Yesterday Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky, went to Twitter to ask their community for product feed. Inspired, we thought to host a similar session with the Product Hunt community. If we were to build one thing at Product Hunt in 2017, what would it be? All ideas are encouraged, especially the crazy ones. Feel free to read through everyone's suggestions and upvote your favorites. Let's have fun. 😊
Thanks for doing this, Ryan! A few ideas: 1. Direct messaging: Sometimes I want to give feedback/suggestions without publicly commenting on a product. A DM feature right on the product page would be really useful. This could also be a great way for investors to reach out to makers. 2. Better search: With thousands of products already submitted, PH now has a large repository of products. I'd love to be able to quickly search PH like I would Google (eg: "what is the best iOS app for planning my next vacation?"). 3. Company pages: Companies like Google and Facebook launch new products very often. It would be cool if you could "subscribe" to a company and receive notifications when they launch new products. This could also be a great way for makers to post updates and communicate with their users (think FB Pages). 4. Improved homepage for power users: I refresh PH dozens of times a day and I know there are others that do the same. An improved homepage for those that come back often would be nice - maybe surface newest products first, integrate more social elements, etc... 5. Tipping: There are lots of makers on PH who solely launch side projects and do not generate revenue from them. What if you could leave a small tip as a token of appreciation right from the product page? 6. Emoji reactions: I'll just link to my original post on this. :) 7. Upvote streak leaderboard & more gamification: This request is for selfish reasons, but I genuinely think it would get more of the community to participate. There are plenty of opportunities for more gamification like this throughout the site (eg: points for hunting, commenting, collecting, etc...).
@jackdweck Why do you have so many good ideas?! @rrhoover, Jack is making the rest of us look lazy lol! I especially like numbers 1, 2, and 6. 😊
@jackdweck Better search will be the best feature. To find any product for my need, I always search on PH first then on Google.
@jackdweck I thought you might have a few great ideas, Jack. 🙏🏼 1. Fun fact: we tested a DM feature, whitelisted for a small number of people. It was very rarely used, but I believe that was more in our execution. There's certainly an opportunity for this but we don't want it to turn into LinkedIn messages. 2. We're working on better search right now! As the database has grown and we've started collecting more info about each product (e.g. topics), this is becoming increasingly important. 3. Company pages have come up often. Question is: why would a company want it? What unique value should a PH company page provide? 4. We have a few tests running now. 5. Love this concept, similar to reddit gold. We haven't tested any of this because it's unclear how many people would actually get out their credit card and use it regularly. 6. 👍🏼 7. We're working on a big new project that will tangentially introduce more things like this. @mscccc is also working on a smaller project now related to this.
@rrhoover I'd love better filters on search: date, topic, category. I use Product Hunt before every major project, so please 🙏
@thenosh · PhD Scholar, Tech Contributor,
@jackdweck i loved your idea about Emoji Reactions
Brilliant suggestions @jackdweck 😻 I think point 2. is one of the biggest and most important challenge, even if search is already awesome, improving it could be a killer move. Filters on date and localization would be awesome too (poke @algolia) 5. What a great idea! I would definitely use it 🤑 Regarding point 7. , we've thought about a "French leaderboard" for the french community. The idea is to generate and update lists of: - the 10 most upvoted french products, - the 10 best french hunters, - the top 10 french makers - ... updated in each week in addition to a global list of the 50-100 best items ever in each category so that hunters and makers would feel empowered when they're in the lists. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that last one @rrhoover?
Great idea, Ryan! Good luck with the typing 😁 Two thoughts: 1. Since pre-launch hunts rarely get featured again when launched, it would be nice to subscribe or get a notification when the product launches. I may or may not want to sign up for email alerts directly from the maker during pre-launch, and a PH notification would be a less intrusive alternative. 2. Something to connect makers to people in the PH community who may have some skill/idea to offer to make the product better. Perhaps a better integration with AngelList jobs 😹✌
@kunalslab hey, Kunal! Good ideas. 1. We've talked about a version of this. Ideally, a maker wouldn't have to create their own pre-launch site and instead spend that time building the actual product. This is very similar to Medium's approach to blogging (and this isn't the only similarity between Product Hunt and Medium). The reality is most makers want their own site even if it takes some time so we need to provide a lot more value than what they get out of existing solutions. That said, additive pre-launch pages are interesting on their own. 2. We definitely want to find ways to tie in AngelList Talent into the PH community where it makes sense. We also see an opportunity to connect makers with non-employee talent and services. Without showing our hand, I'm curious to hear everyone's idea of what this might look like. 🤔
HEY Ryan! Last year, this exact time, I knew nothing about tech. I was a freshman in college and that was about it. Thx to people I met on Product Hunt - a TON has changed. Sadly, no one at my college uses Product Hunt. I want that to change. How can we get more students on Product Hunt? I think the a really easy, yet useful thing PH can do to attract more students is add "PH Colleges" - essentially a "topic" for every school so that we can see which schools (students) are releasing the coolest products/companies/podcasts etc.
@jrdngonen Love this. Plus most upvoted at each school.
@jrdngonen "see which schools are releasing the coolest stuff." What sort of stuff are you referring to?
@jrdngonen Hi Jordan, I'm in the same boat. I use Product Hunt everyday but don't anyone at my school who use it. Maybe some students could be PH ambassadors by organizing Product Hunt meetups ? I love your idea of PH colleges because it would be beneficial to students, to Product Hunt and also to the college.
@jrdngonen of course I'm bias but every student in business, computer science, design, or similar fields should be using Product Hunt for inspiration and learning. What other ways might we engage with colleges and make PH more valuable for that audience?
@rrhoover @jrdngonen I agree with you, sadly that's not true :/ In the year and a half I have been in my school, I never found someone who uses PH and that's terrible because PH is the perfect community for students to learn. I think you already do a great job by sharing knowledge on Medium that could be useful to students. I think the problem is on the student side. There is the same problem on Twitter. Students are scared to ask questions or connect with people they consider unattainable. If they don't follow the tech world, it will be hard for you to engage with college students except on mainstream platforms. PH is now part of my daily routine and I don't know what I would do without it. Thanks for making PH 🙏
@rrhoover @jrdngonen Maybe a separate school curated page section like Kickstarter has for campaigns where students can get both inspired and connected to those makers on their own campus
@jrdngonen Very interesting. You are on to something Jordan. I think you could create a poster or even Ryan's team could design a poster that would honest to goodness be about promoting STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and Product Hunt could be a great point of discovery and networking to attract interest in coding which entails computers science, product development and research which is under the whole umbrella of STEM or STEAM where the A is for "Arts". I would think the colleges wouldn't have any objection to approving such announcements or postings that would serve a ten-fold purpose. Product Hunt Community grows and interested students get a peak at the culture and are able to participate and eventually launch their own products. Huge Win here in every aspect imaginable.
@jrdngonen Very interesting. You are on to something Jordan. I think you could create a poster or even Ryan's team could design a poster that would honest to goodness be about promoting STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) and Product Hunt could be a great point of discovery and networking to attract interest in coding which entails computer science, product development and research which is under the whole umbrella of STEM or STEAM where the A is for "Arts". I would think the colleges wouldn't have any objection to approving such announcements or postings that would serve a ten-fold purpose. Product Hunt Community grows and interested students get a peak at the culture and are able to participate and eventually launch their own products. Huge Win here in every aspect imaginable.
@nbashaw · Co-founder and CEO of Hardbound
Hey! Idea for you: I had to submit my email before you show the "ask a question now" button - why? You'd probably get a higher quality and quantity of questions by encouraging people to submit questions as soon as they see there is going to be a live chat. Speaking of LIVE chats, you now have a huge archive of great material! Including blog posts on Medium that sum up each talk. Any plans to make the wisdom contained in them more discoverable? Speaking of evergreen content, do you have any plans to make a product's PH page a better ongoing resource? For example, I'm not sure it makes a ton of sense to have separate PH pages for big updates, but people obviously want to re-submit to PH to get a chance to get more exposure and feedback from the community on the new thing they just shipped. It could be cool to have a "release timeline" or something like that for each product, and to think of product pages as more evergreen landing pages on PH, and less as specific announcements about something new. Does that make sense? Anyway, just throwing out a bunch of ideas! Would love to hear your feedback :)
@nbashaw Hi, I agree with you, Makers share lots of good advice during Live chats and when they launch products. This knowledge should be used more. The summaries sent by email are really useful but maybe a newsletter about only advice and great material could help.(a weekly newsletter "PH Wisdom") Btw, sounds like a great way to use Hardbound for that, like @jrdngonen did there https://www.hardbound.co/read/ph... 😉
@nbashaw I agree with you about the Product Hunt LIVE material -- there's a wealth of knowledge and great material which I would love to be able to search through either by subject, guest, or date. @rrhoover, this could be a great way to get people to re-engage with past material. Even a year's worth of stuff might yield new perspectives. 😉
@nbashaw yo, Nathan! The LIVE Chat is entirely visible once it starts. Before then, people are asked to enter their email to "sign up" for a reminder before they're given a preview to ask a question early. We may change this. Re: LIVE Chats, there's a toooon of great content that could be summarized or presented in a more accessible way. We've even talked about building a separate mobile app just for this. Maybe we'll make a coffee table book similar to reddit's AMA book. We've decided not to focus on this and instead center our efforts more toward product discovery. Re: evergreen content, there's a huge opportunity here. Some describe it as the IMDB for products" (see @hunterwalk's blog post). There are a number of things needed to make this work. How would you (or anyone reading this) design it?
@rrhoover @nbashaw Regrading the Live Chats - I view these chats almost like "stories" into people's lives and their perspectives. If only there were an app that did a good job of "storytelling" on mobile (I know we tried once https://www.producthunt.com/post... , any thoughts here?) ;)
@rrhoover @nbashaw @hunterwalk love the timeline/IMDB idea. Was just trying to figure this out with API.AIs history and ended up having to open all 4 of their hunts, read the threads, check the dates, etc. Ryan - any thoughts on what would be a productive way for someone to design this? Are you looking for sketches/prototypes or something else?
@johnrmeese · Dean of Platform University
@nbashaw While I was thinking about what to suggest, I browsed the other suggestions here... and you know what? Rather than add to the noise I'd rather just add my voice here in that I think the "evergreen" side of Product Hunt is the least developed so far. In terms of discoverability and product pages... right now if you access an old "hunt" the prominent date telling you when it was featured immediately implies that the content is outdated. I like Nathan's idea of having a core page for each product (almost like a product profile) with info on industry, purpose, pricing, and makers or company but then releasing each major feature update (or the original "hunt" for that product) as a separate Product Hunt post. That way there's one core page to refer back to for product info, and that opens up the use of Product Hunt to more of a go-to reference for everyone in the tech space when comparing software / tools. Think Wikipedia / IMDP for products with functionality similar to http://alternativeto.net/
@kunalslab the big question to answer is why would a maker or community member visit this "evergreen" page after the initial launch that isn't already captured in the current UX and content? We have some thoughts on this but I don't want to influence others' ideas. 😊
If you could launch something for PH with unlimited budget and full freedom to do whatever, what would it be?
@bentossell a Philz cat cafe with the latest gadgets and doodads, of course
@sachinrekhi · Entrepreneur & Product Guy
What I'd love to see is more product stats associated with each product. Things like the App Store/Play Store rating/ranking. Their Alexa traffic ranking, etc. These help to provide a more complete picture of how are the products doing. The overall ProductHunt upvotes is great, but really only represents an initial point-in-time metric around their launch on PH. Getting a better sense of how a product is doing via these various products stats not only helps users seeking products better judge them, but also helps makers looking for inspiration get a sense of which ideas are not only viewed positively on PH, but also getting a lot of positive success signals. One of the drawbacks, for example, of the Dribbble community is that the discussion ends up being fairly insular with designers talking with designers without the feedback of do the launched designs even do well? It makes it far less useful for fellow creators to learn from and results in the naval gazing the community has been critiqued for. External traction metrics help to combat this. Maybe even allow people to contribute specific metrics with reference sources like # users, revenue, growth rates, etc. with links back to the source (often company blog posts, articles, etc). I'm constantly googling for this info but having it structured and referenced in one place would be amazing. I'd contribute a ton of data points myself from the years of notes I have on such various metrics :)
@sachinrekhi what we've found is that the more context provided, the more people gravitate toward a particular product. It's all about storytelling. "Here's a productivity-boosting app created by a 17 year-old, backed by a16z and currently the #1 most downloaded in the App Store" is a lot more interesting than "Here's a productivity-boosting app." To your point, adding quantitative metrics like App Store ranking helps tell a story. Incorporating articles, interviews, and 3rd party editorial from sites like TechCrunch can also help. Taking this further, what other data sets or ways can we tell a better story?
You should build something that directly connects Product Hunters. Maybe a messaging service that randomly pairs you with someone with the same taste. Who knows, maybe it'll be your next co-founder. I think the community is active and awesome enough to do this
@ghazalenrz · Enjoying new Tech & Social media
@noxowe I do agree with you because we will find some good founders, it causes such a good incidents like collaborations .
@noxowe Tinder for the Product Hunt community!? 😂 We see people connect in the comments and/or outside of PH (moving conversations to Twitter or email). There's certainly an opportunity to make this easier.
@rrhoover @noxowe PH'ers can couchsurf with other Product Hunters using @gethorizonapp .. just saying :)
Any chance of granting more of us mere mortals access to the write part of the API? There are a number of apps that I wrote for ProductHunt that would have benefited from being able to write back via the API, but weren't allowed to do so. Sure there are others who would benefit too. I understand the apprehension due to the possibility of abuse, but I'm sure we can find other ways of solving that problem.
@mubashariqbal we honestly don't have plans for this right now. We've held off providing write access for two important reasons: (1) we may make changes to PH that could break that functionality but more importantly... (2) we need to be careful that 3rd party apps don't change the concept of what an upvote is, polluting our dataset and the community's curation. For example, someone might create an app that changes the definition of what an upvote is.
@rrhoover 1) Would love to see what changes you might make that breaks an API for upvoting, would be a pretty drastic new paradigm in voting 😀 2) Completely get it, and figured this was what was really holding up releasing this ability, but thought I'd ask. EmbedHunt especially would have benefited with having this ability, but as you guys continue to add the missing features to PH itself, the ability to do this becomes less important. I guess this mean the only way to get access to the write API is to join the team ... 💪
Pain point I see a lot: people getting hunted before they're ready for a launch
@staringispolite totally. There's an interesting balance where we want to empower the community to post any cool thing they find but also ensure the maker is ready to participate (and that the product isn't too raw for public use). How would you approach this challenge?
@rrhoover A few things come to mind: 1) By default, community still gets to submit whatever they like as it works now 2) ProductHunt "embargoes": - Allow users to "reserve" URLs they don't want hunted yet. This would only available to makers of that product, and behind the scenes, would involve the same verification that currently exists for marking someone a maker of a product. - A reservation expires after a reasonable amount of time, so people can't just park things arbitrarily. - To a ProductHunt user who submits that URL, the submit form would display an error message saying something like "Good find! But the makers have said they're not ready for prime time, and requested we don't hunt this just yet."
@rrhoover 3) A step further would be, let's call it a "preview": - In addition to #1 and #2 above, makers could keep their product's page only visible to the hunter and makers. To submit, the hunter submits the form as normal, but if they're also a maker, they get an optional checkbox "Keep private for now, please". They'd get time to get all the images right, get your teammates approved as makers, etc. Then click a button to make it public - There could be a time limit on this preview as well so people can't park pages forever, but advance notice of launches should be good for ProductHunt too ^_^ And makers being ready to interact with the community is better for everyone
@rrhoover 4) In the event someone else submits your product too soon: - Anyone marked as a maker can put it back into preview mode, or perhaps submit a manual review by a mod requesting a "relaunch". - When they're ready to launch, the homepage ranking would act as if it were submitted just then (current behavior: typically doesn't do well, you don't get a second chance, won't make it to homepage) - Only available for a limited time after a hunt so it can't be gamed
I agree 100% with you @staringispolite, getting hunted too early can be deadly makers that aren't ready. I've seen a lot of makers who had to face this issue. Love your ideas here, and I think point 4 is the best solution: if someone is identified as a maker he would have to be able to confirm, postpone the launch or put it in preview mode only so that the hunter and him can prepare it properly. What do you think @rrhoover?
@staringispolite great thoughts on this! This "preview" mode could also turn into a pre-launch landing page to collect emails or interest. Another reason I forgot to mention earlier is that we may be making bigger changes to the feed that could influence how this would work, which is another justification for holding off.