4 hours of execution. 2 people. 12 hours of hype + great community support.
As a founder, registering and operating your business is crucial. Over the past 15 years, I’ve run 6 businesses and helped hundreds of other founders to execute and start their own companies.
This product is a result of our team’s knowledge distilled in a simple package during the hackathon week.
I’m putting this in public in the spirit of #buildinpublic but also to talk to more founders and help them streamline the first steps of registering and doing business.
We have assembled a team during #GlobalBuildWeekend with some other OnDeck fellows. We had a day or two of planning and then kicked off in the middle of the week.
Six of us had different backgrounds in startups, law, marketing, and no-code. It was a good enough mixture to get us moving forward. Robb, Oya, Sam, Teresa, Suhail and myself. Only Suhail and myself worked on the ProductHunt campaign.
Usually, it takes months to build anything, and you still need to confirm your product-market fit. Then you iterate, fix bugs, do lots of engineering, lots of marketing, and finally if you’re lucky enough — customer support.
So how do we do all that in under a week?
Every idea you want to spend money and time on goes through the validation process first. Going through many accelerators taught me one thing — create a very simple, low-fidelity landing page to confirm your idea.
Building a low-fidelity version first helps bring attention to the idea itself, rather its execution.
This is exactly what we did. We built a basic version of the landing page and signup form using WebFlow in under an hour. And we polished the copy of the landing page for another hour or so.
It was time to get some feedback!
So where can we find some early feedback?
Because we launched this project during the Global Build Weekend, we already had access to a vibrant OnDeck community of ~250 builders.
I managed to share the landing page with several OnDeck Chapters in different cities and got initial positive feedback.
A friend even suggested we do a ProductHunt launch. 💡
Oh, and we got our first couple of signups within the first hour of posting the landing page on Slack communities. 🙌
After some internal deliberation between the team members across several timezones we decided to launch on ProductHunt.
Why? Because we had a pitch scheduled for Saturday and we wanted to confirm our project solves a real need ASAP.
Back to the drawing board. It’s 7 pm PST and less than 5 hours to prepare for the launch.
Most of the above we achieved thanks to no-code, sketch, and lots of feedback from the friends who were still up.
We scheduled the launch for 00:01 am PST the next day.
To be fair, I already spent plenty of time on the ProductHunt engaging with other makers and building up relationships and connections. And getting a little less than 500 followers during the past several months. Same for Twitter. It boils down to spending 10-15 minutes a day to vote on the products you like and engage with the founders to discuss their products and questions.
The strategy of getting the launch off the ground was to address existing online communities within the first half an hour after the launch:
Timing is everything.
I had 4–5 hours of energy left to prepare everything.
ProductHunt is a global community, so a new day starts at midnight in Pacific Standard Time. So midnight in California is early morning in Europe and Israel, and noon in India. So being able to ride the waves and engage your audiences across the globe is the key.
Luckily around half of my ProductHunt following is in India’s time zone.
The next steps were to keep being persistent and consistent: preparing all the assets for the ProductHunt page, testing the updated landing page with the new signup form, and creating a copy for the online communities and social media.
Time to go! After the ProductHunt page went live, I posted some prepared content across the social media and online communities as well as Slack/Discord groups.
I texted my friends here in the US, and also in the EU and Israel to help us with the initial upvotes and we got half the page up within the first hour. We were #40, and got to ranked #20 fast. 🙌
After that, the launch became an uphill battle. We climbed to #15 during next 20 hours.
We got great interest from the OnDeck community, lots of Twitter love from the no-code community. The ProductHunt community members helped us engage in the relevant conversations across the platform and on Twitter.
Several hours later past midnight, it was time to get some sleep.
Luckily, Suhail, one of our team members, who’s based in India, got back online and took over. He helped with keeping the Twitter hype up and running across the social media and Slack groups.
It was a great surprise to get the first signup after launching a landing page within an hour.
Imagine waking up to 100+ signups! It’s an amazing feeling that an all-nighter push has lead us to such great results!
We were hovering around #13 for that day on the ProductHunt and got a dozen votes disqualified by the algorithm (I assume because people created fresh accounts). And #1 had close to 500 votes.
We were rich in the number of signup and lots of great feedback and questions across the ProductHunt, Slack, and Twitter.
After all the work we accomplished yesterday, we had still around 12 hours to go before the end of the day.
The team and I doubled down on all the existing platforms to get our product in front of as many people as possible.
We had a great product for the GlobalBuildWeekend. Everyone who ended up with an interesting idea and was on track to continue building a product and business out of it, everyone would need to incorporate.
By late Thursday evening, we crossed 100+ votes on the ProductHunt, Google Analytics was showing hundreds of users live across the globe on our website.
It was unimaginable to see something we spent 48 hours on getting so much traction.
We kept pushing.
Launching on the ProductHunt on Thursday is tough and brings lots of competition, for our product launching on Friday or Saturday would get us to first positions much easier, but would also bring us less traffic.
Launching on HackerNews and Reddit failed because we didn’t build a community there yet, and it was hard to reach any significant levels of engagement there.
We did a good job with Twitter in the beginning, and then during the evening and nighttime. We could have done a much better job in the middle of the day, by engaging online communities and creating more content on Twitter and Medium/IndieHackers.
We kickstarted with a simple signup form, and then added more questions about what kind of business our customers run. This helped us engage in meaningful conversations on a different level.
Having more than one person working on the launch is a must. You can achieve more within the same time frame and when sharing same strategy.
We had several team members engage across the platforms, but if we’d spent some dedicated time into building the audience and community first, we would have 10x reach.
We missed out on Quora, where we have lots of our potential customers. Though Quora usually requires a long-term game to be successful.
LinkedIn yielded fewer results because the audience we have there is much less engaged. Also, the LI algorithm shows one’s posts less often.
Reaching out via existing Twitter DM conversation could have been an additional driver too.
Our team of amazing no-coders and legal experts kept hammering, before the launch, during the launch, and after the launch. The amount of effort that went into building an early product is insane, and couldn’t be possible without no code and lots of previous experience our team had. 😎
Thankfully to our launch and the efforts of the team we were able to pull a nice slide deck together and qualify for the final pitch. ✨
We also started a chain reaction, and several other teams also launched on ProductHunt the next day and a day after. 🤯
Sunday morning, little to no sleep, lots of slides and lines of code later…
We reiterate the feedback we got from OnDeck judges: VC investors, angel investors, and tech entrepreneurs.
We found out our landing page made it to #4 on Google in the past 48 hours. And #1 in the Delaware niche. We outperformed long-established competitors with multimillion advertisement budgets!
We competed against a dozen other amazing teams and ideas.
Several hours later, after a couple of hours of continuous zoom pitches, we heard back results from the judges.
And… we lost the final pitch, but we won our early customers and our early adopters.
In retrospect, the top 3 teams had great social and community-driven ideas and amazing teams behind each and every one of them.
Oh, and we got new signups that continue during the pitches, after the pitches, and the next day too. 😍
After coming together for a short period of time to take part in the Global Build Weekend everyone needed some well-deserved rest. 🥂
After all, we did tremendous job in launching and validating our product in under 72 hours, got 150+ votes on ProductHunt, #1 on Google, and got 100K impressions across social media channels. 📣
Getting back online after a much-needed rest brought us to the incredible list of 200+ customers and founders waiting for us to help them make their ideas a reality.
We already talked with several of you, and plan to schedule one-on-ones with all of you who signed up.
In the meantime, we want to invite you to join a 💌 community of 200+ early-stage founders like you and help us build a product for you in public.
We will offer one year of free registered agent services to the next hundred founders to join our community.
Check for the promo code in your next email.
This product wouldn’t be possible without the team effort and support of our first customers. We are thankful to all of you who kept us motivated and moving forward. Thank you for all the feedback to our founders and friends and my wife!
If you found this story useful, please show your love ❤️ to this Twitter thread.