Yesterday, we launched Xatkit on ProductHunt. This is the first time ever I’ve tried to launch a product in PH. And while there is plenty of advice on how to thoroughly prepare your PH launch and maximize your chances of success, we followed none. Being a two-people team, we always try to stick to the Pareto’s rule and do the 20% of the work that will give us 80% of chances of success. We cannot afford to go all-in on anything that it’s not really core to our business.

In the end, the launch exceeded our expectations. We even were the number one product for a few hours and managed to end the day in the top 5.

The day after the launch, I wanted to share some quick takeaways from the experience. We confirmed some things we believed but also learn some others that will help us to improve future attempts. Our takeaways:

  1. Our decision to NOT invest time preparing the launch paid off. Not sure if with more preparation we could have improved our final ranking but I’d sign a top 5 in ProductHunt any day. n the end there are too many factors that influence this result, many of them outside your control. Maybe we were lucky but still, I think our approach worked quite well. We spent less than one hour with the launch and had no expectations (which probably also helped).
  2. No matter what happens, your life is not going to change. Don’t get nervous if your product flops in PH. Don’t get too excited if you get the top spot. Either way, in a few days everything will go back to normal. Every click/visitor helps but this is not a do or die situation. Enjoy the launch day and learn from it! And remember that you can launch again in the future (once you’ve some significant improvement but you’re just starting a new company /product so this is very likely to happen, right?)
  3. Launching when you’re not supposed to launch may be in fact beneficial. We launch on the Halloween weekend where I guess many people are not really paying attention to PH. This may mean fewer eyeballs but also less competition. And again, we didn’t really plan the launch day, we had had a meeting in the morning and had some spare time so we went for it.
  4. One thing I regret: We should have prepared better what we wanted out of the visitors’ spike. We didn’t have any specific conversion funnel (even if it was just to get them in the newsletter) so I think we missed some useful data/contacts for the future.
  5. And one surprise: I wasn’t expecting so many votes (and I’m thankful for that) but I thought we would get some good feedback from the PH community. In the end, we got the votes but not the feedback in the PH discussion thread. Something to reevaluate for a future launch since I think one good feedback comment is worth many votes!.

And the bonus takeaway: Spam is lurking everywhere, even in PH. I was surprised to realize how many “people” scrap PH and start bombarding you with all kinds of commercial efforts and unsolicited marketing of their one tool once you pop up there.