Hi there πŸ‘‹ I'm Ashley, Product Hunt's CEO. AMA πŸ‘‡

Ashley Higgins
147 replies


Sam Carow
Hey Ashley!! What has been the most rewarding part of taking over PH as CEO? And most challenging?
Ashley Higgins
@sam_carow Hey Sam, thanks for the questions! Hard to choose but here goes: Most rewarding: hearing the ways makers from around the world use Product Hunt to get inspired, launch their products, and learn with (and from) the community. It's a really meaningful thing for a lot of people and it's humbling to be the shepherd for that. Most challenging: the community is extremely encouraging and agreeable (which is a strength!) but as a product person, it can also make it difficult to get honest feedback on Product Hunt itself to inform the future direction. This is a big change for me, coming from Reddit, where users are all too willing to tell you all the ways you're getting it wrong 🀣.
Stefan Smiljkovic
@sam_carow @ahiggz that's so true Ashley. Reddit community is so critic and direct, sometimes even hard. On another side most people on PH are tapping you on a shoulder, and agrees on what other influencers saying without even thinking. A lot of time it can be encouraging, but that's not what you need all the time. You need real feedback which can be a critic, which would make you do better and make even better decisions.
Arif S
@ahiggz How is the audience on Reddit different in composition compared to here?
Harish Kumar
@sam_carow @ahiggz @stefan_smiljkovic @ahiggz this post is really insightful and at the same time it opens up to share a recent experience when I launch on the product hunt last week... The feedback from an actual customer was really true and they really like to support it. But strange enough there were votes and feedback directed to gain mutual attention. On the other hand, I also got so many offers even one marketer said with $3k, the #1 position is guaranteed. Even he agreed to issue invoices only when we are on #1....it was almost tempting to agree. But I think it's a big reputational issue for Product Hunt to check if your algorithm is really unique and does it works it is expected to work. I see the day I launched upvotes for competitors getting by 40 to 50 in a time of 5 minutes. That is unrealistic even though PH mention several factors you take into account...still I found there are Facebook Groups where you can post for upvote... which makes the whole experience and excitement a little down. When as a maker I come to a platform, I trust the PH capabilities and how I can get genuine exposure and not a paid exposure. Hopefully, @ahiggz is looking into this.
Bill Rubacky
Hi back at ya! Keep up the good work.
David Lumley
Hey Ashley! What's the most interesting thing you've learnt about Product Hunt since joining?
Ashley Higgins
@davidlumley Hey David, thanks for the question! Most interesting, hmmm... I'm going to cheat and share a few: 1. I expected the vast majority of PH users to be based in Silicon Valley (or at least the US), but we actually have strongholds of users all over the world, and especially in certain pockets like India and Brazil. I hear a lot of stories about people who discovered Product Hunt because they live in a place where they don't know anyone else in real life who's a maker or who's very interested in tech, so we end up being their community of fellow tech-lovers online. 2. The sheer number of unicorns that have launched on Product Hunt is crazy! Notion, Airtable, Lattice, Loom, Zoom, Figma, Coinbase, Rippling, Robinhood, Brex, and many, many more. Every day I see new launches and wonder: which of these will be in the next batch of unicorns? Lots of VCs and tech press seem to use PH to do the same. 3. Internally: there are so many long-timers! Knowing tech company tenures are normally pretty short, the number of PH team members who've been here for 6+ years was really surprising, and a big tip-off for me that the culture must be really special.
Eithiriel DeMerΓ©
Hi Ashley! What's your favorite site to read about product news other than Product Hunt or Tech Crunch?
Ashley Higgins
@nikkielizdemere Hey Nichole! I tend to gravitate toward longer-form, deep-dive pieces. I especially like Stratechery, Not Boring, Divinations, and The Information. I think a lot about Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet's comments on knowledge and how it compounds like interest, so I try to be deliberate about learning something new every day. For some fun (non-tech) general news analysis, I like Galaxy Brain and Pirate Wires.
Shashank Singh
The PH event in NYC was great. Would love to see more interaction among product people and founders.
Ashley Higgins
@shankybaba Thanks Shashank, we had a blast! And lots more events in the works, so stay tuned πŸ˜„
Solomon Bush
Do you have any advice for single-employee startups?
Ashley Higgins
@solomon_bush Hey Solomon! I'd say the #1 thing is making sure to take care of yourself first, so you can be as effective at building and growing your startup as possible. Get enough sleep, move your body, and take time for a little bit of balance so you can go the distance: startups are a marathon, not a sprint. Being a solo founder can be isolating, so also surround yourself with a supportive community of people who get what you're going through and can swap war stories. Learning from others' mistakes is way less expensive (and painful) than learning from your own!
Solomon Bush
@ahiggz Thank you so much for responding! And you're totally right about work life balance. Burnout is definitely real. haha.
Arghya Ghosh
Hey Ashley!! What has been the most challenging part you faced being Product Hunt's CEO or in any other post in any company?
Ashley Higgins
@uiuxarghya Hey Arghya! The most challenging part: trying to fill Ryan's shoes! πŸ˜… He's obviously a legend within the Product Hunt community, and I feel a lot of personal responsibility to do right by him and the community. At Reddit, the most challenging thing was balancing the conviction to push the product forward (even when user's push back) and the humility to know when to back down. It's a tough balance, and one that every product manager has to learn how to strike!
Thomas Schranz ⛄️
Stripe launched 10 years ago today, where do you see Product Hunt 10 years from now? How can we help you make this happen?
πŸ‘‹ Ashley, what`s next for Product Hunt?
Ashley Higgins
@butafly Hey Zhanet, thanks for the question! Our main focus areas right now are: 1. Staff up our native mobile team so we can build a brand new, shiny, mobile-first experience for PH. 2. Make contributing to PH more delightful. Not just products, but discussions and comments too. 3. Modernize the look & feel of the site (you may have noticed some of these changes already). 4. Support more intent-driven product search & research, in addition to the serendipitous discovery you get from the homepage. 5. More editorial content that helps contextualize the launches you see everyday. Not only "what launched today" but also "help me understand this better" 6. More ways to engage with Product Hunt IRL via events put on by our team, and our growing team of PH ambassadors worldwide. 7. Find opportunities to partner with our new sister company and venture arm, Hyper. We've almost doubled head-count this year with lots more growth to come, so we're firing on all cylinders. Expect to see a lot from us in the coming months!
Johannes Grenzemann
Hi Ashley, Product Hunt is incredibly valuable for startups and founders to get early customers, visibility and feedback. But PH got acquired recently and got a new management… So, what will change under your lead?
Ashley Higgins
@jgrenzemann Hey Johannes, thanks for the kind words! As you say, Product Hunt is incredibly valuable to startups and makers, so job #1 is: "don't mess anything up" 😹 Beyond that, we have a lot of work ahead! I summarized our main focus areas in this comment.
Fajar Siddiq
How much is your salary per month as CEO at Product Hunt?
Hey Ashley - when are we going to see some features added to the App? It's still quite limited compared to the website.
Ashley Higgins
@maxwellcdavis Hey Maxwell πŸ‘‹ You're totally right! We are currently staffing up our native mobile team so you should see a lot more from us soon! In the meantime, if you know any great mobile engineers or designers, please send them our way!
Paul Mit
Hey Ashley, thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas here! What is your approach to positioning and developing PH in the future: is it community, or product, or group of different services?
Hi Ashley! Do you write regularly? sort of journaling maybe?
Ashley Higgins
@nithur Hey Nirthursan! I used to do more personal journaling but not as often these days. As a fully remote team at Product Hunt, I definitely do a fair bit of long-form writing to articulate strategy in a way that's digestible for the team async. I find it's an amazing forcing function to clarify your own thinking around something.
Lior Galante Cohen (Vaza)
Hey Ashley! What's in store for Product Hunt? Is anything significant going to be changed/added in the near future?
Ashley Higgins
@lior_galante_cohen Hey Lior! Lots of exciting stuff to come, I outlined the major stuff we're focusing on in this comment.
Alexey Shashkov
Hi Ashley! Thanks for this AMA. We really appreciate it! What is the hardest part about being a CEO of Product Hunt?
Alisa Smelkova
Hey Ashley! What product that been launched over the years on Product Hunt you love the most?
Abel G. weldu
Thank you for the AMA, Ashley. Is there a strategic reason for Producthunt to have a mobile app with only limited features( No Communities, limited notification...)?
Ashley Higgins
@abel_product Hey Abel! Historically the team has run super lean and PH usage skewed pretty heavily in favor of desktop web, so that's what was focused on. But these days, things are trending more mobile, and we're growing like crazy (and staffing up our native mobile team). Our plan is to build a new, mobile-first experience for PH as soon as that team is in place. Stay tuned!
Hey Ashley! Thanks for the AMA I am curious to know, How does your day look like as a PH CEO?
Ashley Higgins
@sagar_devkate Hey Sagar, thanks for the question! Things change week to week depending on the needs of the team (#startuplife), but right now it's something like: 25% hiring, 25% strategy (especially growth), 50% supporting the team on current execution work.
David J. Kim
Hey Ashley, thanks for the AMA. What industries (AI, blockchain, etc.) excite you the most?
Ashley Higgins
@between_team Hey David, thanks for the question! A few areas that are most exciting to me right now are: 1. Longevity / Quantified Self - we're just scratching the surface of what's possible here. David Sinclair's book Lifespan was a game-changer in terms of reframing aging as a preventable disease rather than an inevitability, and I think the number of products and companies that will spin out of that realization and increased agency will be huge. 2. Web3 / Crypto - I'm definitely no expert in the space, but it feels like there's some real magic happening right now, and the movement toward decentralization and putting power back in the hands of the creators and individuals is super exciting. I think we're still a long way from applications that are mainstream enough for the average person to grok, but I can't wait to see where it goes from here. The episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast with Balaji Srinivasan was a good primer on the current landscape and imminent potential. 3. There isn't as much of this as I'd like, but I'm really interested in tech that solves existential problems like climate change. Nothing else matters if the planet isn't habitable, so I'm always interested to see our brightest minds pushing for creative solutions. Some of the terraforming startups are a great example, but I'm always keeping an eye out for more!
David J. Kim
@ahiggz Wow, the longevity stuff is fascinating. Aging is a "disease" that every human is/will be inflicted with. So preventing that would be mind-blowing. Thanks for responding Ashley!