Product Hunt CEO, Ashley Higgins, answered questions about the Product Hunt roadmap and shared her advice for founders.
In August, Josh Buckley announced that Ashley Higgins
was stepping into the role of Product Hunt CEO.
“Ashley is a talented product leader who has spent a decade building consumer products at scale, at companies like Reddit, Clearbit, and SEGA. She was the first mobile PM at Reddit, responsible for shipping their iOS and Android apps (on Product Hunt!). She then went on to found their search & discovery team to help users navigate the vast swathes of Reddit. We know her skills in growing community-led products will be instrumental in evolving Product Hunt over the coming years.”
In her first AMA discussion with our community, Ashley answered questions about Product Hunt’s future, her advice on how to tackle growth, and what excites her most about the future.
We’ve surfaced the answers you just shouldn’t miss.
About what’s on the Product Hunt roadmap:
- Staff up our native mobile team so we can build a brand new, shiny, mobile-first experience for PH.
- Make contributing to PH more delightful. Not just products, but discussions and comments too.
- Modernize the look & feel of the site (you may have noticed some of these changes already).
- Support more intent-driven product search & research, in addition to the serendipitous discovery you get from the homepage.
- More editorial content that helps contextualize the launches you see every day. Not only "what launched today" but also "help me understand this better"
- More ways to engage with Product Hunt IRL via events put on by our team, and our growing team of PH ambassadors worldwide.
- Find opportunities to partner with our new sister company and venture arm, Hyper
On Product Hunt’s disperse community:
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.
And the value of a Product Hunt launch:
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.
I'd say the main value of launching on Product Hunt is distribution. In other words: makers get access to a huge community of technophiles and early adopters who make amazing first customers. Many companies have taken that early group of customers, worked closely with them, and iterated on their products to make them even better.
With more startups launching than ever, it has become harder to break through the noise across the internet. Plus, paid advertising has become even more expensive and unscalable, which makes Product Hunt even more valuable as a place for the organic discovery of high-quality products.
On growth post-launch:
Growth always boils down to acquisition and retention. I personally think there are a fair number of hacky/quick paths to acquisition to choose from, but you can't cheat retention, and that's the hardest thing to crack.
It doesn't matter how many new users you get to the party if you can't keep them there. At the end of the day, everything comes down to: what value are you adding that your users can't live without? If you solve for that, you can push new users in from all sorts of places (referrals, ads, content marketing) and growth will work itself out from there. Easier said than done!
On advice for hustling founders and startup leaders:
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!
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.
- Always remember: startups are a marathon, not a sprint.
On the spaces she’s watching close:
1. Longevity / Quantified Self - Aging is a preventable disease rather than an inevitability, and I think the number of products and companies that will spin out of that realization and the increased agency will be huge.
2. Web3 / Crypto - 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.
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.