Learnings from launching Odet on Product Hunt
Earlier this month, we launched Odet, an intelligence platform for engineering teams. Odet is an intelligence tool (a Shovel if I may 😉) to help teams understand their software development life-cycle better. It adds visibility and tracing to make data-driven decision-making less operationally challenging, reducing hours spent compiling fragmented data.
We decided to launch on Product Hunt - no place better to launch a tool for builders! Below are a few of our experiences that helped us gain the right traction through the process of the demo launch.
The biggest satisfaction a builder gets is from watching others explore your prototype. Engaging with people exploring, loving or challenging our vision led to great conversations and valuable insights from our users. Building a good demo and reaching the right audience can really accelerate the path from prototype to market.
Build for easy explainability
The first version of your demo should be easy to explore and understand. A clean UI, a small helper, and limited initial overview are very helpful. It's important that the UX journey keeps focus on the right aspects of your demo. We used Retool for Odet, it's tabular visualisation of PR data is familiar to devs and easy to prototype on.
Engage the target community
At an early stage, attracting the right folks to your demo enables honest initial conversations which improve the product.
Start telling folks you are about to launch soon. Ensure you don't have to rush on launch day to get the word out.
Spread the word across platforms. Seeding and bringing in interest from other platforms kickstarted to our day's journey. We posted on HackerNews, Reddit and Discord, along with posts on our Twitter channel.
Post launch, start responding to the comments and responses across platforms. This is where you will find expressions of curiosity and interest along with congratulatory messages. These potential conversations are a trove of insights and actionable feedback on your product.
Launch days are special. Everyone is buzzing, there's always a last-minute dash to balance between last-minute edits, an inevitable issue a few hours before launch and incorporating that cool idea that appeared overnight. The best time to launch on Product Hunt is 00:01 SF time on any given day, when the site refreshes its daily list. This worked out to be a perfect winter afternoon launch time in Bangalore.
After going live, things can get pretty hectic. We're so thankful for the amazing support, feedback and messages that poured in. Over the course of 24 hours, we had 180+ upvotes on the platform, but that's just the start. 600+ people visited our website to check out our product. 70 folks entered the Odet Playground and swung things around, and we even got 5 beta sign-ups! The first one coming within the first hour was one of the biggest rushes of the day.
We found some great resources online to help streamline our launch. We owe some of our learnings to:
The original Product Hunt checklist
This post by Mert Aktas helped streamline our prep
So, where did we end up? Odet Playground in the top 15 Products of the day on Product Hunt. Apart from the glowing feeling of the launch after a hectic week of prep, and the activity of launch day itself, the conversations that started on December 2nd took us much further on our discovery and delivery journey.
If you are an indie developer or a bootstrapped startup looking to launch a demo, I hope this was helpful and ping us on Twitter with any feedback!