(Photo by Jason Sherman)
If you’ve ever run a tech startup or a product-based business, you know the hardest part isn’t building your software or product. It’s getting the word out to the masses. Acquiring users for your platform or selling your product to consumers ain’t easy.
That’s why Ryan Hoover built Product Hunt as a side project using email as its minimum viable product. Hoover would email his friends and other people curious to discover new things or services. That initial user base validated his idea and made him realize that it had potential.
Last night’s Product Hunt event (which we briefly profiled yesterday) at coworking space CityCoHo, gave a handful of companies a chance to pitch their ideas in front of a room full of entrepreneurs and others. The companies were Kuhcoon, Spor, Goods of Record and MEG.
When Product Hunt founding member Erik Torenberg was asked what he thought of people comparing Product Hunt to Reddit, he said that Reddit Cofounder Alexis Ohanian and General Manager Erik Martin are very supportive of what they’re doing.
“They’ve set the model for building valuable communities, so we are definitely studying them,” Torenberg said.
“At the end of day we want tech enthusiasts to find inspiration from quality products,” Torenberg said, when asked what his mission was. “If the products aren’t compelling, then there would be too much noise, and that would be like everything else out there.”
Product Hunt is a tight-knit community with leaders in various cities hosting meetups, Torenberg added. The events bring together people in tech to discuss products and ideas, getting to know each other along the way.
As for what the future of Product Hunt looks like, Torenberg had this to say: “We have ideas, but we are open to the community to let us know what they want to see. Curated lists are our core value, but we plan to expand to new overlapping verticals, and see where the community takes us.”
Torenberg mentioned that Philadelphia has a brilliant tech scene with amazing entrepreneurs. “The fact that this event is pulling in as many as [an event in] New York or Boston is just amazing,” he said. “I had no idea Philly had such a thriving tech ecosystem.”
“We were able to get MEG out to a broader audience with little effort,” said MEG’s Aaron McLean. “In today’s fast paced and rapid-growth mentality, it’s really hard to do that in the tech scene.”
“I didn’t know what to expect when going to this event,” said first-time attendee Annette Reyes, an account executive at KYW Newsradio. “I was surprised to find such a wonderful group of intelligent and friendly people who are passionate about sharing their ideas.”-30-
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