Product Hunt with Ryan Hoover

Product Hunt with Ryan Hoover
We interview Ryan Hoover, co-founder and CEO of Product Hunt, where he shared the origin story of the platform and offered his advice to makers in Asia on how they can leverage the platform to help users discover, curate and provide feedback to their products.

Ryan Hoover, co-founder & CEO of Product Hunt, joined us for a conversation. From sharing his background to the origins of Product Hunt, Ryan shared the story in how Product Hunt has managed to grow since its early days and establish its credibility as the destination for makers to post their products. He also offered advice and tips to makers and startup founders out there from Asia in how they should leverage on the Product Hunt platform and last but not least, his perspectives in habit forming products that arise from his collaboration with Nir Eyal on the book “Hooked”.

Here are the interesting notes and links to the discussion (with timestamps included):

  • Ryan Hoover (LinkedIn, @rrhoover, Medium)
  • Story of Ryan Hoover
    • How did he get started in technology business? [1:00]
    • Before ProductHunt, Ryan has worked in startups and mainly taking the role as a product manager for example, PlayHaven and InstaAction. From those experiences, how did it shape his thinking about product development and management? [2:05]
  • Product Hunt [3:31]
    • In simple words, can you briefly describe what Product Hunt is and what is the vision and mission of Product Hunt? [3:48]
    • The origin story of Product Hunt: how did you start from builing a mailing list and end up building up this community site focused specifically on the product? [5:55]
    • Subsequently Product Hunt caught fire and it started to become popular, how are the early days like? How did Ryan get the word out for Product Hunt during that time? Ryan’s answer is to build a network and a blog following since the days he came to Silicon Valley and one of the interesting tools that he has mentioned: Quibb. [7:25]
    • How did Ryan grow your community and can you share some interesting war stories in building up the credibility of the site as a hub for everyone to check out new products? [9:00] 
    • A short anecdote on one of Bernard’s proteges, Rohan Kapur who build the app Contra (which was featured in iTunes US store) and how his interaction with Ryan and Product Hunt helped to get the word out. Also a special shout out to community manager, Ben from Product Hunt in helping Bernard’s wife, Yuying Deng on her upcoming product launch: Aspirus Desk as well. [10:00]
    • How do you manage the stakeholders on the ProductHunt platform: (a) the community who comes to check out, comment and upvote products and (b) startup founders out there who want to get their products known to the market? [10:46]
    • Product Hunt started off with technology as a product category which include web and mobile apps, and subsequently we see categories for games and books (in beta), how does the Product Hunt team decide in putting a new category into Product Hunt? We also discussed the new collections feature from Product Hunt. [12:30]
    • As a user of the site, one of the features that I like about Product Hunt is the featured collections where products are curated, in a modern world today, where we are seeing so much new products out there and sometimes we might have products that suffer from a lack of discovery, how do you balance between this discovery and curation process? [15:00]
    • For Asian founders, what are the dos and don’ts in Product Hunt for a startup founder who want to market their products or generate awareness for their products?  [17:10]
    • The importance of authenticity in marketing products [19:30]
    • When is the best time for Asia startup founders to put their products into Product Hunt? Should it be the stage where the prototype has already gone live? For example, if I am putting a hardware ready for crowdfunding, is it also the best time for Product Hunt? [20:15]
    • I am also a subscriber of Product Hunt Radio podcast, and can you share how that project came about? You can subscribe to Product Hunt Radio (iTunes, SoundCloud) [21:05]
    • How do podcasters get their podcasts featured on Product Hunt? [22:44]
  • Hooked: A guide to building habit-forming products by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover [23:35]
    • How did Ryan got involved in the book project with Nir Eyal? What is the underlying message behind the book? [23:45]
    • Why are habits important for people who build products? Reference:  Hunting for Habits [25:54]
    • Based on the Hook Model: Trigger, Action, Variable Reward & Investment and Ryan’s experience with Product Hunt, have you seen any interesting products which best mapped this framework? An interesting example shared: Meerkat [28:00]
  • What keeps Ryan awake at night with Product Hunt? Has anyone put “Product Hunt” itself on Product Hunt? [29:01]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn)  with their new Aspirus Desk (Twitter and Facebook) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Aspirus and sign up for their mailing list.