His company Product Hunt is quickly changing the way new apps and tech products get discovered. VCs have used the site to pick their next investments, tech reporters turn to it for signals on apps to cover and founders flock to the service for feedback on products. The only guidelines: make sure the submission is for something new and not super obvious.
Product Hunt launched last November with the mission of helping people find new mobile and web applications every day. The only guidelines: make sure the submission is for something new and not super obvious. “I’m always on the hunt to find new compelling products, not just for fun but to learn,” Hoover wrote in a blog post on his personal website announcing Product Hunt. “The earlier you discover and use these products, the better.”
When Foursquare launched a major app update two months ago that effectively killed the check-in experience, CEO Dennis Crowley responded to feedback on Product Hunt from founders and employees at Oracle, Aviary and The Associated Press. When Clinkle finally teased its first release after raising $30 million in funding, engineers at the normally secretive startup took to Product Hunt to explain their thinking.
It’s Hoover who brings the Product Hunt conversation to Twitter with a dizzying number of tweets from his personal account each day. And it’s Hoover who reaches out to founders and members of the tech industry to participate in the Product Hunt comments. Sometimes he even tips interesting products to reporters and investors. In the process, Hoover has asserted himself as a tech tastemaker, or at the very least a loud cheerleader for whatever the next new thing is — even if that new thing is an app called Yo.
Investors and early adopters found out about Yo on Product Hunt several weeks before it gained mainstream media attention.
For investors, the hunt is for the next big thing. “Several friends of mine who are angels see things on Product Hunt and try to reach out to the founders. It’s sort of how Kickstarter was perceived a year ago,” says Josh Elman, a partner at Greylock who met Hoover before he started Product Hunt and who has since invested in the startup. For Hoover, the hunt is for something new worth sharing. Read more…