Product Hunt, in collaboration with Blab, adds live video chats to its AMA section Viewers can interact with those on video either by writing in comments, or by joining via video themselves. The streams can be embedded online and archived
Product Hunt has always been about authentic conversations between makers and the community. LIVE video chats extend this concept even further, giving participants an opportunity to ‘sit in the room’ with guests to ask questions and hear their unfiltered answers.
Horowitz hosts an AMA on Product Hunt. On his mentors:
At this point in my life, I would probably refer to them as friends rather than mentors. Bill Campbell and Andy Grove are probably the two that I have learned the most from. Andy’s whole life is a great lesson in how I should live mine. The way that Bill listens to people is so advanced that I learn something every time I’m with him. There are other people on other fields. Like Nas. Nas has the ability to see the world in such a radically different perspective. We can listen to the same song and he’ll hear 30 things that I didn’t.
On a Silicon Valley bubble:
Having been CEO in 2001, I don’t think that we’re anywhere near where we were then. Valuations have gotten high in certain tech sectors in the private markets only, but they have actually corrected themselves pretty quickly. For example, enterprise software started to get over valued privately, but after several companies went public at lower valuations than their last private rounds, the private markets corrected as well. I don’t see a massive crash on the horizon like 2001. In 2001, Nasdaq lost 80% of its value. I’ll bet any bubble believer everything that I have that Nasdaq won’t drop 80% in the next 5 years.
Hoover does an ask-me-anything style interview with the NYC Product Hunt community. On what the next three months looks like for Product Hunt:
We’re really focusing on recruiting and building out the team and the existing product, and focusing on our current community and audience
Hoover talks about the growth of Product Hunt and how people now recognize him in public:
It’s been happening more than I would expect lately. It makes me feel slightly more self-conscious and aware of what I’m doing.
Product Hunt confirms the round led by Andreessen Horowitz and including A16Z and Ohanian. Hoover says he’s been in touch with Ohanian since before he joined Y Combinator:
Garry Tan introduced me [to Ohanian] and we Skyped for an hour. He immediately got what we were building and provided me with advice on how he built the community in the early days of Reddit
Hoover answers questions on the logo, joining Y Combinator, and how it selects products.
We encourage people to share their product on PH as this sparks discussion and frankly drives more traffic to the site; however, the quality of products (which I know, is subjective) is incredibly important. If people are disinterested in the products featured on PH, nothing else matters.
The app launches. Hoover:
Anything you can do on the website today, you can do on the app. We’re taking what already works and building it for mobile.
Hoover talks about curating new products, how Facebook wants companies to use its service, Google’s investment of $50 million to inspire female coders, and how Product Hunt is somewhere between Reddit and Hacker News.
It’s not a review site and it’s not a site to find the best thing for [something specific]…people go there to find things they wouldn’t find elsewhere
Hoover tells the podcast about his strategy of building an audience, and then creating something valuable for the community.
We built Product Hunt over four days, during Thanksgiving
Hoover joins the summer intake. Hoover:
I was actually not intending to apply to Y Combinator. Product Hunt started surfacing during the previous Y Combinator batch because founders told each other to upvote their products. Nicolas [Dessaigne] from Algolia DM’d me and said ‘hey, some of the partners — like Garry Tan — want to meet you.’
Hoover talks about how venture capitalists use Product Hunt:
VCs have two different hats, the investor hat and the consumer hat, they use the site they like to find new things [and there are] very many cases where VCs have invested in products that I know of that they found on Product Hunt.
That includes SV Angel’s investment in the TapTalk photo app, Steadfast Venture Capital’s investment in the Fitbay fitness social network, and Move Loot, which has got funding from Google Ventures.
I didn’t build Product Hunt for VCs, I didn’t build a product to serve investors, but it is serving them…ultimately I’m building a product for myself and for consumers.
Hoover and Calacanis talk about new products on Product Hunt like the Uber Wedding app and Soundcloud for iOS, how he got the idea for the site, and how viewers can interact with the people who create the products.
There’s some very interesting conversations that come out of Product Hunt.
He says that for an app called InstaNerd, site users contributed ideas and the founder incorporated them to improve the product.
Subscribers have risen to 26,000 since the launch, and Hoover receives 300 emails a day from VCs and product people who want to get their projects on the site. Visits to Product Hunt have grown 90% in the last 30 days.
The third-party iOS app designed by Matusumura combines features of Product Hunt and Tinder, and is reported to function as a minimum viable product (MVP) in the interim while Hoover talks to developers about a native app.
Hoover launches the first version of the site with Bashaw, a product manager at General Assembly. The initial version is a simple email that takes 30 minutes to put together. They notice open rates and engagement are unusually high at 45% and a 13% click-through rate, respectively. Hoover decides to run and bootstrap the site full-time, while Bashaw stays at General Assembly.
Hoover talks about the small but growing Portland tech scene, selling stuff on eBay, how his dad inspired him to become an entrepreneur, and what motivates people to start startups:
It’s ultimately freedom