If you're an entrepreneur and haven't heard of Product Hunt yet, it's time you get out from behind your desk and take notice of what's happening in the world.
I'd argue that Product Hunt is one of the most impactful sites for entrepreneurs today, granted it's suited for online entrepreneurs vs. offline.
Their story is fascinating and one in which hustle, passion and ingenuity have proven to be the key ingredients to success.
In 2014, Product Hunt was awarded top prize as the "Best New Startup of 2014" at the Annual Crunchies Award, the GRAMMY's of the startup world.
What's fascinating is that Product Hunt is a case study in lean startup development. Ryan Hoover, the founder, started the site in 2013 with what was essentially an email list, while still working full-time at his day job. He built a small database of people who were interested in learning and discussing the newest products on the market.
Seeing that the product was gaining interest, he, along with a friend, built a initial version of their site over Thanksgiving Break.
I first became familiar with the site in January of 2014, when Ryan Hoover had reached out personally to mention what he was building. He asked that I check it out.
Turns out that Ryan was doing a lot of this. Without a budget for marketing, Hoover took the road less traveled and used his skills in being a connector to spread the word. And quite the job he did.
In the short year and a half that Product Hunt has been relevant, he's grown to a site that saw 23 Million unique visitors last year, including some of this most elite personalities in Silicon Valley. In addition, Hoover has built a company that now employees several people and has raised a total of $7.5M from some of the biggest names in Venture Capital.
But, that's not the most impressive thing about Product Hunt. Simply put, it's hands down one of the best platforms for launching a new product. If you're an entrepreneur, Product Hunt singlehandedly has the ability to skyrocket your business.
In addition to the onslaught of early adopters, Product Hunt is consumed daily by investors and those in media. Not only is the site capable of driving thousands of people and massive sales on its own, it also has the ability to get you in front of the folks that can bring your business past the tipping point.
Look no further than what happened with Meerkat, Magic or Yo ... or the numerous others that have found success.
I've been fortunate enough to get a front row seat as both a "hunter" and a "maker" on Product Hunt. The former being someone who has the ability to post new products and the latter being someone who's had their product featured.
As a "maker", I can tell you that the numbers don't lie.
Recently, along with two partners, Nick Haase and Max Finn, we created an apparel brand that celebrated some of the absurdity in tech called, Startup Drugz. Sort of an anti-motivational clothing line.
On the day we posted on Product Hunt, we made it to the second most upvoted submission, which means that we saw a bit of traffic.
More specifically, over the course of one week, we saw over 17,000 unique visitors and over $3000 in sales. My partner, Max Finn, wrote a more detailed post if you're interested in reading more.
At the end of the day, when you're building a new product, it's sometimes hard to find an early audience that's willing to give you some critical feedback, and especially sales. Product Hunt is, without a doubt, the site that can deliver it for you.