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Ask HN: How do I get press coverage for my startup as a high schooler?
16 points by schruteroots 36 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments
I'm a 17-year-old from a small town in India. There are barely any opportunities for young entrepreneurs in my town and most of what I have achieved so far is by connecting with people and getting to know more about the events as such. I started programming at an early age ( 11 ) and have built several projects since then. I'm the founder of DomeCode ( https://domecode.com ), a platform that improvises upon existing "learn-to-code" platforms by providing a unified experience. I have gotten over 300 registered users at this point ( I realized it barely 3 weeks back in the alpha version ) and over 2.6k users. This is something that would usually get media coverage especially if a highschooler built it. How do I get media coverage?

Reasons :

- Better chances of getting my startup crowdfunded

- It's something good for my college application

- I believe this needs to get out there

Some feedback on the site:

It says 6 languages are supported yet when I click deeper I only see things for Python and Java. If I wanted to learn Go, why would I choose your site over golangs [0]?

I think more complete content would pull in more users. You pull in more users and you will have better chance of word spreading. Developers wanting to learn language $X are going to see how much content a site has first before committing to using that site.

Maybe have a screen cast showing what the user experience is like, demonstrate how note taking, practice, reminders and music all come together. I think your intent is to make it so the user doesn't have to use other tools to help them learn. Focus on that more.

It has this gradient color text thing on black background going on which might seem cool but will turn off people, especially those with color blind or vision issues. I'm by no means a designer but a professional design or theme could help. You might be thinking it will look like a lot of other sites, there are reasons why lots of other sites have a similar look/feel. Your site can still be unique and stand out somehow (again I'm not a designer.) If dark-mode is part of the experience, highlight that or make it a preference.

[0] https://tour.golang.org/welcome/1

Hey this is just the beta so all the resources aren't there just yet and to be fair, I'm not claiming anything about resources for 6 languages just yet. The platform states that you can practice the coding problems on the platform in 6 languages as of now.

You alredy posted about this project multiple times https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=arthtyagi

Try contacting the mods hn@ycombinator.com

Hey, I agree that I did but I'm not even promoting my project here or anything. What exactly are you trying to convey through your comment?

Most likely, what the comments are indicating is that you've been posting too repetitively about this. HN has a sort of immune system where, after a while, the outputs will get harsher if people feel like the inputs have been too repetitive. The currency of HN is curiosity (a.k.a. intellectual interest). Your desire to improve your situation is certainly understandable, and even laudable, but that doesn't automatically gratify the curiosity of others.

If you re-read your post closely, you might notice that it mostly talks about how much you've achieved and the things that you want for yourself. Those achievements are great! and you have every right to want those things for yourself! but they aren't the sort of things that readers find interesting. You might get better results if you focus on what other people want more than on what you want. (This is a lesson we all need to work on.)

On HN, focusing on what other people want means focusing on what they find intrinsically interesting. It's actually hard to do that if your primary goal is to get users or press coverage—readers can always feel when that's the real underlying goal. If you want to gratify HN's curiosity, a better strategy is to work on something for its own sake—i.e. purely because you find it interesting—and then write about it from that perspective.

In my experience, this is quite accurate: regardless of what site, HN, reddit, digg, etc., there's a tipping point where it becomes "Show HN: I did something cool" transitioning into "this is a spammer, get out"-type of innate reaction.

Another thing is the constant playing off of how something is special purely because of age; this has been done over and over on HN, and as a lurker I've seen tons of "im 12 and i made a css framework|cool library|js framework" type of stuff, and it really isn't helpful or useful for me to know or care about this.

I agree to what you're saying to some extent on what you're saying but the part about me mentioning my age, I'm doing it purely because I've got college applications as well and it wouldn't hurt to get some good coverage and have it in my application as well.

So does everyone else - the way you word things, it reads like you feel like you're entitled to "press coverage" or "userbase" and just expecting it to exist or something you're supposed to get. Arguably it's even worse that you're making multiple HN accounts for spamming it.

Could try reaching out on Twitter to tech journalists. Or emailing some.

Write this story yourself as if you were a journalist covering it (just don't write in 3rd person) and put it up on the company blog (or wherever). Link to that when pitching the story.

Might sound counterintuitive but linking to an existing story makes it so much easier in my experience.

I'll try this and write up on what the results were.

make a lot of money

Keep spamming it on HN, I'm sure the press will come through one of these times

Please don't be a jerk in HN comments.


Fair enough but by the same token:

>Please don't use HN primarily for promotion. It's ok to submit your own stuff occasionally, but the primary use of the site should be for curiosity

Is clearly not being followed here. Every submission from OP is in some form promoting their own project

Edit: looks like their submissions have been cleaned up. Carry on!

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