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Ryan Hoover of ProductHunt: Start with community – Love Your Work, Episode 67
Ryan Hoover loves software products. He wanted to share new software products with other people who love software products.
So, he started a little email list. There were a few dozen people on the list. They were submitting products to the email list, so Ryan got to learn about new products every day.
But the email list grew rapidly. Once it got to a few hundred subscribers, Ryan decided it was a time to build a site.
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Three years later, Ryan sold his site, ProductHunt, for about $20 million.
I don’t spend much time in Silicon Valley these days, but I’ve at least heard that Ryan Hoover is kind of the golden child of the valley. He’s perfectly executed building ProductHunt, and most importantly, building the community that drives ProductHunt.
And I think you’ll notice in this conversation. I actually got kind of frustrated talking to Ryan. He seems to have always made the right decisions. I think some people are able to do that, but I’m not one of them.
I think it’s actually hard to learn from people who do things right. That’s why, on Love Your Work I’m always digging for the ways my guests have changed over the years, and where they went wrong along the way. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel you can learn more from hearing about how someone changed than about how they executed everything right.
In any case, Ryan’s story is a great example of how you can build something explosive by starting with something you’re curious about, and building a genuine community around it.
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