Product Hunt and Hustle Growth

If you have never heard of ProductHunt.com, you should probably not read this post, and you should probably delete me from LinkedIn since we do not work on the same planet.

For those of you who still want to listen to me rumbling about marketing and one of the greatest hacks I have ever seen, whether was intentional or not, keep reading.

Product Hunt is a daily curation of the best new (mainly software) products and let’s a selected (yet rapidly growing) group of individuals, comment and discuss about the new products. The website acts as a launchpad for new products and as a scouting tool for VCs. This simple (yet very well done) website has taken the young founder, Ryan Hoover, from a respectable Director of Product at Playheaven, to the new hot thing in Silicon Valley.

I recently stumbled across an article from the guys at Firstround.com titled “Product Hunt is Everywhere — This is How It Got There”, and, besides being a well done article, once again I think is missing the crucial point behind the incredible growth of Product Hunt.

The founder itself cites the main reasons why Product Hunt took of so quickly:

  1. Articulate a clear market gap — aka product market fit
  2. Start with email — aka quick MVP of the concept
  3. Give people a new habit — aka fresh daily content that matters
  4. Don't distract from your primary goal — aka keep it simple
  5. Limit access and gradually expand — aka test with a cool club
  6. Start building an audience early — aka don’t wait on your product before building an audience

Ryan’s answers are spot on, all incredibly valuable and often underestimated lessons on ways a startup can reach its full potential.


Yet what people often overlook is the dynamics that Product Hunt unleashes. The real power behind this product, is the power of hustle.

Being in the top spots on Product Hunt provides you three things: traffic, media coverage, and top notch early adopters.

Traffic. A few months I had a friends’ product being #1. The spike was incredible. 30,000 sessions in the first 24hrs.

Media coverage. Everyone is on Product Hunt. VCs and journalists included. After being the top product (and you made something that provides real value). You will be covered by the biggest media outlets and you will generate buzz.

Early adopters. Nothing is more valuable that this. They will ask the right questions, they will be harsh, and you will learn a ton. Great sounding board.

The above reasons, make a pretty compelling case for any founder to ask for an upvote and hustle in any way possible to get those upvotes. This is why if you live in silicon valley and work in tech there is a high chance you received multiple emails like this:

This is an email I received a few days ago and it has all the elements of an epic open/click-through rate email campaign: comes from a known person you trust, and has a clear easy ask. (plus, I know have the right of asking the same favor back when my product gets listed :D).

Emails like this are in my mind the number one power of Product Hunt.

When your product gets featured, you want to reach the top, so you ask EVERYONE you know: “Please upvote me on PH!”. Yes I’d even ask my mother to upvote me on product hunt.

How good is that!? You push someone else's product for free and as much as you can! I doubt you’d push your own URLs as much aswww.producthunt.com! Pretty epic viral product.

Ryan has a remarkable thing going on and this is just the beginning! They raised, a few months ago, a remarkable series A and are now growing fast. He is a founder I truly admire, one that takes great care of his users and is not obsessed about numbers.

I wonder whether investor’s pressure will change that. We shall see.


See it differently? Wanna laugh at my grammar mistakes? ☺ @NicoUngari