A Community around Products| Lessons from Ryan Hoover of Product Hunt🤗
Lessons on community building and product development from Ryan Hoover of Product Hunt. From Indie Hackers podcast episode.
Table of Contents
- Technology is part of our culture and it’s in many ways a way to express yourself. The same way that music is a way to express yourself”
- Humble Beginnings🔰
- Comparison with Indie Hackers🤗
- Differences between IH and PH
- Similarities between IH and PH
- Community-led product development👨👩👧👦
- Community Lessons👨🏫
- Growth Strategies
- Best and Worst parts of running a community
- Trends for the future📈
- Advice for someone who wants to start a community😇
Technology is part of our culture and it’s in many ways a way to express yourself. The same way that music is a way to express yourself”
“…there’s a bunch of social networks like Twitter and Facebook to find these things. There are online publications like TechCrunch but really what I want is a list. Just a simple list of cool stuff, every day, and I want also a place to talk about these things…”
“…I can tell you that Indie Hackers itself was largely inspired by a website called NomadList and the creator of that website Pieter Levels was himself inspired by Product Hunt and so it’s pretty safe to say without Product Hunt there would be no Indie Hackers…” – CA
- Indie Hackers skews towards bootstrapped founders looking to build profitable internet businesses
- Product Hunt is more focused towards people looking to build products for the sake of building products. Not necessarily for revenue.
- PH is also used as a launch platform by startups and larger tech companies with no intention of making immediate revenue
- Both platforms are in the game of inspiration. They inspire makers to build their own tech products by looking at other products.
- Both platforms surface stories that inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
- Both platforms are community-driven. The community is the core of both products, and even many product decisions are taken with the community at the center.
- Chat – Launched back in 2018. It was based on the insight that makers usually end up ****exchanging emails or Twitter handles to have private 1:1 conversations. Read Ryan’s thesis behind it on the Chat launch page.
- Collections – A way for users to bookmark and curate a bunch of products around common themes and share with each other. They observed users bookmarking products using tools like Tello or Wunderlist. And sharing those links with each other. Read more on the Collections launch page.
- Ship – A SaaS subscription business. It’s a way for makers to build landing pages, email forms and communicate with their users directly from a single place. Previously they had to use 3 or 4 different tools to make it happen. Read more on the Ship launch page.
- In the very early days, Ryan used to send a personal e-mail to all new members joining in. He was doing things that didn’t scale.He made sure to write a personalized mail so it was obvious that it wasn’t automated. And he sent it from his personal Gmail account.This helped get the first passionate community members.
- There is a Flywheel effect that PH enjoys.Whenever someone launches a product on PH, they bring their friends over to help promote the product.This brings new people on the site who later go on to launch products of their own.
- Lately, the best growth channel for PH has been Organic Search.They have built “alternative and related products” pages for all products.These are popular search terms and bring in new users on to the platform.****This is a page you get when you search for alternatives to Product Hunt itself. This was number 2 in the search results.
- For Ryan, the best part about running a community is the “mushy feely” stuff.It’s not the millions of website visitors, but the individual messages and emails he gets from people that tell him that they started their online businesses after being inspired by the products they saw on PH.
- The worst part about running a community is having to deal with spam and trolls. Being a high-volume site, PH gets its fair share of spam.
“…technology is part of our culture and it’s in many ways a way to express yourself. The same way that music is a way to express yourself… That is something that I definitely foresee continuing and is something that I certainly want to support because I think it’s good to support these people who are building things and using code and design and marketing or whatever their passion is to express themselves… “
“… there will always be an opportunity to create a community around something. I think my my advice or guidance would be pick a very specific community an audiencelook to yourself and be like, what am I passionate about?..Where did those people hang out today? And is there maybe an unserved need to build a community around this particular interest or demographic or what not…”
Rock Bottom to Rocket Ship🚀 | How Veed grew to $5M+ ARR
Listen Up! IH – Episode 24 “Keep pushing, and make something people search for” 👆 That’s Sabba Keynejad’s message to Indie Hackers. Sabba is the Co-founder of Veed.io – a browser-based video editing tool. Sabba and his co-founder Tim grew the company from 0 to 50,000 users in just 6 months. And with no marketing budget. Their growth …