August 30, 2019

Got on front page of Hacker News today!

Jen @lunchbag

Today was absolutely insane.

Yesterday, I posted Lunch Money on Show HN without much ado. I asked a few friends to upvote it and I just watched it drip down ever so slowly the front page of 'new'.

I accepted defeat and rationalized that maybe Show HN just wasn't Lunch Money's audience.

Fast forward to today... early this afternoon, I received an email from a HN moderator informing me that my initial post got flagged due to suspicious upvoting activity. That along with comments that appeared to be "booster" and not particularly constructive sealed the fate of my original post. However, he said that moderators do comb through these flagged submissions and pick some out to put into a second chance pool. My submission would be shown near the bottom of the front page for a few minutes, allowing the community to judge whether or not it's worthy of staying.

A few minutes later, there it was. My submission towards the bottom of the front page as expected. I refrained from telling anyone because I already felt guilty from promoting my first post. Whatever happens, happens.

ding

My "New Signup" Slack bot triggers the jingle I rarely hear.

ding ding

Oh man, what is happening? My post was getting more and more upvotes every time I refresh. I decided to get away a bit to shower and make lunch. When I came out of the shower, it was difficult to ignore the consistent stream of dings. My husband ended up finishing up the lunch I was halfway through making.

The next 2-3 hours, I was consumed by the influx of new users. Fires were also coming up, left and right. I quickly hit my 100 free emails per day limit by Sendgrid and frantically entered my credit card information so my confirmation emails could continue to go out. Then an hour later, I reached a mysterious rate limit that I had to contact support to lift. Oh and also battling about 30 minutes of 429s from a third-party API I rely heavily on.

We had plans to hang out with a friend tonight so it was a bit difficult to walk away a bit from everything that was happening on my laptop but I'm glad I did. It was nice to get out of the house and chat out my thoughts a little bit amidst all that was happening. Spent almost 4 hours at dinner and back home chatting and catching up. Once my friend left, I took a look at the current state. After almost 12 hours of being front page on HN and #1 on Show HN, my user base has more than 10x'ed, from 56 to 594 and counting. The dings are still coming.

I just went through and replied to all the feedback I have gotten so far from people who have emailed in or used the feedback widget on my site. I really have my work cut out for me now! It's very exciting and it feels like a totally new challenge and a whole new realm of possibility awaits me with Lunch Money now.

Cheers!
Jen

  1. 1

    Hi Jen,

    Thanks for a compelling story!

    A question about LunchMoney since the main page is too scarce. What does it do in short?
    My wife and I stay accountable about the budget by writing our spending on paper, in tables.
    I would love to automate this process, but what benefits does LunchMoney have other than digitalizing the notes about spendings?

    P.S. I am from Ukraine so I suppose LunchMoney wouldn't connect with my bank, but I would be interested to stay tuned.

    1. 1

      Hi KyTa! Lunch Money is basically a digitized way to keep track of your finances. You're able to categorize transactions as well as group together transactions or split transactions as needed. For our international users, usually they either make use of our CSV import tool to import transactions from their bank or they manually enter their expenses. The benefit is you then get graphs that help you visualize your spending and features such as setting budgets every month for different categories and also tracking your recurring (monthly, weekly, etc) expenses.

      If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]!

  2. 1

    Your story is a great lesson for every marketer.

    On HN post get to the front page only if it deserve it.
    Their algorithm can detect manipulation and asking for upvotes from friend might worked in 2014 but nowadays it’s impossible and will cause your submition to get flagged.

    I’m glad to hear it all sort out and you reached the 1st place.

    Good job!

  3. 1

    Great work! The attention to detail in your first version is impressive.

  4. 1

    Hell yea - design looks great and I think the idea is actually useful.

  5. 1

    Congrats! Now the fun starts. Do you have a plan to monetize and otherwise drip the new signups?

  6. 1

    Good job! Sounds like you will have very exciting days henceforth.