Today, a post from The Boss, who is having a really bad start to 2016.
For young start-ups, Product Hunt is the site on the web. For those of you who have never heard of it, Product Hunt is a entrepreneurship rating site, where ideas and fledgling products are shared and ranked by the community. It’s a seriously big deal in start-up culture.
A place on Product Hunt has always been part of the GameHub Grand Plan, and not just because it’s a hip and happening place to be. In the best case scenario, we want GameHub to always be free to parent users and to be accessible to everyone and anyone who needs it. We have big plans for GameHub, plans which are reliant on us building a community who are invested in helping one another: gamers helping parents, parents helping other parents, parents helping teachers – an interconnected web where advice, information, support and education all go hand in hand – in short, a true community. You can only build a community if you are able to reach a wide range and number of people, and Product Hunt was going to be one of our avenues to achieving that. We want to grow because people like what we do and want to show it to others. Product Hunt seemed a good place to do that.
The way in which Product Hunt runs its algorithm for deciding who gets the highly valued front page “Featured” slots are a closely guarded secret. One thing that does seem to be generally agreed on, however, is that “hunting” your own product to the site is a bad move. Product Hunt likes it when someone else recommends your cool little site/app/gadget/nasal hair trimmer, because it means that they are finding your thing, whatever it may be, interesting and useful and valuable and cool and want to tell other people about it. It’s the internet equivalent of standing in the middle of the playground and yelling “Guys! Come look at this awesome rock I found!”
So, rather than “hunting” GameHub to Product Hunt myself, our team focussed our efforts on making a damn good rock. If, I vowed to myself, we didn’t get to Product Hunt by year end, I would take the plunge and hunt the site myself. Sometimes, these things need a push. But it’s better when the stone starts rolling of its own accord.
Come the new year, it’s 2016 and it’s time to put GameHub on Product Hunt! It’s time for the world to see our stuff! I will wait no more! I set up our Product Hunt page with some screenshots and a link to http://www.GameHubHQ.com That’s when the nightmare started.
Um, pardon? Number 2?
Ok, well, actually, this is good news! Someone has hunted GameHub! This is brilliant! People like us! Let’s go find the original and see which awesome person hunted it!
Ok, so, it’s a bit bare. We could do with some screenshots on here, and a bit of info about what we do, and it doesn’t say who made it (that’s us, hi!) but we’ve had a few upvotes and that’s great and what does this say here…
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no.
My product was on the front page of Product Hunt. And I didn’t know.
Four days ago, it was New Year’s Eve. And New Year’s Eve/Day and Christmas Eve/Day were the only days of 2015 I did not check Product Hunt. A watched pot never boils, it would seem, except when you turn your back and it creates a supernova that swallows the universe.
Why is this a bad thing? Because Product Hunt, rather like Google, works on the principle of a positive spiral. If people like your stuff, they upvote it, to other people, who might also be motivated to upvote it and in doing so share it with their friends and acquaintances. A switched-on person uses their Product Hunt profile as a catalyst to spreading the word about their world-changing idea. They tell people. They put our press releases. They shout the walls down about this momentous occasion on social media – on Twitter, in newsletters, in blogposts. It’s A Big Deal.
Because I missed my own product being featured on Product Hunt, I did not do any of that. The only nights of the year I didn’t have a quick swipe through Product Hunt before I went to bed like a good entrepreneur, and, because the Devil has a sense of humour, that’s when it happened. So I missed it. Completely. Nobody had set the Maker profile to @GameHub_HQ, so I was never notified. I only realised when I went in to make a profile things started to go a bit…weird.
It’s difficult to know how to respond to this, emotionally. I did consider having hysterics, but I think I went into shock instead. Very cold hands that refuse to stop shaking make typing a relatively challenging activity, it turns out. The boat has been well and truly missed, and it’s my fault. The folder of “Look! We’re on the Front Page of Product Hunt!” tweets and texts and press releases I’ve held on file since the day we went live, hopefully, presumptively, will now never be used. I asked Product Hunt Support if there was anything they could do, even a screenshot. There is nothing they can do.
It’s not all doom and gloom. GameHub *was* on the Product Hunt front page. The record of our inclusion in that illustrious club is permanent. We did it – woooo! I just feel a bit of a twit for someone failing to notice.
GameHub will continue to be on Product Hunt, and now with screenshots and a Maker profile linked to it. People will be able to find GameHub through Product Hunt, and hopefully to tell their friends and relatives about what we do, if they think they will find it useful. Though not the only one, we are in a very small club of games-related products that are not actually themselves games to make it into the Product Hunt Games feed. There, we are surrounded by wonderful games we have already featured on GameHub, and games that are soon to come. I’m super proud of that. I’m grateful to the person who submitted us (the wonderful @ozgrozer) and indebted to the people who upvoted us. But it’s hard not to feel really down about the whole affair. Maybe I’m over-reacting; maybe Product Hunt is not the be all and end all of games-tech entrepreneurship the way it has such massive impact in other sections of the start-up world. Maybe, ultimately, it doesn’t matter. I’ll never know what impact it could have had. But I wish I’d at least had a screenshot to show that we got there. Bad luck, me. Better luck next time.
So, we start 2016 with a bit of a screw-up. Onwards and upwards, eh?!