After 1.5 years of work on the Edutainment application for the development of general erudition, we realized that no one needs our project.
In March 2023, the application had more than 10,000 users, among which there are many active fans of our idea. But the desired growth rates, virality and revenue were very far away. Therefore, we made a difficult and important decision: pivot.
2 months were spent on CustDevs, research, consultations. We rebuilt our concept over and over again, put forward a variety of hypotheses. And only after that we found a possible promising niche: self coaching and soft skills development.
To be honest, before we started preparations, we only knew about Product Hunt that it existed. But diving into the topic, a dozen articles and several calls with experienced makers made it clear that there is nothing supernatural in publishing on PH and, with proper preparation, you can attract attention. Of course, we never dreamed of any Product of the Day.
Going to Product Hunt has become one of the ways not to repeat past mistakes and to check if someone needs our new idea?
Much of success in any endeavor depends on careful preparation. As I mentioned, we:
studied articles-instructions of those who have already successfully released on the launch vehicle;
made calls with experienced makers;
got acquainted with successful cases, for example, the Golden Kitty Award became a good reference.
It is important to understand that the PH community is, first of all, people. And the key to a successful launch is a combination of a cool idea, good implementation and a bright presentation (this applies to both the visual part and a clear message of the value of your product).
We redid the description and media 5 times, but of course, the idea and the product were in the first place. Many use video to showcase a product or make a full commercial. This is not our option, because we presented a fairly simple product that you can talk about without resorting to complex production.
The next question before us was the question of Hunter. Hunter is an experienced PH contributor who can publish a product on his page. The main advantage of publishing through a hunter is its social capital on the RH. Algorithms like it when old and active users vote for a product. Therefore, hunter subscribers who see your product and interact with it can become a boost at the start.
There is no consensus on the role of the hunter. Someone is sure that you can successfully start without a hunter. And someone argues that a good hunter gives the necessary advantage.
We decided not to refuse selfless help and, on the recommendation of colleagues, chose Kevin.
If you do not want to bet on a hunter, you should lay a few weeks to activate your network. If you are not on the first day in a startup party, then there are probably people among your acquaintances with a PH account, and their support will help you a lot at the start.
By the way, do not forget about the development of your account. And you should do it in advance: vote for your favorite projects, comment, participate in discussions. This way you will have your own followers who can support you on launch day. You can search chats and communities of startups, talk about your product and launch in advance, collect feedback and recommendations.
Voices in the first hours play the greatest role. At 4 am California time, a rating is formed. Staying in the TOP is easier than breaking through there. Because users go to the main page, see the first 4-5 positions and interact with them. Only the most interested go down. Therefore, the higher you are in the ranking, the easier it is to get additional votes of support. Makers from Russia/Europe have an advantage in this regard: the day on the launch vehicle starts at midnight San Francisco, which is 10 am Moscow time. That is, your network will have time to activate, and you have a few hours to remind yourself and ask for support.
What did the publication on Product Hunt give us?
The most valuable thing we received was support and feedback. We actually closed the project we had been working on for 1.5 years and launched from scratch a new, even more ambitious one. In such a situation, the support of the community is incredibly important. And it’s better if this support goes beyond the standard “great idea”, but includes a discussion, constructive criticism – it’s worth a lot.
First, you get confirmation that the problem you are solving really worries people, they are immersed in the topic and are looking for a solution. And, therefore, it makes sense to invest effort and money in the development of the project. Motivation at the start is very important.
Secondly, thanks to the openness of the startup community, you can analyze usability, get an outside perspective, good advice, and an idea for further development. Team members have probably already lost the ability to critically evaluate the project, which is why it is so important to get an alternative vision.
Thirdly, after hard work, the team needs a result, a feeling of some kind of victory. This will give motivation, energy and inspiration for further work.
In addition, the validation of the idea for the outside world is also important: investors, journalists, potential clients and partners – for them, the “Product of the Month” achievement may be an occasion to take a closer look at the project.
Of course, this is not an “Oscar in the world of technology”, but still a real achievement and a reason to be proud.
For us, entering the PH has become an excellent motivational frontier. We were pleased with our experience, receiving constructive feedback and achievements Product of the day and #2 Education Product of the month.