connects tech companies with the best software development students from colleges across North America for technical internships. We launched on Product Hunt and hit #1 Product of the Day and #2 Product of the Week:
Through the process, we learned a ton and wanted to share why we did it, how it helped us and our advice and tactics for reaching the #1 spot.
We decided to launch on Product Hunt in preparation for our last hiring round for summer interns, with a primary goal of connecting with more companies that were interested in hiring technical interns. Our team launched our product at 6 AM PST / 9 AM EST (against standard advice) so we started the day behind the other established products at that time. We steadily climbed the ranks throughout the day, and nudged into #1 Product of the Day at approximately 10:30 PM PST / 1:30AM EST, which we managed to maintain until the end. At the end of the week, we were also fortunate to be awarded #2 Product of the Week.
High Level Outcomes
During our launch day, we received around 1600 daily unique users compared to a running average of around 100. This directly resulted in many more companies signing up including one of our larger customers, Mozilla. Although student engagement wasn't a primary focus for the day, we also had a fortunate secondary outcome of increased student signups with us, both immediately and in our outreach in the weeks following. The caliber of students was impressive, with some resume including internship experience at Google’s Data Loss Prevention team, Amazon’s AWS team and more.
First, does it make sense to launch on Product Hunt? Product Hunt’s audience is primarily tech focused with a lot of tech company employees, startup founders, journalists and technical students as regular users. The largest audience is American:
If you have a consumer product, developer tool or sell to tech companies, Product Hunt will likely work very well for you. Otherwise, you should consider whether the audience will benefit from your launch and if it’s worth your time.
Daily Unique Users - ’s Product Hunt Spike (via Posthog.com)
Prepping for the Launch
There is a lot of advice around which day to launch, preparing good screenshots, an animated logo, a good description and first comment. We looked at products similar to mine that performed well to see how they structured their posts. You can use Product Hunt’s time travel feature to look at top products in the past to do the same: A famous hunter is helpful to lend credibility, especially one that has a lot of followers. You can see them here:
You should have an explicit goal for your launch. Generally, it is to direct people to a waitlist or signup list to try your product. We did a website redesign beforehand to optimize for company signups and used Posthog.com for analytics and to track user sessions to ensure viewers were converting.
Finally, there is a lot of prep you can do to help you push your Product Hunt post on the big day.
Set up groups of friends where you can drop links to your and other social media posts for them to promote. Check for followers of Product Hunt on different social networks to see who likely already has an account, as their upvotes will carry more weight. Ask your friends to do the same and keep a list of people to reach out to during the day of. Write different copy and create images for your own social media posts and examples for friends to post to help promote.
Day of the Launch
Product Wars was a very helpful war room we used to keep track of the rate of our upvotes compared to our competitors (shoutout to Yingning Gui for the rec). A warning that it is not always accurate:
Midway through the day, we were fighting for the top spot.
In the morning, we focused on European groups and friends, then North American and during the last hours of the day (until the midnight PST / 3:00 AM EST end of day deadline), our friends in the Pacific time zone (who were still awake).
We spread out our posts on different startup groups on Slack, Facebook, Reddit, Telegram, Linkedin, Whatsapp, Wechat, Keybase, Riot and Gitter. We also emailed all of the students and companies we worked with beforehand to check out our launch and then again the day of.
Finally, I messaged a lot of my older tech contacts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Telegram whenever I had spare time as we started to rise in the rankings. I shared our launch with them and also offered to share what I learned for their potential launch. This was really valuable as a few of them also realized they were interested in a technical intern and signed up.
That’s it! Feel free to review our Product Hunt page to get some ideas on how to structure your own. You can also reach out for more specific advice or to share your own tips: