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In the past year I've come across an infinite amount of success stories from being featured on Product Hunt. What I often don't see is the long-term story of the product, and if the bump died after being featured. So, I have a few questions:

Is PH simply a way to generate first-time users or can it build a true company?

If it can build a company, what products have gone from relatively unknown to sustained success from being featured on PH?

Does post-PH success have anything to do with PH? (i.e. Does the community continue support beyond it's initial feature?)

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    almost 5 years ago #

    I personally would advocate to have a goal in place prior to hitting Product Hunt around using the bump to learn who really values your solution and why they consider it a must have. Of course Product Hunt is mostly going to be early adopters, but in my experience these people can still be very valuable. I think "early adopter" is probably a misnomer anyway. They are really early try-ers. If it's not valuable after they've tried it, they won't likely use it again.

    So if you can use these people to form an educated plan around reaching your market with the right message, then I think Product Hunt can be very valuable. If you get caught up in the vanity metrics of the bump it will likely turn out to be a big disappointment.

    • LS

      Logan Stoneman

      almost 5 years ago #

      @sean thanks for the insight. The concept of "early try-ers" is on point in my opinion. If that is the case, then there should be some success stories behind the featured products who converted try-ers into avid users.

  • RH

    Roger Huang

    almost 5 years ago #

    I think if you do well on PH, it's a pretty good sign that you can build a pretty compelling call-to-action and a strong initial impression from a mix of entrepreneurs and investors, which is never bad--but it's not the whole story. Companies that have really figured it out rely on Product Hunt as a temporary boost to a growth strategy that is already working out.

    When I got up there with Flatbook, we already had good traction with a good product, and we knew how to sell it right. We used PH to get a rush of new people into our already developed funnel, and took the media mentions we got out of it as social proofing.

    I honestly think PH is really really good for 2 things: 1) social proofing for media mentions and 2) getting top-tier entrepreneurs and investors to buy into your product en masse. Beyond that, it's up to you to take advantage of any new users, do the testing you need to do, and make sure they come back. I don't think PH is powerful enough at the moment to build a growth engine in of itself. It's great validation but you can't rely on that bump to sustain itself.

    Think of PH as a top-of-the-funnel 24 hour sugar rush. If the rest of your funnel sucks and your marketing strategy is undefined, PH won't do much for that.

  • LS

    Lauralynn Stubler

    almost 5 years ago #

    Hey Logan, I'm a Maker for Noble Brewer and I tracked our stats for the 23 days after we were on PH. I wrote about it last week https://goo.gl/YdQEUv (if that's helpful for you). I completely agree with Sean about planning on learning some key takeaways rather than expecting a sustainable lift in traffic/conversions. Seems to be a great time for some A/B testing for otherwise low-traffic sites.

    Of the Product Hunters who signed up for our newsletter from our PH landing page, we've seen less than a 1% unsub rate and when I reopened the PH exclusive offer for the article I wrote, we got a few more sales.

    So, not a sustainable channel, but definitely a good, quick one if leveraged properly and utilized for learning.

    • LS

      Logan Stoneman

      almost 5 years ago #

      @lauralynn congrats on the successful launch! Your medium piece was a fantastic read and definitely answered some of my questions regarding PH.

      It seems as though there's a consensus that PH is good for launch or a shot of adrenaline growth near the beginning stages of one's company. For marketers such as ourselves, it's a great route to take, but for a company to simply rely on PH to make them a viable company...it appears to be a pipe dream.

  • AD

    April Dunford

    almost 5 years ago #

    I'm surprised that nobody has stated the obvious here so I'll bite - the ProductHunt audience is very, very narrow and specific. If your ideal prospect isn't a typical startup person then what you learn here may be misleading or just plain wrong. For example if your product is for moms, law firms, minimum wage workers, large families, fortune 500 companies, manufacturing companies, teachers, etc, etc. etc. We startup folks are a pretty lousy test market for loads of things.

    • LS

      Logan Stoneman

      almost 5 years ago #

      Great points here, @aprildunford. From what I've seen though, the lines are so blurry for startup folks. There is a huge gray area outside of the obvious no's that you listed and it could be easy for makers to believe their product will be unsuccessful simply because of a bad PH launch.

  • CK

    Chuck Kelly

    almost 5 years ago #

    I think Product Hunt works best AFTER uve beta tested a bit and feel very confident your ready as a product to be adopted as a permanent part of peoples life. I dont think its all that great of a way to get a experiment audience.

    Also I feel like spending several weeks if not months commenting around product hunt, bumping other peoples products , getting to know the community before posting your own startup to ensure your shot goes over best.

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    almost 5 years ago #

    Hey everyone, I'd love any of your thoughts or experiences from using Product Hunt. If you're a Maker, any quick stories of your time being featured would be awesome to hear! Anyone from the PH team, if you have any answers to the questions, feel free to share! :)

    • RH

      Roger Huang

      almost 5 years ago #

      Hey Logan, I was with Flatbook when we hit 1,000 upvotes, and featured in the Top 30 All-Time most upvoted. Happy to answer any questions about how we got there :)

      • LS

        Logan Stoneman

        almost 5 years ago #

        Hey @rogerh91 I'm pretty sure you covered most of my questions in your comment above! Thanks for sharing the ideas on developed-funnels, it's something most probably forget about when being featured.

        PH is such a unique and mesmerizing platform for one's launch & growth, I'd love to see more makers hop on and talk about their post-PH experience, and how they've changed.

  • LS

    Laurent Sabbah

    almost 5 years ago #

    Depending on your product, it can definitely help! You just need to make sure you are prepared for the ProductHunt feature, for example, we just got randomly submitted and it isn't doing as well as we would have hoped had we prepared, take a look http://www.producthunt.com/posts/bablic-2

  • AP

    Alexey Pokatilo

    almost 5 years ago #

    We have submitted TextAwesome to PH and also got a bump in users. Interestingly, given that we did almost no other marketing we were still receiving 5-10 new registrations even 1 month after we appeared there. However the real learning came from two other sides.

    1st we got so much attention that our phone number got blocked due to high volume of sign ups (as we are an SMS based on-demand service you sign up with an SMS not email). Learning: test your tech for sudden bumps in traffic and activity before going to PH.

    2nd we published on 1st of April which was full of jokes and unreal startups and some people though that "get anything you like by texting" was also a joke. Learning: perhaps check out for any theme on the day before it steals your thunder.

  • AN

    Ankur Nagpal

    almost 5 years ago #

    At Fedora (https://usefedora.com), we've had a lot of success w Product Hunt AFTER our Product Hunt launch since our product allows other creators to create products that in turn are posted on Product Hunt.

    Our PH launch in itself didn't move the needle at all -- but the repeated points of exposure from all our users in turn launching on Product Hunt has made it one of our most sustainable and high-leverage channels.

    I've gone into it in a little bit more detail here: https://medium.com/@ankurnagpal/how-we-acquired-26-447-users-and-207-152-in-sales-on-product-hunt-211940650fcb

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