Hi everyone, I've posted on here a couple times with various questions and stories about my product. All of which were basically me procrastinating and delaying shipping my product. Last week I took the plunge. Here's the good and the bad.
I forked out for the "pro" package and ended up paying for 2 months of it. I can't say anything good about it at all. The only thing you can do with it is schedule a launch date up to 7 days in advance. This doesn't guarantee you a place on the homepage or anything. All the features that MIGHT be useful are on the "Super Pro" plan, which costs about $19,000 per month.
As discussed on here before, the UX on mobile is embarrassingly bad. I emailed Product Hunt about this and they replied saying basically that they knew this but that their users "preferred desktop" and thus that is where they were putting their efforts. I've never heard such nonsense. I would say its more likely that people are using desktop more because the mobile interface is unusable, and NOT because they prefer desktop.
Anyway the only thing that "Ship" could do for me ended up being redundant. I'll explain why next.
I reached out to Chris Messina (guy who 'invented' the hashtag and general Silicon Valley ultra-man) and asked him to hunt my product on product hunt. He did.
No ifs buts or maybes, he just launched it for me, on the day I asked him to. Amazing. What a guy.
It's cool to be featured on the PH homepage. It really is. BUT the traffic you get from it is superficial and short lived. I don't doubt there are startups that have been featured on there and blew up overnight, but there are also people who win the lottery and people who make it in the music industry. My point is... it's not the norm. Don't expect a PH homepage feature to launch your company.
Who knew Quora was so great. I spent a few hours answering some questions about my product's area of expertise and I saw almost immediately a spike in traffic. I then took out an ad campaign on Quora, targeting my products area of interest and saw an even greater spike.
$15 of Quora advertising sent me 4x more traffic than a PH launch that was hunted by Chris Messina. FOUR TIMES AS MUCH. I wish I had taken my $180 "Ship" subscription and just put it all into Quora.
Please... check out Quora advertising.
My launch has been reasonably successful. On day 1 I got about 20 signups from countries all over the world. A few days in I have 36 folk trialling and ONE paying customer.
As folk were signing up I was emailing them personally and asking for feedback. I've had AMAZING insight and feedback from my users that has already made me change various aspects of my app in significant ways. It's so great. One user made a comment about my app and how it would be better if it was like this, and I was immediately like... holy crap that makes total sense! Why didn't I build it like that first time round?! Amazing. So grateful to my early adopters. Lots more change to come.
So here I am, after a year of building my product (twice) and then a lot more months procrastinating, I'm out in the wild and I have users! If you're reading this and sitting on a "pretty much good to go" product... just ship it!