A couple of years ago Product Hunt (abbreviated PH) was my homepage on all my devices (except my phone). I would browse the top products every morning. It was addicting, I love technology, discussing and sharing ideas.
As of just over a year or so I completely stopped visiting the website regularly (it is clear to me just by looking at the amount of comments that I have been leaving, which are very scarce nowadays).
I probably find myself once every couple of weeks reading through PH without really having any true objective anymore. I don’t think my comments are worth anything in a sea of comments, where everyone just wants to get an upvote.
I feel like users posting products are now using the platform just as a way to generate a few extra clicks and hoping for someone to notice their product, sign up, register for a trial or getting a retweet.
I have to say there are some products that are amazing, but those mostly get posted on Hackernews too, so why should I bother coming to PH anymore?
The community? No.
The insightful comments? No.
Ryan’s GIFs? No.
I feel really down when I see a huge corp. dropping a little sideproject on PH: It feels like they’re doing it just to tap-tap their own back. ( as if to say to themselves “wow we re cool now”).
Oh look another messaging app by Google. Oh look another useless app by Snap.
If that wasn’t enough I just randomly opened a top product from a few days ago (today is February 8th 2019; I clicked on the #2 most upvoted product from February 5th) and guess what?
90% of the comments on the product are from users of the product who had access in beta, or employees, or friends.
Product Hunt is now the Glassdoor of SaaS and, more generally, internet software. YIKES.
Today, every time I browse PH I am mostly doing it because I see a tweet or retweet to a link on their domain and clicked through. Alternatively, because of their constant email spam (I should unsub but I feel like once every moon there’re some excellent emails.)
I totally loss the apetite, I never feel like I want to investigate products on PH anymore.
Now I just see the various PH chat features (the new stuff they released last year in 2018) and the new-community-corners, as spam holes for people seeking cheap and ineffective self advertising.
Please don’t get me started on those “self-made” PH influencers.
I this did not sound too much like one, I would rather spend energies ranting about something more important, but I really had a deep thought about PH as I was showering earlier.
I am not doubting about the effectiveness of PH to generate traffic for the top three or five products that appear daily on the front page.
I do however have stopped believing in the effectiveness of the ranking algorithm. I don’t think that products at the top are actually genuinely the best of the day;
It honestly feels like lot of people are just literally begging their friends to upvote their product for major exposure and visibility, and I have to say….I have been asked in the past to do so too: not only by friends but even just random people I never spoken to before, on the internet (on twitter DMs and email). True story.
I am not surprised to see the Product Hunt is now what it is. It kind of lost its appeal to me.
Maybe I’ve outgrown it.
Ryan, if you read this, I still think the initial PH was a huge wake up call for makers
No, I don’t know how you could fix the mess that it now is.
I believe that in the past when the community was invite-only and you only had a very small amount of invites it was extremely much more efficient and there was much less BS.
So now what, you might ask? Well, let me tell you: find me on IndieHackers, helping out fellow makers and trying to be part of a better internet community.