Community Building October 12, 2020

The HackerStash Community has launched! 🥳

Chris @blunicorn

After 5.5 months of late nights and weekends, the HackerStash Community has finally launched! We sent waitlist invites out late last week, and since we've had so much incredible feedback and support from indie hackers I wanted to share the news here next!

So what is HackerStash?

At HackerStash we’re aiming to use the power of community to supercharge people’s projects and help them earn experimental capital to support their growth.

Here’s how it works:

  • Each week in HackerStash is a mini tournament.
  • You share updates and news about your project, help each other out, and vote on competing projects.
  • You can also complete weekly challenges designed to encourage supporting and collaborating with other community members.
  • Then, at the end of the week, the top competitors win funds that will help them grow their business.

A subscription costs $9 per month, but here’s the catch: the money isn’t for us! All subscription fees go straight into the prize pool and get awarded to the community’s chosen winners each week. It's a bit like if Pioneer and Indie Hackers had a baby.

And of course, to say thanks for the support, I’ve made a promo code for indie hackers too 🙌 (we’ll subsidise the difference ourselves). Just use the code INDIE503 at checkout to get 3 months at half price!

I’d love to know what indie hackers think of the concept and the app, so please come back and let me know! Our first winner was announced this morning and it’s so exciting to know we’re already supporting great ideas 💪

Why we started HackerStash

For people who regularly participate in communities like Indiehackers, Reddit, Twitter etc it's an immensely rewarding experience, but there are plenty of people who prefer to sit on the sidelines.

Lurking is nice too, I do that too in some communities(!), but if you want to supercharge your project you need to dive in and join the conversation. This is central to the community and tournament mechanics we've been defining.

Likewise it's often hard to give back. I see some many people making rad projects on indiehackers, but I don't personally need all of them. Other than advice, or sharing projects with friends, I'd love to be able to help financially. Access to small amounts of capital can make or break a new project, and I wanted to create a platform that enables us to help each other on that front too.

If anyone would like some more background on why we started the project I wrote at length on indiehackers about it a few months back 😊

  1. 4

    Congrats Chris and team! I've been following HS for a while, so glad to hear that you're finally launching publicly. Just from browsing around on the forums it looks to be a fantastic community, it seems like it's a great opportunity for anybody working on a project!

  2. 3

    Can't recommend HackerStash enough to anyone who's currently bootstrapping or validating their product or Saas!

    I'm building and had the pleasure of being the winner this past week in 1st place which was super cool and exactly the push I needed to start of this week! But, I have to be honest the real value is in the HS community, not only is everyone active but every single person wants to see you and your product grow so the feedback is always helpful. The weekly challenges and incentives are also a great productivity tool, to anyone who might be prone to procrastination or needs a little nudge to continue building. 😁😉

    Congrats Chris & Team! Looking forward to not only seeing the HS community grow but also the pressure positive impact it will have on all the indiehackers all currently building or validating their ideas/products!

    1. 2

      Thanks Dave, Honey Coin is such a cool product, I can't wait too see where you take it 😍 And well done on being our inaugural tournament winner! I should make you a little badge for your profile haha

  3. 3

    Big congrats on launching, Chris & team!
    We're loving HackerStash so far. Having small incentives and clear challenges to complete every week has been a great nudge to stop lurking and start contributing to a great community of hackers!

    1. 1

      Thanks Elias! Loved your contribution last week and can't wait to hear what you've got planned this week 😀

  4. 2

    This is a super cool idea and wish you the best.

  5. 2

    Been using HackerStash for some time now and loving it! Great community and great engagement.

    If you are a founder looking for validation, feedback, advice, your next early adopter, or even some cash to cover your server costs, this is the place to be.

  6. 2

    Congrats on the launch. You product hunt day is gonna be huge for sure!

    I do have a suggestion for you. The problem with ranking projects JUST by upvotes and downvotes is that they're easily playable. Playable by literally gaming it or members having a huge social following can direct their following to upvote (or even downvote other) and takeaway the cash.

    It'd be great if you let us know an algorithm enhancement is in your roadmap.

    1. 1

      Hey @Dinakar, thanks so much for the message 😊. We've thought deeply about these issues as you can imagine! No system is perfect but let me reassure you that it's constantly being fine-tuned and and it's actually a very hard leaderboard to meaningfully 'game'. Here are a few things that really help (non-algorithmically):

      • Scores are wiped each week so there is no cumulative advantage to being a long term user. It's very much about how well your project progressed and how much you helped you peers that week.
      • You can only vote for each competing project once per week, additionally comments and posts earn less points than projects.
      • You can only vote if you're a paying member of the tournament, which would make it very expensive to create enough additional accounts to game the system. And, because awards are small and the distribution is shallow (and it gets shallower the more users there are) it would be wasteful to even try - you'd end up giving away more than you won haha.
      • We audit all player behaviour and votes they received before prizes are cashed out and we monitor usage as well 😊
      • It's self policing - each community member can view the vote history of every other person, and we encourage that if people think something is suspicious.

      Lastly, our voting ledger by @hazmeister is really solid. It will improve over time, but we'll also be making that publicly readable in the coming months so that community members can review it, and perhaps even help improve things!

      I love indiehackers cause people are always asking the right questions, thanks so much! I'll send you a message when we're publishing more info on the tournament mechanics and the ledger 🙂

  7. 2

    Hey congrats! You can submit your community on , where people discover online communities :)

    1. 1

      Hey anna i couldn't figure out how to add my community to your site.

      1. 1

        hey, what's exactly the problem? can you send a screenshot?

        1. 1

          I can't find a submit community button anywhere, not sure how to go about submitting my community.

    2. 1

      Very cool, thanks Anna - added it now! You should put a 'submit your community' button in the nav (well, it's a lot of words, but near the nav), I couldn't find it for a while 😊This looks like an awesome resource though, and I've opted in to the newsletter too!

      Oh, one more thing: in the airtable form there is no 'type' that matches what we're doing as they are all third party services. If you had a generic type for 'forum' that would probably match HackerStash. For now I just clicked Newsletter as the field was compulsory, but we don't have a newsletter so you can swap that out 🙂

      Keep up the great work, looking forward to my newsletter!

      1. 1

        thanks for submission. I'm running an experiment with my landing page now, when it's over I'll put the page back on nav bar :)

        Also there's a category "Makers" that also doesn't match your community category?

        1. 1

          Yes, there wasn't really a suitable category either - I put makers because it's a community for makers to help support and fund each other 😊

  8. 2

    Congrats for the launch of your project ! I love the concept and the UI is really cool !
    I will try the app with my new launched project :
    Looking forward to discover all the projects !

    1. 2

      Amazing, can't wait! Looks like a cool project, are you building it alone?

      1. 2

        Thanks ! I'm currently building it alone, your post arrived at the right time as I was looking to join indie communities!

        1. 2

          Nice! It's a small group at the moment, but absolutely buzzing 🐝 Everyone will be excited to hear about your project and see how they can help!

  9. 2

    Huge congrats on the launch! The Readium team had a great first week on the platform and we gained some great insights from the community there on how to take our product to new heights. Thank you very much @blunicorn and team!

    Excited for what's to come!

    1. 1

      I love that Readium have been sharing so many great thoughts and questions about technology, design and ux already, it wasn't something I'd anticipated and it shows the breadth of talent in your team 🙂

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