At Startupfest this week, there was one piece of advice that really resonated with me, and it came from Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover. During an interview with TechCrunch’s Fitz Tepper, Hoover ended up downplaying what many startups naturally obsess about: the launch.
Hoover made it a point to emphasize that startups should get their product out sooner rather than later. The important thing is to have a small audience try it and then iterate based on their suggestions.
“Launching is a tactic,” Hoover said. “But oftentimes it’s better to find a few hundred users in your target market and get feedback from them. That doesn’t necessarily require a public launch.”
I’d like to add three simple rules:
- Your product is never going to perfect.
- There will always be someone who hates your product.
- Launching your product prematurely is better than not at all.
If you can accept the above, your startup will be much more likely to get off the ground. Keep in mind that nobody is advocating for launching without a coherent strategy.
“Launching is not a one-time thing, ultimately,” Hoover declared. “You’re going to launch something, whether it’s private, beta, public, whatnot. And then you’re going to launch the features, then you’re going to launch updates, then you’re going to launch an expansion of your platform. Launching in the product cycle is always ongoing. So I think the core focus is build something that people really want to use, and get feedback.”
Unsurprisingly, Product Hunt is working on a feature that will enable makers to do just that. Hoover didn’t elaborate, but it makes sense that Product Hunt wants to expand its offering beyond users discovering new products and developers submitting their creations. It’s a logical progression: The more startups succeed on Product Hunt, the more successful Product Hunt will be.