Growth September 26, 2020

Who actually browses Product Hunt?

Griffin Johnston @GriffinJohnston

I've tried checking it regularly, but I'll be totally honest - it just isn't a captivating concept to me. If I need something, I'll search for it. It kind of feels like everyone using it is just doing research on how to launch their own product, or trying to gain some credibility/traction.

It reminds me of small comedy shows where everyone in the audience is an aspiring comedian themselves. Is PH just a bunch of aspiring entrepreneurs thirstily watching each other's launches?

Am I thinking about this wrong? Do any of you folks get real value out of PH as a consumer?

How do you use Product Hunt?
  1. I browse it regularly to find interesting products
  2. I use it to research product ideas
  3. I use it to launch products
  4. All of the above!
  5. I don't use it at all
Vote
  1. 14

    haha this question has been lingering in my head for weeks now!
    Thank you for posting this

    The genius of producthunt is that the people who post on ProductHunt share & promote their page REAL HARD to get traction for their own product but in turn end up passionately promoting ProductHunt as a platform too.

    1. 2

      Yea exactly! I mean, of course it's successful. Us poor small-time makers are completely starved for any means of getting traction for our products. So this huge crowd of people who make things buzz around a website that theoretically has an audience of potential customers. But who are those customers? I'd be so curious to see the stats. What percentage of PH users are actually just looking for useful stuff, versus the feeding frenzy of makers.

      1. 8

        I’ve launched 15 or 16 things on Product Hunt and ONLY the thing I’ve put on there that had a target audience of “makers” ended up as a product of the day.

        Everything else I posted that was aimed at non-product-makers bombed.

        I think that says a lot.

  2. 8

    ProductHunt is surprisingly good as SEO. As a result, you have all sorts of companies visiting ProductHunt who are then potential customers.

    Just search "alternative to {software name} and you'll see ProductHunt. They have 77,000 indexed searches like this. I haven't even checked into other queries.

    1. 2

      That's good know. Not something I had noticed.

  3. 7

    Would be funny if the 5 million monthly active visitor are only a bunch of aspiring entrepreneurs thirstily watching each other's launches 😂

    1. 5

      I mean... I kinda think it might be a little like that?

      1. 3

        Honestly, step outside of the tech world and you soon realize that nobody gives a care in the world about UX/UI or the things we sweat the details about.

        Reading Techcrunch for a tech person is like reading sports transfer news for a sports fan. PH is just a way for people to borrow design ideas, product features and so on.

    2. 1

      I actually think this is reality.

  4. 6

    I think the power of PH is not the website, but the newsletter.

    I almost never browse PH, I only read the weekly newsletter about top products.

    1. 3

      That's a whole other issue, haha. I already get so much email. The idea of subscribing to newsletters and adding even more to my inbox is horrifying to me. The rising popularity of newsletters is honestly baffling.

      1. 3

        I don't mind one newsletter per week, but the daily PH ones were too much, I just kept the weekly ones.

        I usually can manage my inbox pretty well with Gmail, what I do is automatically label all newsletters I subscribe to as "Newsletter" and just let them stack a few days and read when I have time. This way any important email goes into my inbox but I still don't miss out on interesting newsletters.

      2. 1

        What about giving a chance to newsletter.ist ? It can help you to move your newsletters out of your inbox. : )

        1. 1

          Nice website but theres no cta, not sure how to sign up..

          1. 1

            Hey Basel,
            It's a mobile app and landing page takes you to mobile app stores. I didn't design web version. I need to collect some feedback. Then I can understand what people want to do or I can proceed with the same features. It's just a conflict on my mind. : )

            1. 1

              Ops, I didn't realize that. Thanks!

              1. 1

                I'll add more newsletters and create more categories. If your favorite newsletter isn't here, then feel free to send a feedback. We still develop the apps. There are some bugs but hopefully we are going to solve them.

      3. 1

        I shared the same feeling until I went pro on Feedly. Now most of my promo-type newsletters come into my feed, just like blog posts and I can skim through them without clogging up my inbox. Now my email is pretty much just the important stuff.

        1. 1

          Good to know! Sounds like it was a problem that could be solved with the right tools for you.

  5. 3

    I look at it daily and pretty regularly come across fun ideas that fit one of two categories:

    1. "Oh that's really interesting, never would have thought of that"
    2. "I've considered this idea, can't wait to see how it plays out"

    Both are worth considering / tracking IMO.

  6. 2

    I would review Product Hunt every Tuesday and upvote great products.

  7. 2

    not a fan of the UX, makes it hard to 'hang out' in the site

    i only use it to make connections

    1. 1

      How do you do that exactly? Just chatting in the comments with people? https://www.producthunt.com/makers/discussions?

  8. 1

    I check Product Hunt every day. I love seeing new products and trying them out.

    I hunt products as well.

    I find a ton of ideas and inspiration on Product Hunt.

    1. 1

      I like hearing that! This poll has been really interesting to watch actually, I don't think the results match what I was expecting.

  9. 1

    I do have the same question. I am planning to launch ditData.com in the coming days on product hunt, so I have been reading contents written by other founders on what the result they got were. From signups, media attention, investor calls etc.

    Judging from the results they stated, I will like to believe that there are folks who just browse around or at least click-through from twitter post to see posted hunts.

  10. 1

    For people not in the SaaS or tech industry, we don’t have exposure to new applications until it becomes mainstream, like, commercially mainstream. That means 3-4 years after the tech trend started. For example, APIs are almost commercially mainstream now (Sept 2020), but I remember my first exposure about 2 years ago. Product hunt is my version of the “Google rabbit hole.” I’ve found so many amazing applications to use in my business for automation and productivity.

    1. 1

      Very cool to hear that! So there are people who use it to find useful products.

  11. 1

    I thought about this the other day. I see it as a place to reach geeky/entrepreneurial type people.

    However, generally the users of Product Hunt are interested in a lot of things. So, it could be useful to launch other products as well to gather early feedback.

  12. 1

    I've opened each and every daily newsletter for the last couple of years 😆

  13. 1

    The poll is missing the option that best fits me which is I browse very rarely to find interesting ideas; typically because I saw a link to something in a different social media channel. --- Okay rereading, and I suppose regularly applies but with long interval. In my mind regular means "often".

  14. 1

    producthunt widget is an easy way to promote producthunt as a platform (that's how i discovered it) stop using in your website plz

  15. 1

    ProductHunt is not consumer-oriented. It's a community like IH for people who are building/launching/marketing products. The ones discovering it are, as you say, entrepreneurs. And that is the intention. It's "research" for both the ones launching and the ones discovering.

    I'm curious where you got the idea you have about it.

    1. 1

      Yea this post has made me realize I had a slightly wrong idea about PH. Not sure where that idea came from. I'm still a bit skeptical about it though.

      1. 1

        What's there to be skeptical about? Do you have the same skepticism about this site? 🤔

        1. 1

          It's a good question. IH has more of a real community feeling to me. Somehow the discussions and interactions here feel more genuine more of the time. PH has this feeling of "what am I getting out of this?" behind everything. Based on people's responses here, I'm not the only one who feels that way. It's possible I haven't given it enough of a chance though.

          1. 1

            I wonder if it's the name itself that seems to imply a consumer POV.

  16. 1

    If someone I know is launching (like my sister, who occasionally does so). That is basically the only time

  17. 1

    Sometimes when I don't have any particular thing to do or if I want to slack off I visit Product Hunt :).

  18. 1

    I use it similar to the way you describe. I search for specific products or alternatives to products. I don't visit it every day and look at what's new really. It more depends on my needs to find a specific solution.

    So who actually browses? We launched Plausible Analytics few weeks ago on Product Hunt and did notice some people that do browse Product Hunt for opportunities: bug bounty hunters (we got several emailing us the day after our launch), investors (several reached out mentioning the comments they saw about us on Product Hunt) etc.

  19. 1

    i find it more helpful for me as a product creator, get feedback on a product, industry people browse it, so I've gotten messaged from a VC because he found me on ProductHunt. feels more like an industry insider tool than an actual regular tool for finding an app as a regular user

    1. 1

      That makes sense. I could definitely see VCs using it. And it is a good audience for your product if your product is aimed at entrepreneurs/makers.

  20. 1

    O browse 4 or 5 times a day

    1. 1

      That's serious! What would you say the primary benefit is that you're getting from it?

      1. 2

        Well, I curate the content for my newsletter manually.

        Unicornsfeed.com

  21. 1

    I browse it regularly because I enjoy learning about new products and trends.

    1. 1

      Makes sense — so it sounds like it's mostly a learning/research tool for you? You're not actually going on and finding products that you want to use.

  22. 1

    I use it for very specific use case, to find products which solves a problem posted on my problem validation platform and inform the maker that there are people who want their product.

    But, I don't browse PH for this; I have a twitter bot from previous startup which gives voices summary and has its own applet from IFTTT to give voice summary of top PH posts of the day which I further pipe down for my needs.

    Generally speaking, since by design PH is used by entrepreneurs, I think B2B Internet products which solve entrepreneurial problems e.g. tools, services, utilities has greater success on the platform than a consumer product as they have no reason to be on PH.

    1. 1

      Cool & really creative approach, you're inspiring me!

  23. 1

    I browse it regularly but I hate it also. There is someting fishy about it.

  24. 1

    I think the point is supposed to be that people using it would be in the “early adopter” user group (i.e. people who will try just about anything). The format just doesn’t match that IMHO. I’ve seen in many cases startups encourage all kinds of randoms to vote for their product, but I never quite saw the correlation between a high scoring product and a product where a potential customer wants to buy the product.

    I also the the think the hidden purpose it took on at some point was to fool VC. Some VC saw a high scoring product as validation because they didn’t know any better. So people put it on there and drive positive votes to their product. I think Product Hunt’s business model is that after the first post, you pay a few $1,000 to get your product as the featured product.

    I get the original purpose, but I think it has become something different and much less useful than the original purpose. Suspect there are quite a few genuine “early adopters” who love using something new.

  25. 1

    Great poll, their Twitter help me to discover products more than anything though!

  26. 1

    I used to. But I've never found a product over there that I still use. Some cool ideas though.

  27. 1

    I usually check it 1-2 times per week to keep updated what happened during the week. I rarely actually checkout or use the products I find though. It's just interesting for me to see new ideas

  28. 1

    I browse it every day. Yesterday for example I discovered LearnWorlds, a really cool alternative to Teachable, Podia, etc. to create online courses.

    The trick is not looking only at the top 3 positions because often times they reflect more how popular the founder is rather than the quality of the product.

    1. 1

      Okay cool. Maybe I need to give it another shot!

  29. 1

    Sometimes I browse Product Hunt when I want to serendipitously discover useful products.

    1. 1

      Good to know. Have you ever found anything that you use regularly?

      1. 1

        Not regularly. But I bookmarked several interesting products that may be useful for specific occasional tasks.

  30. 1

    mb

    I used to skim it through to find some profitable ideas, but no more.

  31. 1

    This comment was deleted 20 days ago.

  32. 1

    This comment was deleted 5 days ago.

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