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Ask HN: HNers who got their “Show HNs” on homepage, how is your site doing now?
279 points by superasn on July 24, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 194 comments

Submitted my Show HN 1075 days ago (https://photoeditor.polarr.co/), for a WebGL photo editing tool, now has turned into a startup with more than 10M users.

Just wanted to let you know that your website is shown to me in very badly translated Dutch, personally I'd rather have correct English than bad Dutch, but I don't see a way to change it.

Same thing in French. inexplicably, "key" (I suppose) is translated not as "touche" (or wrongly but understandably as "clef") but as "robinet" ("sink tap"). Oh I just got it. The original in some other language probably is equivalent to the verb "press", translated to "tap", then to "robinet" which is comically absurd.

For me it was not translated. Though it should have been to Dutch as well.

Perhaps because I used it on my mobile phone.

Same for me with Russian.

And the Show HN didn't even do well. What's surprising is that you got positive feedback from the few comments, a rarity among Show HN :)

I'm so glad I saw this.

I got a camera recently and have been debating whether or not to get Adobe's photographer package. Currently I just use Lightroom mobile.

Now I'm thinking I'll probably go with this. It looks really good!

What exactly does 10M users mean?

Well, I'm guessing probably doesn't mean "ten million" in this particular case.

"M" is one of those fundamentally ambiguous type of abbreviations that really shouldn't ever be used. (Kind of like nn/nn/nn date formats.)

It is commonly used to mean both "thousand" (M was the Roman numeral for 1000) and "million" (10K, 10M, 10B).

>> Well, I'm guessing probably doesn't mean "ten million" in this particular case.

Why not? 10M seems the obvious.

10 million seems like the clear interpretation here. What's more, 10,000 is X in Roman numerals.

I think andrewstuart was asking what qualified as a "user": how many were active, how much they engaged, etc.

Yeah, I didn't think they were literally using Roman numerals to describe their user base; I thought they were using the "10M == 10,000, 10MM == 10,000,000" notation that is (for some reason) popular with financial-type people[1].

But anyway, I was wrong; I poked around on the site and they indicate they really do have millions of users. So: wow, nice work!

[1]: https://www.accountingcoach.com/blog/what-does-m-and-mm-stan...

Last time I used this it claimed to process raw files, and then just ripped the embedded JPEG and used that.

Is this still the case?

Your product is fantastic.

How does your "clarity" filter work?

Nice UI, except it seems a bit unresponsive.

Holy smokes this is awesome!

Awesome walkthrough!

awesome work!

CSV Explorer, 4 months ago (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14043527). It's a tool to open CSVs that are too big for Excel. It hit the homepage, but many comments were "I would never trust my data in the cloud" or "Why doesn't everyone use Python/Pandas/SQL".

Paying customers now include consultants, journalists, realtors, insurance companies, and others! There are few developers who use it because it saves them time, but they're the exception.

> It hit the homepage, but many comments were "I would never trust my data in the cloud" or "Why doesn't everyone use Python/Pandas/SQL".

That's classic HN/slashdot. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863

the ability to CRUD the CSV via API endpoint after it's in there would be great.

Hmm this might be a good idea for my next side project. How much would you pay for this and why does https://github.com/project-open-data/csv-to-api fall short?

Yes - I thought so too, but still haven't gotten around to it :)

For my use case this does not fall short. Although I'm sure you could come up with features I didn't know I needed.

222 Days Ago - Show HN: The Road to learn React – Build a Hacker News App on the Way [0]

The book [1] was downloaded by 9600+ people by now. It is an open source book that gets continuously improved. You build an React.js application along the way and transition smoothly from JavaScript ES5 to JavaScript ES6. It teaches the fundamentals of React without any tooling or Redux. Afterward you are ready to go to build your own React applications.

I must say I never expected this amazing reaction from the community.

- [0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13170837

- [1] https://www.robinwieruch.de/the-road-to-learn-react/

I bought it the other day :)

I bought it when you first posted.

I had 3 of my "Show HN" hit the front page. I have stats about 2 of them. They had a huge spike at the start, but the current traffic is more correlated with SEO and backlinks rather than the initial influx of visitors.

My actual most visited website is one that has hit the front page, but not because of my "Show HN".

[1] http://jgthms.com/web-design-in-4-minutes/

[2] http://cssreference.io/

[3] http://htmlreference.io/

[4] http://bulma.io/

We just crossed paths on the bulma issue tracker yesterday.

Just started migrating a new website, https://devel.tech, from Bootstrap 4 + mdbootstrap pro to bulma (https://devel.tech/site/updates#id15)

Far simpler markup. Better whitespacing / balance. Less javascript.

A good compromise in framework size to features.

I have web design in 4 minutes bookmarked. I open it whenever I'm starting a new project. Thanks for everything.!!!!

You do excellent work sir. Use bulma /a lot/.

Same. Bulma is my favorite CSS library to work with.

Can I ask the reasoning behind `is-` and `has-` prefixes on bulma modifiers? I'm sure you were asked before but didnt see anything in docs

    <a class="button is-primary is-inverted is-outlined">Invert Outlined</a>  

    <a class="button primary inverted outlined">Invert Outlined</a>

I felt it was easier to read and understand, since the "is-" or "has-" clearly shows it's a modifier class, and not a base class.

Also, it prevents the namespace from being "polluted" by class names that could be used for other things. For example, there's a "box" element, and a "is-boxed" modifier for the "navbar".

Lastly, the same modifier class can be used on different elements, since they are specific to the context in which they're used.

Thanks for the reply, makes sense now that you explain it that way :)

Really appreciate bulma and cssreference. Regular visitor to both the websites, I didn't know about HTMLreference but I would check that out as well.

Same. Bulma is so much nicer to work with.

I did a Show HN back when I was still a full-time corporate lawyer, and BeeLine Reader was just my side project. Much to my surprise, my post garnered over 700 points and was at #1 for the better part of a day. A HN-ranking site had it as the 9th-most popular Show HN ever, at the time (2013).

Almost four years later, we've raised a couple hundred thousand in equity and grants (mostly the latter, happily), and I'm working full-time on it. Equity is from Intel Capital and grant awards are from Stanford, The Tech Museum of Innovation, and NewSchools Venture Fund (a nonprofit backed by various SV family offices).

I will say that there is lots of luck in where posts end up. My second post about BeeLine Reader — when we released our Chrome extension — hardly got any attention. This was a big surprise, given how popular the (very alpha-version) bookmarklet had been.

original post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6335784

current website: http://www.beelinereader.com


We're looking for a rails dev and a dev with PDF experience, BTW! Email developers@ ..

Very interesting. I've never seen anything like that before for long form text (although I can't imagine working without colored code highlighting). It does seem to allow me to read faster. Not sure how I missed the original show HN. I was around in 2013. Maybe it was lack of line coloring :)

I just installed it and I love it! I always have trouble comprehending what I read when I read off of a screen, this fixed it completly.

BTW I don't really understand how the pricing works. I tried looking into it but according to the chrome app I'm on the "undefined" plan.

Looks interesting, but your iOS app hasn't been updated in over a year. That's a red flag for me.

It's a news reader that lets you browse sites with our technology. There's not much to update, and going through Apple's app review gauntlet is expensive and time consuming. We avoid it as much as possible.

That said, we wouldn't want to let bugs linger! Is there anything in particular that you think the app should be updated to do?

We recently released another app (Read Across The Aisle, [1] a free utility for monitoring the political polarity of one's news consumption), and it used the same code base. We got no complaints about the app being outdated. Both apps seem to get the job done — let me know if we're missing something here!

1: http://www.readacrosstheaisle.com

Is there evidence that this is better for reading? It seems to make reading harder for me. Perhaps it's because I either a) became aware of it too early and am distracted, or b) don't read in a linear fashion.

There have been several studies done by educators and a literacy nonprofit. These have looked specifically at educational outcomes (for readers with dyslexia, ADHD, vision deficits, early readers, ESL/ELL students). The benefits for reading fluency and comprehension are quite large (and surprised even us, tbh).

We also gather data in our "Reading Challenge", which is more generalizable but is not a controlled experiment. This has shown that most people who take the challenge read faster with the color gradients, and that the average speed increase is 20%. But the effect is not universal.

You might try a couple of the other color schemes, including the "night mode" that inverts things. But if you read mostly in chunks, as opposed to linearly, then you're probably not as likely to benefit.

Hi, just tried writing at that email address at beelinereader and it did not work, so I've sent it through your contact form.

Thanks — you're right I forgot it's not plural. Got your contact email though and will connect that way.

This is really nice and so simple!! Love it.

Everything you offer seems to be free -- how do you monetize?

Thanks! Our consumer tools are indeed very inexpensive, or in some cases free. We do get some revenue from individual consumer purchases, but the bulk of our revenue comes from institutional purchases or B2B licensing deals.

Cool idea. Could be a nice AR app.

3 years ago I tried to launch my Bitcoin options trading platform (or at least the paper-trading version of it) with a Show HN post which did briefly reach the front page. I got 0 signups and mostly a lot of comments about how the landing page was so ugly and using an outdated Bootstrap that they wouldn't consider using it. As a backend dev that was a revelatory experience and I appreciated the honest feedback after my hurt feelings recovered.

Great! I launched ReadMe 2.5 years ago as a Show HN (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8422408), then did a Product Hunt launch (https://blog.readme.io/product-hunter-becomes-the-hunted/), and got into YC a few weeks later. Having a good launch was something we could point VCs to.

We got some awesome customers (including some big names) from our HN launch, and it kickstarted out growth. If I remember correctly, we finished out the week at about $4k MRR... nothing compared to now, but at the time it felt awesome to be making money.

We've come a long way since then, but our Show HN was a great way to kick things off!

Hi Gregory

I've really been interested in ReadMe because it fills such a simply yet extremely important need for developers. Would you be willing to ever do one of those Indie Hacker posts [0]?

Also, question: is ReadMe no longer free to Open Source projects? I see reference in your docs that say that ReadMe is free for Open Source projects [1] but on your current pricing page [2] I don't see any reference to the free-open source version.

[0] https://www.indiehackers.com/

[1] https://readme.readme.io/v2.0/docs/open-source

[2] http://readme.io/pricing/

We still have an open source tier! It's available on the credit card page :)

Hi Gregory, I love your startup and documentation, I am doing https://serverjs.io/documentation/ right now and launched https://documentation.agency/ in the past (but didn't actually have time at that moment to follow up on the requests). I am thinking on applying there.

I totally thought this was a different ReadMe. Do you ever get confused for these guys?


They're one of our licensees (of BeeLine Reader), and sometimes people send us customer support requests because they think they're owned by us. I had no idea there was a different ReadMe, but I suppose it's not surprising.

Presumably since you're in different markets, you can each own your respective trademarks?

Hey! I've been using ReadMe FOSS and had no idea that you were a show HN project. Congrats on your success! Super, super happy with it and love using it! Thank you!

I might just be slow, but I can't tell from your landing page exactly what types of things I would document with this. Is it just APIs?

I submitted my Acid Machine site in 2015, it's a web based synth and drum machine app. I didn't expect much to happen, just wanted to get a bit of feedback. It ended up featuring on a few high profile music sites and for the next week it got 70,000 users a day. I didn't post it anywhere else so it all originated from HN in some way.

Since then I have released version 2 which has the ability to add fx to the instruments, use MIDI devices and lots more. It gets a few sales a week with traffic still coming from those music sites.


That's really cool. I had no idea Web MIDI API existed to allow stuff like that (though it appears to still be Chrome-specific :/ ).

Thanks. The Web MIDI API is really fun to play with.

I also made this synth that uses it, you can use your typing keyboard too: http://www.errozero.co.uk/stuff/poly/

...and a little pong game, you can control the paddle with any knob on a connected MIDI controller. http://errozero.co.uk/midi-pong/

Excellent, really. Does it use the Web Audio API? Any more info on how you made it?

Yeah it uses the Web Audio API. Anything you would like to know in particular?

It's built in a way that will allow me to drop in new instrument modules in the future and I'm hoping to get around to that at some point.

One of my synths is on Github and is structured in the same way as the acid synths: https://github.com/errozero/poly-synth

Thanks for this link!

I tried to play around with the Web Audio API but never went very far; still searching for a good "getting started" tutorial, esp. how to control timing / tempo.

Your app is really slick; been listening to it all morning! ;-)

Will look at the instrument on GitHub.

This is a good guide to solid timing and tempo: https://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/audio/scheduling/


1124 days ago I submitted my first app - Habit Streaks.

Over time I got 60k+ downloads and sold it for $8.5k :)!

Original link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7950866 Story: http://www.germanespitia.com/habit-streaks

As someone trying to build my own apps, I really enjoyed your write-up on how you grew Habit Streaks.

Thank you, I appreciate that!

I messed up my wrists from typing/mousing too much a number of years ago, so I spent a couple years working at a grocery store while building a new kind of text editor meant for efficiently writing code with motion sensors (e.g. Leap Motion, Kinect). It made it to the front page here, which was an interesting experience, but my end game with the project was basically, "get far enough, post to HN and the world will see how cool this is, and somehow you'll be able to continue working on it"—and that did not materialize.

Project: http://symbolflux.com/projects/tiledtext [video]

Original Show HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5306155

Just watched the video, really cool.

Sorry about your wrists, I also suffer from RSI issues; recently I have started using voicecode which has allowed me to use voice for about 80% of my coding/computer use instead of typing/mousing. You might want to check it out?

It does have a large learning curve, is not cheap (Dragon + voicecode) and currently runs on Mac only (windows/linux in the pipeline), I am using that in conjunction with SmartNav for mousing.

- http://voicecode.io/

Thanks house9-2. I briefly tried Dragon like six years ago and didn't have a very good experience with it—though I imagine it's improved since then. Probably the bigger issue for me though is that I just don't personally like speaking as an interface to coding. SmartNav looks cool. IIRC I looked into it way back when but it was prohibitively expensive for me, though I might be thinking of something else.

I'm mostly just using mouse/keyboard now, but I have learned some things about how to do it. Partly it's about not freaking out about things—seems like the added tension makes it a lot worse. That has been much more difficult than I can describe briefly here, but it was important at least in my case. Additionally, having some mindfulness about how I was feeling physically at the computer and letting that direct break-taking has been very useful. Same with various stretching/yoga things I do regularly. I spent a lot of time learning/practicing meditation in order to getter better, unadulterated feedback about physical problems (and to help stay relaxed while computing). It's interesting how oblivious we can be to discomforts from posture etc., and how automatic correcting them can be once you just tune in.

Anyway, I'm still not fully recovered either, but computing is a much more pleasant thing these days than it has been for many years.

I switched to the DVORAK layout some years ago. And I engage my foot pedal programmed to "copy" and "paste" when those operations get heavy during a large refactor or something. I also switch between an "Adesso iMouse E1" and a "Countour Roller Mouse Free2" to mix it up.

Sounds like you might like the book A Guide to Better Movement by Todd Hargrove.

That does look interesting—I'll check it out!

I had RSI issues for years until someone pointed me to this link on Slashdot about 14 years ago:


Anything in particular from it that helped you? I'm looking through now. Looks like a good general resource in any case.

Unfortunately there's no shortcut to it. They basically follow the principles outlined by Dr. Sarno that has treated RSI patients as if RSI is a real physical malady with psychogenic origins.


If you are looking for more discussions on RSI, HN user melling has been sharing his research on many such threads:


Unfortunately tools like the Jouse3 mouth-operated mouse cost too much to be experiments.

Mastodon first got on the frontpage 292 days ago, then a second time 203 days ago (https://joinmastodon.org). Federated network now more than 2,000 servers, 720,000 users, GitHub repository closing in on 10k stars. Pretty happy with that!

A project I'm working on, Gridmaster, hit the frontpage of HN back in November. The traffic and mailing list signups were nice, but the product feedback we got was way more valuable.

It helped us realize that a web-based version of our "CodeAcademy for Excel" product wasn't going to cut it. We built an integrated version that actually lives inside of Excel and won a contest with Microsoft.

I talk a little more about what happened here:


899 days ago - Show HN: JustWatch – Choose your favorite streaming providers and see what’s new

By now largest streaming search engine in the world at Alexa/Similarweb Top ~#4700 global with around 12 million unique visits per month. Not too shabby all around.

Launch post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9005641

That's great. How did you go about promoting the site ?

While not technically a "Show HN", 576 days ago @tilt submitted my react-boilerplate to HN. (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10794502) The submission garnered a bunch of votes and was on the frontpage for a good 20 hours.

The project went from 50 to 550 stars overnight, eventually reaching 3,000-something stars when the hype died down. (it's now at ~14,500 stars and growing)

That submission kickstarted my career. Among other things it led to me speaking at over 20 international conferences, to being featured in Forbes Austria and to the privilege of being employed as a full-time open source developer. (which eventually led to the creation of styled-components)

I wrote a bit more about my journey on my blog a while ago too in case you want the longer version: https://mxstbr.blog/2016/12/a-dream-come-true/

It's been an awesome ride and I wouldn't be where I am without HN!

And the React community is that much better for having Max as a speaker and developer :)

Awww, thanks Mark

Amazing! Thanks for all your hard efforts! Look forward to seeing what this awesome community has in store!

995 Days Ago - Show HN: A database for browsing and discovering movies (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8547351)

It was on the homepage for around 24 hours I think. We had ~500,000 unique sessions during the first month after the launch. Hacker News played a big part in that.

We stopped actively working on the project, but it's still being used by more than 100,000 people every month.

I wrote a little case study about the whole thing here - http://codetree.co/case-studies/movieo

That's a gorgeous project. Kudos.

Did an ask HN in 2012 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4428278 Now GitLab is a 170 people company https://about.gitlab.com/history/

We recently moved to gitlab and I kind of enjoy some features. Built in CICD, pipelines, create MR buttons. I find the UI quite messy though, I'd love for the UI to be cleaned up a bit.

Buttons and action links are all over the place and I feel like most are added just to make them pass a "there is a button" test, without caring where it is or what it looks like

Did you try turning on the new navigation? [0] Profile picture in navbar -> Turn on new navigation

[0]: https://about.gitlab.com/2017/07/22/gitlab-9-4-released/#new...

Two things my team announced on Show HN appeared on the home page for a day or so.

MindMup (https://www.mindmup.com), an online mind mapping tool appeared in 2013, and got a nice traffic bump that day, it took about two years to reach that level of regular traffic. the site now gets between 400 and 500k visits monthly during busy school periods (seems to be mostly used by educational users), and grows around 5% per month.

ClaudiaJS (https://claudiajs.com) is an open source tool that helps deploy Node.js projects to AWS Lambda and API Gateway easily. Originally built for MindMup, we decided to spin it off as a separate open source tool. It appeared on HN about a year ago, and according to NPM stats now has roughly 85K downloads.

It's really cool to see the people behind websites that I use post on HN!

I've been using MindMup for a few months now and really enjoy it.

Use mindmup everyday and love claudiajs. Thank you for creating 2 excellent products.

Project 1: https://wakatime.com/

Show HN Link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6046227

Status: Still growing, almost 100k users, vibrant leaderboards

Project 2: CLMapper Chrome Extension (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/clmapper/omonmigal...)

Show HN Link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4324884

Status: Unmaintained. Reached peak of over 4k users, now under 2k and decreasing

I use WakaTime A LOT. I wish there would be more functionality and an ergonomy though - are you focusing mainly on new platforms now? Things like email reports could use some refreshing! Keep up good work!

Thanks for the feedback... the report emails are almost 4 years old now so could definitely use a refresher. I personally prefer emails without images, but would you want charts as images in the report emails?

Anything really that is an improvement from "You have not reached your goal. You need to code more" or something along those lines. Any graph or even a summary would be an awesome improvement!

Submitted a Show HN two days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14822897

Not even one upvote though. Do any of these posts get on the homepage organically?

LE: 2nd (and last) try: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14841172

Most of the Show HNs on HN's front page get there organically. Sometimes we see ones that fell through the cracks and put them in the second-chance queue (described at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11662380 and links back from there) or email repost invites.

As lwansbrough said, a small number of reposts is explicitly ok (this is in the FAQ: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsfaq.html). Reposts aren't a good thing per se (and can drive the, shall we say, detail-oriented segment of the community crazy sometimes), but it's worse for good submissions to fall through the cracks, so we make the tradeoff that way.

Edit: Taking a quick look at your post, I think you may be falling into some of the traps that prevent a project from attracting attention here: for example, the "I can't tell what this does" problem, and the fact that the intellectually interesting details aren't up front, so curiosity isn't engaged in the first couple seconds. Take a look at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14841231, which are some tips that we send to YC startups and HN users who email us.

From my experience, things I used to submit 5-7 years ago got to the front page organically. Literally nothing I submit now gets to the front page, and you can see the wide variety of things in my profile, including SHOW HN, ASK HN, etc.

Here is an example SHOW HN that had all the elemnents you speak of but went nowhere: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13474714

Now one can say that they were just all things that shouldn't have hit the front page, but these days I really believe that you need to ask a few HNers to upvote something for it to hit the front page. I think it's a dirty little secret of reddit and HN. Perhaps it can be fixed with algorithms somehow, but I am not sure how.

PS: there was one exception when I made a clickbait title with the word "hacked" in it, like a year ago. That hit the front page organically.

I would recommend a total redesign of your front page. It sounds like it could be a great tool, but I have literally no impression of it from clicking on any of the non-gated links on your site.

The basic info on https://visualtip.com/tour is closer to what you need on the homepage. But visual-focused instead of text. And absolutely reduce the noise on the page by getting rid of meaningless text such as

"Security: We take security very seriously and have taken measures to protect our customer's data"

and the Deiter Rams quote which looks like a user endorsement needs to go too.

I agree. I clicked to the front page and I see something about annotating images, but then also something about users... and I just don't really get what it does without reading the whole page. The company name is also not very illuminating.

The tour page however tells me almost instantly that it's meant to get feedback on designs (even if that is only made clear in step three out of three). Now going back to the front page, those three steps are there as well, except they're shown as three separate features of the product instead of logical steps (I didn't make that connection) and the "You, the designer" part puts the "so what's that about clients/customers" in place.

Then again, I often feel like I'm thick-witted so take it for what you will. Or perhaps where you link from (e.g. link text / ad text / the search query they entered) gives enough context for them to get it.

Thanks for your suggestions. The homepage is definitely the first item on my ToDo list!

I tend to look at HN comments before following a link. As was pointed out by someone else, the web is suffering from an obesity crisis, and I check the comments to see if anyone said anything interesting before risking a visit to the link.

As for your submission, I have no idea what problem it's supposed to solve, and I'm not inclined to "sign up" to try to figure it out. I think screenshots or other graphics to 'show' what your site does would be helpful.

Fair point. I know the current public website is far from the best. The product however is quite solid (I think).

Here is what a sample feedback page looks like: https://visualtip.com/3c5090a169f6b9e955d3b57b9401497b

So I clicked on the link in your post in safari on Sierra, and it's literally a blank page. I was curious so I opened the developer console and it says:

"app.initialize is not a function (in app.initialize({"api":"https:\/\/api.visualtip.com","key":"db4430ab8da22455511f9b26963a7151835ef5471b82"});"

I haven't the slightest idea what that means, but would have expected to at least see some sort of header or un-styled text rather than absolutely nothing!

I only saw your comment now. Something must have went wrong while loading the page. Should be fine now.

Thank you for the feedback regarding the blank page. It's on our list :)

Unfortunately, you cannot use the app on your mobile device yet. Please use the browser on your computer instead.

I don't know but I suspect many users are on mobile devices like me.

Yep. I only browse HN on my downtime before falling asleep now. Lack of mobile support is a massive turn off here.

Mobile is on the way as well. There are a few challenges on that front though...

It definitely seems like there's quite a bit of luck in getting to the front page - submitting at the right time when people who would be interested happen to be looking at 'new' and feeling like upvoting. It's definitely worth resubmitting a few times (at tactically advantageous times of day).

That said, you might want to add a few sentences describing VisualTips, and maybe the backstory, on your submission. A lot of people click into the comments to get a bit more context and decide whether or not they actually want to click into the submitted item itself.

Also, it would be helpful to have some kind of visual description on your homepage. I have a pretty good image in my mind from the text, but for such a _visual_ product it would be really helpful to see screenshots or, even better, a gif of it in action. Those visuals would likely help people get more excited about it.

IIRC, you're free to resubmit if you feel the content deserves another chance.

Construct 3 - Game editor in the browser:



Subscribers increasing slowly but steadily. ShowHN didn't lead to any direct sales as far as our reporting shows but doing a "ShowHN" is something of an internal milestone for us and the comments have been interesting a good motivational boost. Hopefully have more to Show HN in the future!

It might be worth having a version focused on kids learning to program.

My show HN was posted 2555 days ago (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1548584), roughly one month after the site was launched.

Led to a large traffic spike, and attention from a company that would acquire it roughly 18 months later. The team has grown from 3 to 100+, with over 1m registered users. Although the domain has changed and it looks like nobody bothered to keep the original registered (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

(oldest first):






A few of them rank on google and get consistent traffic. There's definitely a lot of randomness in getting to the front page. If I were to do it again I think I'd collect emails or have some kind of plan for the traffic.

Very good point about collecting emails. We had an alpha version that went sky-high, but it was just a bookmarklet with no login or communication features. Subsequent Show HNs, when we launched our tools for Chrome, Firefox, iOS, and PDF, didn't get nearly as popular. If we'd had a net in place to capture some of that traffic, it could have made a big difference.

But of course, don't be too aggressive in collecting emails — none of that full-screen modal garbage — that doesn't do well in the HN world.

186 days ago I posted my app Dongle Daddy - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13434787

On this day, it was also featured on Product Hunt and The Next Web leading to around 30k uniques across 2 days. Traffic is now nothing like that unfortunately.

One nice upside is that when I launched, it was picked up by a manager at BT Shop, a fairly large online electronics store in the UK, and I have released a variant of the app which uses their own affiliate scheme and branding. They've integrated this into one of their category pages at https://www.shop.bt.com/category/cables-and-adapters,cables/....

My open source side project Full Stack Python (https://www.fullstackpython.com/) hit front page over July 4th weekend in 2014 (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7985692). I've continued to write and grow the site from ~5k users per month to over 100k/month now.

The traffic bump and feedback was motivating and helpful to know I was on the right track with my content. I also learned there are some comments you just need to ignore and focus on your own vision :)

edit: my traffic was lower than I originally remembered, it was ~5k per month, not 25k in mid-2014

That's amazing. I would love to connect with you on Twitter if you would have the time. But since we are not following each other, I cannot send any messages. I am growing my blog similar to yours, but it is an personal blog though.

Sure, no problem. Tweet @fullstackpython or @mattmakai and I can follow you for DMs.

I did a Show HN for Resumonk back in 2012: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3934370

I was in college then and found making a well formatted resume a huge pain when I was applying for internships. I met my Co-Founder also via that particular post, and went full time on it after passing out of college.

We are bootstrapped, pay ourselves well and work remotely. Not sure if that qualifies as a 'big' success, but we receive these kind of comments from our users that make us super happy - https://www.resumonk.com/testimonials

Notational, a notes app built with Vue.js. (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14409760) 61 days ago

Response was great: lots of sign ups and feedback, but I haven't had time to do anything. Started a new job and moved cities. Everything is open-sourced if anyone wants to take a crack: https://github.com/tmm/notational

Not exactly the home page, but PullToRefresh.js[1] was on HN's front page last december and since we've basically doubled our traffic, altough sales haven't been affected by it, since we are offering a product only for Mexico.

Besides the traffic increase, the repo trended on Github and now we have +1,400 stars.

1: https://www.boxfactura.com/pulltorefresh.js/

Show HN: Taxi Wars – Stories from the front line - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12193273 (359 days ago - HN submission links directly to http://taxiwars.org/)

tl/dr: HN provided a nice boost, but websites don't grow if you don't feed them.

Backstory: ~5 years ago I started driving a taxi, for fun & adventure & freedom. And to support myself, while trying to figure out how to finish recovering from a head injury [1]. After 8 days I made an account on kuro5hin.org (k5) & started blogging about my experiences.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13123659

At first I was just trolling k5 user "Zombie Jesus Christ", who had grand ambitions to help people, but was handicapped by a history of mercury poisoning -> mental illness. My point in being 'TaxiCabJesus' on k5 was to show that it's the little things that count. After a 3.5 years I'd learned a lot about what people actually experience (which I hadn't appreciated due to my upper-middle-class upbringing), and was forced into retiring from the taxi driving gig...

One day kuro5hin.org went away. K5's absentee founder Rusty hadn't prepared for a datacenter move, and the site was lost. I posted in HN submission RIP kuro5hin that my story "Electronic Taxi Dispatch, v1.0" was last to post [2], and one of you responded that you appreciated my k5 submissions & encouraged me to re-post them at a site of my own.

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11609802

I still intend to write a Taxi Wars trilogy: A New Hope, The Vultures Strike Back, and Return of the Drivers. I also have some other stories to tell. Retrospectively I realized that I was learning about the various 'predicaments' that people find themselves experiencing. Draft titles include:

The Predicament of 'old people' / Ordinary Rendition: The Public Servants' Quagmire / the predicaments of doctors and patients

I joined Toastmasters several months ago. Recently I gave a speech that's based the 'predicaments of doctors and patients'. It went over pretty well, which was motivation to work on my little site...

1. Show HN: HN Replies – Get notified of replies to your comments ( http://hnreplies.com )

933 HN users are signed up and have received 38109 email notifications so far.

Comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11080539

Stats: https://www.w3counter.com/stats/98986/dashboard


2. Show HN: A date range picker for Twitter Bootstrap ( http://daterangepicker.com )

5-year-old open source code that averages 3000 visits per day and 750 git clones per day.

Comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4408070

Stats: https://www.w3counter.com/stats/90840/dashboard

I submitted a Show HN a month and a half ago (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14537247), and altough I got some initial visits (some 500 users), it has dropped to nearly zero lately. Here's how the analytics curve looks like: https://s2.postimg.org/6z9gmo8bt/Captura_de_ecra_2017-07-24_...

Basically, I've built this simple project to see if there was any commercial interest in building rest apis using mock data, and I am almost certain that the answer is no - which is fine by me, i'm waiting for the next idea.. :)

Edit: By the way, besides simple SEO with google, I haven't bothered doing any marketing at all with this project, because I'm being mostly lazy, also because if the idea was any good, it should (hopefully) had success initially, and also because I suck at marketing..

500 is a small sample size.

Moreso when your tool serves a very specific target of people looking to satisfy a particular need.

I would try user profiling and then search engine optimization or content marketing around use cases where people will want to use it.

You also want to compare it against the apiary's of the world.

My very first side project, a real-time API for the World Cup built on a scraper, went to the frontpage. Obviously it hasn't seen as much traffic since then as it was a very time limited thing, but it was fun to have a side project on the front page.


I submitted a Show HN the other day for a natural language chatbot that gives harm reduction info about drugs and it pretty much went nowhere fast. Got way more traffic from being on the front page of reddit r/drugs (and arguably a more useful demographic)


To the people asking, I definitely think there is a high amount of luck getting anything on the front page of HN. Just has to be right time, right place, but it's inspiring to read about people who have seen their businesses launch, in part, from that brief exposure.

I recently had my Show HN make it to the front page: https://ewolo.fitness/

It was up for a nice 24 hours and while I got a huge amount of traffic (10,000 page views) it resulted in only 100 accounts.

I'm not giving up though - I'm still constantly improving it and it has come quite far since the first Show HN version :)

1% of visitor creating an account seems quite a good conversion to me, do not be disappointed!

Thanks! I've previously worked at a startup so I do have an idea of how difficult it is to get users and to actually get Daily Active Users.

I'm taking this as a learning opportunity but the best part is that I use ewolo myself everyday and it's really keeping me motivated :)

My project "UrlRoulette" was on the HN homepage for about 24 hours. I received a huge traffic spike at the start. Since then traffic came from other sources such as Reddit, some blog posts and articles that were written - and of course some search engines. After being on HN, UrlRoulette was featured in the german C'T magazine and received a lot of traffic from their website and their print edition. Also, being featured on some more sites certainly helped pushing the site's page rank on Google.

The project: https://urlroulette.net/

I actually wrote a post about being on the HN front page: https://hackernoon.com/urlroulette-24-hours-on-hacker-news-e...

The Tao of tmux (https://leanpub.com/the-tao-of-tmux) gained initial exposure and eventually became highly cited throughout the tmux community.

It's also available to read for free online (https://leanpub.com/the-tao-of-tmux/read).

tmuxp (https://tmuxp.git-pull.com), a tmux session manager, gained over 1k stars over the years.

vcspull (https://vcspull.git-pull.com), a repo sync tool, compare to myrepos. Received a lot of valuable feedback on documentation that I ported to other projects.

My Show HN (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14782936) made it to the front page 7 days ago and stayed there for a couple of hours. We got 70 downloads and some very good feedback.

We are consistently getting a good rating in Play Store [1] and thanks to HN we now have around 50 daily active users playing 75-100 games. Meanwhile, we are developing the features that were suggested in the comments and we felt are required.

[1] https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.buildmyvoc... - Two-Player Vocabulary Game

Project: http://prettydiff.com/guide/unrelated_diff.xhtml

Show HN Link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13983085

Summary: A new diff algorithm

Result: About 50,000 visits to the web site, which then averaged about 1000 visits a day. Not much repeat traffic from those visits, but the daily traffic is now about 1200 visits a day.

Project: https://haskell-miso.org, https://github.com/dmjio/miso

Synopsis: Elm arch. in Haskell, but supports isomorphic js

Show HN link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14685677

Status: Still kickin', ~17k views, top 15 repo globally on GH (for a day)

6 years ago I submitted cloud computing comparison - https://www.cloudorado.com/ . It has hit first page with 38 comments. There was a nice spike in traffic that I've never seen later but it faded quickly. Now traffic mostly comes from search and some links that popped up here and there. The site is live and provides revenue (but not spectacular; fraction of what I need for living).

I had about five of my submissions hit the front page. All of them were mostly projects on github and articles on my blog. For how they helped me:

- They got me around ~3000 subscribers for hugobots.com which I have been promoting through my repositories (it would have been much more; unfortunately, I forgot to put the link on the first day while the repository was on the first page. I put it on the third day and the emails that I got were mostly from the traffic from the people sharing the post on twitter/facebook/reddit etc)

- One of the project (developer roadmap) got me two sponsors paying me around ~1000$ each every 6 months for just putting their links in the project readme.

- Follower count on my github profile was around ~100 at that time; now it is about 2.3k

- Had been approached for freelancing gigs and was able to make connections.






Just curious, how did you get those sponsors? Did they contact you or did you reach out?

I was contacted.

What kinds of Show HNs are you asking about? What do you mean by how is a site doing?

My Show HN (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14778497) made it to the homepage, but I don't think its what you're asking about. My site is just a personal site with random content so its no different than before my post.

Any type is great, but projects that can have actual user are more interesting.

Project: https://pingtype.github.io

Show HN Links: https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=peterburkimsher

Summary: Chinese-English word-for-word translator for education.

Result: 16 points, 4 comments, still no idea how to market it.

We closed. Company was called Koalah.

Open source project so not quite a "site": submitted goofys (https://github.com/kahing/goofys/) 644 days ago and had 40 upvotes on HN, and from what I recall I had a couple hundred stars on github right after. Now I am approaching 900 stars, a niche community of users, and occasional drive-by contributions.

Compare to catfs (https://github.com/kahing/catfs/) which I recently posted but did not make to front page, and right now it's at 14 stars. I would say both projects have similar audiences comparable in complexity, which would mean front page on HN gave goofys a 20x or so boost in terms of github stars.

Note that the first time I posted goofys it did not make it to front page. @dang emailed me to re-post it and the second time it was boosted to front page.

I have two sites.

I submitted RemoteBase 400 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11890991

For the first time, someone paid for something I made from scratch. I wrote about what I learned from this launch: https://sung.io/lessons-from-successfully-launching-remoteba.... I have since gotten a job, and the site sort of stopped making money. But I am still iterating on it.

Also submitted Dnote 100 days ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14031649

I pitched it to a live audience shortly after: https://sung.io/pitching-dnote. I never got around making an actual sale.

I submitted 4 which all got on the frontpage.

Ghostnote https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9145007

I still make good money on Ghostnote and is working on new features plus a new SAAS service.

Weekendhacker https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2563718

This one is alive but not really active. Around 8K users on a mailing list. If anyone want to take over this project pm me.

PinView https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3862889

FinalTouch https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2991206

This was fun to do but just a project we did for fun.

What's a good email to reach out about WH?

Just updated my personal info. So should be there.

Curious - did your Ghostnote post manage to get Jimmy a job?

A few proposals I think. He has a job now so thats great.


Posted in November 2016. Got a ton of traffic for about three days (~20k users/day). Now DAU is around 10-15. More a side-project type site, never was intended as a business.

I released SoundKit (https://soundkit.io), a library of UI sounds a few years back. At the time, there weren't really people marketing sounds for UI, so people were interested in discussing. I learned a lot from the feedback (some good, some bad) and saw a lot of traffic in the first few weeks from it.

I still get a regular stream of traffic now, and there are tons of others making sounds for UI. So, hopefully it helped kickstart that market a little.

I'm in the process of creating a second set of sounds now to try and keep the interest alive.

Original Post https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8527861

My attempt at creating realistic images from Gameboy camera pictures[1] got posted by someone else.

I did not notice it, and the traffic brought down my tiny blog with the 25.000 visits I got the next couple of days.

It was a really cool feeling, and I learned what measures to take to keep my self hosted WordPress blog up in these cases. Unfortunately I never needed it afterwards. If someone is interested in a write up, let me know so I can make one.

Since then my blog gets about 40 visits a day. Only a small amount, but it still satisfies me and keeps me writing.


My site gets 50-100 users a day (https://www.findlectures.com). I got a ton of great feedback, which I'm slowly working through, e.g. bug reports, requests for more content, and one $20 sponsorship. I've also got a conference talk coming up at a Solr conference in September.

I have just under 900 people signed up for an email list of hand-picked talk recommendations - about 200 of these were from HN, and a couple people sign up every day.

Based on the feedback I got, I'm working on an add-on to send email alerts with talks based on people's interests (if you want in, contact me, I need a few beta users)

Launched CertSimple with a 'Show HN' 862 days ago (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9210908), for a significantly faster and easier way to do the identity checks required EV HTTPS certificates. We got our first customer on that day - I already knew them from previous dev work, but they saw the post on HN, hated their existing EV CA, and signed up.

https://certsimple.com now has clients including Superdry, CrowdCube, The Motley Fool and most of the fintech startups in London.

Submitted https://sheetsu.com 673 days ago (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10251686). Hit home page and stayed in the 2nd position for couple hours. I got 12,715 visitors in a week when it was submitted from HN only. A lot of them being my first users. HN was kind of a perfect audience for the early version of my product. Many great people with awesome feedback.

It was a solo attempt at the beginning. Right now there are 5 of us working on it and building a business around it.

I didn't call it "Show HN" as was unaware of that protocol at the time, but "Help me check my quantum physics game for accuracy" [1] got a lot of helpful comments on the physics.

Also a lot of complaints over my poor choice of language, and "why don't you open source it, we'll do a JS port". I did. They didn't.

Anyway I don't think it's seen much use since that (mostly positive) experience - if you're willing to download and execute a java app you still can:

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11813473

I posted http://moviemagnet.co (movie torrent search engine) awhile back, it was removed from Google search results and still receive a steady 2k+ visitors a day.

Submitted an expense-manager PWA 83 days ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14279653.

There was a lot of traffic in first few weeks. Now it has been stable - around 25 weekly (<100 monthly) active users.

I guess these are the people who are actually using it daily to manage their expenses. I had the same question - how can I make all of these people visiting first time come back again.

463 points, 332 days ago submitted http://hackernewsbooks.com

Got ~1500 active subscribers on the newsletter, some web traffic, some passive income, a lot of interesting contacts, met some cool people in Zurich, where I live. Overall, really glad I did it.

Original post here - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12365693

Someone submitted my security tool Lynis during Black Hat Europe: https://github.com/CISOfy/lynis (original link https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12870753).

The result was a spike in GitHub stars, more users and feedback. So a great way to increase an open source project.

Submitted https://3dc.io (a simple cross-platform 3d design tool) about 2 months ago, got a massive spike in traffic, that lasted for about 2-3 days. In addition we got some good and thorough feedback from the community. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14360921

My Show HN (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13857137) HexoPress earned 200 signups in a span of couple of days.

The traffic spike, remained a spike and didn't continue long. But it gained a few regular users. I run my own blog with HexoPress (http://hexopress.com).

We submitted our search engine a few days ago (https://learn-anything.xyz/) and it has been pretty well received. We got quite a bit of valuable feedback on it which we used in turn to improve the engine.

Here is the HN post :


Made HN when we launched late last Summer- we're doing our first 5k+ unit wholesale orders and have shipped caffeinated toothpaste to thousands of customers.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12504012 https://www.powertoothpaste.com/

Submitted GlassWire https://www.glasswire.com for Windows 1064 days ago. Now we have a new Android app! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.glasswire....

I submitted logtrail (https://github.com/sivasamyk/logtrail) 312 days ago (more of a side project of mine) and made it to front page. Got lots of stars :). Helped me boost my confidence and currently has active users and made multiple releases with new features. Happy I did it.

Docker is doing pretty well. It was a HN-only launch.

No comments on the billion dollar plus company launched via Show HN?

This should be at the top of the list.

I think I posted a little too late. A good reminder of how much is left to chance in a launch :)

Tinfoil Security (https://www.tinfoilsecurity.com) originally started as a Show HN, and hit the front page back then: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2291944

We're doing well, and hiring! :)

On the front page about 1.5 years ago with 2sli.de, my web app for interactive slides:


I got a few hundred sign-ups but not much else; I am still maintaining the site but have not found as much time as I would like to develop it.

Submitted a week ago or so: https://www.opendoctor.io/opioid/highest/

When it was first posted it hit front page, then hit reddit, melted my machine. I started moving to static files, but not in time! HN removed it from the homepage.

Good tip, thanks. Plan in advance for high load before advertising or cache all the things.

By the way, the image at the top should be served in different weights (bytes) for different screen sizes. Instead it's unnecessarily large (bytes) for a small screen phone where it's kind of 1.5 x 2 cm. It's wasted bandwidth on the server and not nice to look at while it loads one line at the time.

Submitted the new installment of the Monokai syntax highlighting colors for Sublime Text (Monokai Pro) a month ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14611823

I got a good spike of traffic from Reddit and Medium, HN a bit less.

Project: https://getmirrorshades.com

Show HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13687353

Summary: Simple web analytics

Result: Lots of great feedback, added about 100 active users

We got netin.co on the front page a few months ago. The post was about hiring a team as opposed to individual candidates. We are still doing well, although don't expect the visibility to have a long term effect. Think of it more as a sugar rush without the crash, no pun intended.

Submitted MidiWriterJS about a year and a half ago (https://github.com/grimmdude/MidiWriterJS). I think the majority of the stars and usage it gets came because of that.

How meta! I submitted my side project http://www.bookeyes.co/. Though it was simplistic and still is BookEyes was well received. I got feature ideas I'm in the process of implementing.

Project evolved from a small framework with a couple hundred stars to something now used by a number of billion dollar enterprise companies. Still a long road ahead.


Mostly when I show things they're just things I made that I put on github. I get github stars.

I think the exchange rate between Github stars and Facebook/Twitter Likes is favourable. Tinder Swipes, not so much.

Not much of a BTC/Github-Star exchange yet.

I had a few i think. One for example ascii.li which front paged twice. It's just a stupid content site so traffic died again but for a week or more I got thousands of users and plenty backlinks.

Artpip was on the front page for a while 3 weeks ago [1].

I had around a 30% increase in users and around $500 in sales over the following couple of weeks, which was pretty great.

ALWAYS link to your site when mentioning it. You do not have enough SEO presence for me to find it or for most people to bother looking for.

Happy Artpip user from that Show HN here.

You may want to clarify on the home page that it's $10 bucks for life -- I almost didn't buy because I thought it was $10/mo.

$10 for life is a no brainer. $10/mo you have to think a bit harder about.

I launched deckofcardsapi.com and it has about 16,000 decks created per day. I don't make any money, but it's fun that it gets a lot of traffic.

I've been meaning to publish the tips that we send to people who email us asking for Show HN advice. Anybody want to add anything? or see anything incorrect?


Read https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html. Point users to something they can try out for themselves. Don't require signups or permissions that aren't obviously needed. Avoid popups. Avoid overly slick website design and (especially) marketing language: HN users tune all that out and in fact it hurts you. Text and text-based layouts are good. Information density is good. Avoid super-large fonts and excessive pictures, they make you look lightweight. Put intellectually interesting details up front. If you're launching a company, corporate branding is fine; otherwise it's a negative, so tune it down.

Add a first comment to the thread with the backstory of how you came to work on this and explaining what's different about it. This tends to seed better discussion.

Make it easy to tell what the product/project is; otherwise the discussion will consist of "I can't tell what this is". Link to any relevant past threads.

Your primary mission is to engage intellectual curiosity. If you try to sell HN readers on your stuff, you'll evoke objections. Engage their curiosity and they will sell themselves.

Mention areas you'd like feedback about or open questions. Surprising or whimsical things that came up during the work are also good--they are unpredictable and that makes them interesting.

A little humor is ok; more than a little feels presumptuous. Don't be chummy, just answer straightforwardly. Don't address other users by their usernames (it's not the convention on HN and feels out of place). Don't introduce yourself more than once.

Don't say nice things about yourself or your work. It invites comeuppance. Instead, be humble or even mildly self-critical; then readers will look for nice things to say, and even when finding fault, won't make as big a deal about it.

Don't ask for upvotes. Our software ignores most promo-votes, plus HN users notice them and get mad. Especially make sure that your friends don't post booster comments or softball questions. HN users sniff that out a mile away and then we have to kill the thread.

Email us a link to your submission when it's up and we might be able to give you some help or make sure it doesn't get flagged.


This originated as advice for YC startups but I always liked the pg/yc tradition of giving the same advice to everybody.

Between posting (a link + a comment) and making a text post with a link - which one is a preferred option?

Also, do these sink at different speeds (they used to I think)?

They used to but they don't anymore (this is specific to Show HNs). For Show HN the tradition is to link to an external URL but I wouldn't say that either is preferred.

That last line seems like something that mostly still applies to YC startups.

I put that line in there to make the point that we're open to everyone. People email us all the time about their submissions and we're happy to help. The help varies depending on how strapped for time we are and depending on what people are trying to submit. (It might range from 'that's not a good fit for HN' to 'holy is that cool can we help you repost this'.) But it's an important part of what we do and definitely not just for YC startups—we're trying to optimize HN for curiosity and YC startups are a small portion of what's out there.

Currently though, it's a case of squeaky wheels getting the grease. I'd like to reach the quietly creative users who would never dream of emailing us because it feels too demanding.

Edit: when we notice a particularly good Show HN and the submitter has an email address, we often email them a repost invite. Some of the best threads have originated this way. So everybody, (a) please make sure you have an email address in your account, and (b) please don't delete submissions that don't get traction.

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