers and makers from their community. They share a lot of useful insight and, most importantly, they tell stories! People love to hear stories, especially success stories.
Besides that, the founder Ryan Hoover has a blog on Medium where he writes about Product Hunt development and the startup world. He also curates “on startups”, a great collection on Medium with the best posts about the startup ecosystem.
3. Building in public is the new black
If you are a Product Hunt user (or fan) you know what I mean with “building in public”: the whole community is involved in every important step of the platform.
What are the benefits of building your startup in public? In this famous post, Ryan listed three primary reasons to do that:
Increase Buy-In: “People want to be heard and when their feedback is acknowledged, their investment in the product increases”.
Get Feedback Early: “Early feedback, ideally before design is committed to code, results in a better product and less waste”.
Excite the People: “It’s fun to get a preview of what’s to come; to see the inner workings of a startup. This excitement captures the attention of consumers and creates evangelists for the product”.
Building in public is a kind of trend right now. Other companies are doing the same and Buffer is in all likelihood the best example out there of building a company in public.
4. MVP like there’s no tomorrow
Have you seen this image before?
I hope so!
This is a very common image used to explain how to build a MVP: it has just those core features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. It may be a prototype, an entire product, or a sub-set of it.
Did you know Product Hunt started as a mailing list? A place where a dozen friends started sharing the best products found online. Then, eight days later, they launched the actual platform and twenty days later they gained 2000 users doing things that don’t scale: writing blog posts, engaging influencers, involving friends, etc.
There are two amazing posts where you can read how Product Hunt began: “The Origin of Product Hunt” by Nathan Bashaw and “Making Product Hunt” by Ryan Hoover. Both of them are full of email screenshots, tweets and a lot of insights about the early days of the platform.
Just take a look to those screenshots and then use Product Hunt today and you will realize why I believe it’s one of the best MVP I’ve ever seen.
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