A funny thing happened three days after Cnverg exited Private Beta: we were unexpectedly Hunted on Product Hunt, and things took off for us! The original plan was to kick off the week reaching out to distributed Software Development teams who, like ourselves, use GitHub issues but need a better way to visually manage their backlogs and plan their sprints. Very early in the morning I kept hearing my phone's bell notification that I had set up through this handy IFTTT recipe, to trigger an alert every time a new account is created. As the ringing escalated, I knew something was up. I opened up my email to see this:
We were totally caught off-guard. We had been working on a plan to get Cnverg submitted to Product Hunt, but it was immediately clear that the plan had changed and it was go time. The first thing this meant was dusting off my personal Twitter account, which had sat dormant since 2011 since I only posted from the @cnverg account. Lesson One: Product Hunt requires Makers to join the conversation with personal vs. Company accounts - so if you plan on being featured on Product Hunt, make sure you have this setup ahead of time! Lesson Two: we would have loved to have an animated GIF showing Cnverg in action as our picture but, since we weren't expecting to be featured, we didn't have this created ahead of time.
We wrapped up Private Beta on Friday, October 23rd approaching 900 users, and it became clear early in the day on Monday that we were going to reach 1,000. The team that moved to Austin in August joined a Hangout with our team in Philly and together we celebrated with a virtual toast as we sailed past our 1,000th user!
As soon as we knew the day was going to be big, and that we were in the Top 5 Products on the main page - we immediately reached out to our network to let them know that we were featured on Product Hunt. We were very careful not to solicit up-votes, but we made the mistake of not letting everyone know to not re-post or link directly to our listing. Unfortunately, some of our friends who didn't know Product Hunt's rules made the honest mistake of re-posting on social media and encouraged people to up-vote. Lesson Three: don't do this - if you let people know that you've been Hunted, make sure that they don't link directly to your product post or ask other people to up-vote!
One of the things that we didn't fully grasp was how widespread Product Hunt is. At peak, we had roughly 180 signups in an hour, with traffic coming in from 119 countries - 96 of which had users signup. This also led to mentions about Cnverg in overseas blogs, which then drove even more traffic. We accumulated dozens of mentions in blogs in Spanish, German, French, Arabic, and a couple of others in English, as well as our first local coverage from the Austin Business Journal. Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, we had over 7,000 site views, with 15.7% of all visitors signing up for Cnverg.
If you are fortunate enough to be in the Top 5 products, you also end up going out the following day in the Product Hunt re-cap newsletter - and Tuesday saw an even larger spike in traffic for us. Overall, on the week, we ended up increasing our user-base by 202% and to date we've more than tripled our total users since starting private beta in late July. During that time our average week-over-week growth has been 14.4% and month-over-month growth 66.7%, and we are rapidly approaching user number 2,500.
The main benefit of Product Hunt is often touted as the influx of feedback and users. While this is certainly true, one less frequently cited benefit - and one that I'm very excited about - is for the Makers on your team to be able to contribute to the Product Hunt community. I definitely plan on being much more active on Product Hunt - it's truly an incredible platform that can make a huge difference in your Startup's life. I hope to be able to make meaningful contributions to the entrepreneurial and Startup ecosystem in general. If you haven't visited Product Hunt lately - first, make sure to signup for Cnverg, and then head to Product Hunt today!!