Yes, yes, we all know how addictive Product Hunt is, but what is it like to launch a product there. In the past I've launched stuff on Techcrunch, Hacker News and Mashable. Recently I built a little tool called Tinydocs - nothing particularly special, just a simple writing app. And this time it was launched on Product Hunt. It made it into the top 10 which means it stays visible on the site for longer. How it went:
very good. Not as much as I have received on Hacker News. But is was more than Techcrunch! Stupidly I forgot to turn on my analytics but there were around 2k of registrations in that period. Which I feel is the perfect number for a launch. Enough to give the app a good working out, but not so many that you want to hide under your desk in fear.
The good thing about getting written up by the press is that you also get a lot of Tweets. Hacker News front page also equals lots of tweets. Product Hunt not so much, which I found weird - and was probably just because Tinydocs wasn't that interesting. Of course, products on PH do get picked up by the press as well.
Product Hunt Collections
I got a lot of traffic from a collection, one day after the launch. I think this was is a genius feature from Product Hunt, because it has the potential to send through lots of steady traffic weeks after you've launched.
All awesome. If something of mine is on Hacker News, I don't read the comments. Because there is always someone. You could have invented a cure for cancer and someone will come along and tell you you're doing it wrong, why does this exist, and "I know a better way to do this".
The feedback on PH is very different. I didn't jump into the comments section, which I kind of regret - mainly because it was nighttime here in Australia when it was submitted and I was dead from getting it ready for launch. Although when I woke up, I was pleasantly surprised and as I creator, it made me feel awesome :)
Should you submit yourself?
I can submit stuff to PH but I was more than happy for @tzhongg (thanks!!) to do it for me. I'm not sure if there is any advantage to a founder submitting. Is there? Would be interested to find out.
And finally...one tidbit of advice
No matter if you submit to Product Hunt, Hacker News or are lucky enough to get some press. Before doing any of this, make sure your site can handle a lot of traffic. You definitely don't want your app to go down just while it is building momentum.