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.
Hoover talks with Ricketts, the editor of First Round Review and Hayes, a First Round Capital partner, about products that kids use, and new products including the Android messaging app Snowball, search and archiving app Slack, the teacher/student/parent communication app Remind, and Rings wearables for cellphones.
Calacanis, Sarver, and Hoover talk on This Week In Startups about etiquette on the dating app. Calacanis:
Are you on the Tinder with all those other kids?
I had my first Tinder date, like, a month ago
You really went on a Tinder date. What’s that like?
It was normal. She was fine.
Hoover talks with Sarver and Calacanis about on-demand streaming, and mobile apps that are being launched, including one for ordering medical marijuana.
Hoover talks with Liu and Sculley about why teenagers like Product Hunt:
Teenagers are always looking for the next thing.
On whether the apps on the site will make good companies:
It’s not our job to make sure these turn into companies. Most of them should not be companies. They’re not companies but hopefully they can inspire somebody to take them and use them in their own companies or products.
Hoover, Eyal, and Elman of Greylock Partners among other product-focused creators launch the weekly course on the psychology of user behavior. (Website here.) Eyal says the idea is to understand:
The deeper reasons underlying why users do what they do.
Ryan talks with Chen, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, and Eyal, a blogger and the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. They discuss the Ethan app that allows users to chat with Gliechtenstein, habit-forming products, and the pet products like BarkShop, BarkBox, and BarkCam.
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 talks about why he would rather take the risk of working at a startup:
I can’t see myself working at a larger company. I enjoy the absurdity of startups — the (almost irrational) hope of directly impacting a big change in peoples’ lives. I’d much rather have “high-high’s” and “low-low’s” than the “medium-medium’s” of big businesses. Ultimately my goal is to learn while building something I’m passionate about and startups are the best place for me to do that.
Hoover talks with teenage product creators Ryan Orbuch of Finish, Gewn Brinsmead from Appmesh, and Ari Weinstein from DeskConnect and Workflow about productivity tools, photo apps, and teenage tech culture. Orbuch on why people don’t pay for apps:
There’s this analogy that people will pay $5 for a cup of coffee without thinking about it, but there isn’t a shelf of free coffee next to it that’s just about as good.
Hoover gives three pieces of advice to a Y Combinator hopeful who wrote to him:
– Be honest and real. The partners will know if you’re bullshitting.
– Know your metrics. Be able to describe which ones are most important and why.
– Describe how your startup can become a billion dollar business, but don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole. Think big and be pragmatic.
Hoover talks with John and Sam Shahidi, co-creators of the Shots photo app, online bullying, music discovery, and how Shots shares what users are doing via photos and selfies.
Hoover talks to Bahat and Strickland of Bloomberg Beta, the Bloomberg-backed venture fund about how the fund works, and the future of Product Hunt. Bahat:
Whatever we don’t like that we see others doing in the industry, we try to do the opposite of…so we open-sourced our full operating manual
Hoover talks with Circa co-founder and CEO Galligan and Block, AOL’s VP for Product, about the iPhone 6, Apple Pay, the Apple Watch, and how TechCrunch had Hoover speak right after the Apple product announcements. Galligan:
That was kind of a dick move.
Hoover talks about what Product Hunt is and what the future holds for the site.
At its core it’s a very simple product and within it we’ve created this community of people who are very passionate about products.
Hoover talks with Femgineer founder Poornima Vijayashanker and Julia Grace, head of engineering at Tindie, about tools to communicate with remote teams, email and products to fight digital distractions. They discuss theScreenhero collaborative screen sharing and chat app, software building product Pivotal Tracker and the Asana app that enables teamwork without email.
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.
Hoover talks with Notation Capital partner Nick Chirls, Red Swan Ventures partner Will Peng, Teehan & Lax partner Jon Lax, and Electric Objects founder Jake Levine. They discuss hardware startups, artwork, and crimefighting robots.
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 explains how Product Hunt started, and what its appeal is:
You see it on Twitter and you see it on Hacker News and Reddit and other sites, but you don’t see a platform just for new products every day
Hoover talks on the podcast about building a community site, creating a minimum viable product (MVP), and new products on the market. On creating Product Hunt:
My motivation is to build something that I’m a consumer of and that I enjoy using.
Hoover joins the podcast from the parking lot outside Y Combinator. On why he started Product Hunt:
People are often asking, What’s on your home screen? or Have you seen that new app? I didn’t know a place online where I could find these things…all in one place
Hoover talks with the Gawker site about why he is joining Y Combinator after siphoning traffic from Hacker News:
There’s no doubt overlap between the communities and the type of content but I don’t see it as competitive
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.
Hoover talks with Smith and Curaytor.com’s Jimmy Macken about starting Product Hunt, how curation and tracking metrics like clickthroughs can help industries like real estate, and crowd sourcing compared with techniques like SEO. On building relationships online:
You have to provide value…The internet makes relationships much more scaleable
Hoover says that living in San Francisco helps, but that meeting people online can be more important for a startup founder:
Many of the relationships I’ve formed didn’t start in person. They began online through my writing, communities like Quibb and Twitter. Face-to-face meetings are the best way to get to know someone but they’re not nearly as scalable as online interactions.
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 and Eyal publish the book on how to keep consumers using products without advertising or aggressive messaging. Hoover explains the relationship of the concept with Product Hunt:
For Product Hunt to succeed, we need to build habits.
Hoover expands on the concepts in Hooked in an essay:
Habits don’t form overnight. It takes several days, often weeks for a product or service to earn unprompted user engagement, triggered by people’s day-to-day emotions.
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 to Jason Shah of Yammer about working in product management:
Getting thrown into the fire is often the best way to learn
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
Hoover becomes the company’s product manager.
I didn’t know what a product manager was six months before I became one.
Hoover becomes a marketing analyst after interning at the company.
Hoover graduates from University of Oregon with a Bachelors of Science in Entrepreneurship with a minor in Computer Information Systems.
Hoover interns in the Social Media Marketing department.
Hoover enrols at the University of Oregon’s Charles H. Lundquist School of Business.
Hoover works as a customer service agent.