Today we’re introducing the new CEO of Product Hunt. But first, the backstory…
The last seven years have been the most challenging and rewarding of my life and career. Product Hunt started as an email newsletter, "launched" with a tweet one early morning at Philz Coffee in San Francisco. Thankfully, this idea got traction and Product Hunt quickly became part of the startup zeitgeist, a community of makers and optimists sharing and celebrating the latest in tech around the world. Since then we've seen:
- 200,000+ products launched on the platform, including early versions of household names like Notion, Airtable, Lambda School, and many others
- 350,000,000+ product discoveries
- 750+ in-person meetups around the globe from San Francisco to Tokyo
The community continues to grow, the business is profitable, and we continue to be inspired by anecdotes like this
, and this
After an amazing journey with a talented team, it felt like the right time to make a change.
Product Hunt has been my life. I distinctly remember back in 2014 the first time I overheard a stranger say, "Is that the Product Hunt guy?" The company is a large part of how people perceive me, and how I perceive myself.
Since the beginning I've thrown my whole being into Product Hunt. The majority of my day (and often dreams) were focused on the community and business we've built together. I chased the high highs and pushed through the low lows, Monday through Sunday. This is the life of many founders and CEOs, and one that I’ve been privileged to lead for seven years.
One of our cultural values at Product Hunt is authenticity. Last year I realized I had stopped being true to this value. I wasn't being my authentic self. The motivation and happiness that fueled my work started to fade, replaced with a growing cloud of depression and burnout. I suppressed my true feelings. I told myself, "This is what I signed up for. This is my job." And it was. But this shadow was keeping me from doing my best work.
Feedback like this kept me going:
I'm forever grateful to the community for their support and for the opportunities the company has given me.
I, like many founders, have a deep attachment to the community and the company we've built together, which makes this transition particularly difficult. On July 4th I made the decision to search for a new CEO. I was confident we would find a strong leader to elevate Product Hunt's mission and serve the community with authenticity and bold new ideas.
Fortunately, we found that person sooner than I anticipated.
I met Josh Buckley several years ago. We bonded over a few commonalities: We're both Y Combinator alums and spent several years working in the gaming industry. In 2011 he founded Mino Games, creators of Mino Monsters and Cat Game (no relation to Product Hunt 😉). He grew the team to 70 people reaching $20M in annualized revenues before transitioning from CEO to Chairman.
Since stepping down as CEO, Josh has spent more of his time investing. He's an early investor in Boom, Retool, Rippling, Clearbit, Roam Research, and many others. He invests in seed stage startups but has also made a name for himself with investments in later stage companies, leading NexHealth's $15M Series A and Playco's $100M Series A. It's rare to see someone, especially a solo capitalist
, invest across multiple stages with this much conviction.
My favorite quality about Josh: His ambition. He has bold ideas and a track record of bringing them to life, despite his humble demeanor.
I called him earlier this year to ask for advice. Our "quick catch up" evolved into a much deeper conversation about the future of Product Hunt, where he’d both be making a significant investment in the company, and joining as CEO.
So, What's Next?
We shared numerous conversations about Product Hunt and the opportunities ahead. He has an incredible vision for the future of the Product Hunt community – shaped by his unique experiences as a founder – giving me confidence in his ability to lead it through its next chapter.
I'm eager to share with you what's next for Product Hunt, but I don't want to take away from Josh's upcoming announcements.
In the short term, we're doubling down on the community. In the past month, we've quietly released several subtle but important improvements to user profiles, discussions, and architecture of the site in prep for what's next.
Josh understands how important it is for us to continue investing in a healthy community that celebrates makers and building. This won't be the first time he's led a team building community for a global audience.
We have a new CEO but our mission remains the same:
To build a welcoming community that empowers makers and surfaces awesome products.
Product Hunt and the community we've built together means so much to me. I will continue to support the company at a strategic level and Naval from AngelList will remain on the board.
Please join our global team and me in welcoming Josh in his new role. Excited for you all to hear about what's next. ✌️😸