How to Launch on HackerNews
Read, contribute and build a reputation.
Read swombat's Post: http://swombat.com/2011/1/13/how-to-get-your-startup-on-hack...
Read jacquesm's Unofficial Hacker News FAQ: http://jacquesmattheij.com/The+Unofficial+HN+FAQ
3) Time It
Typically, there are good times to submit on HN. However, take this with a pinch of salt as if too many people consult these resources, you'll find some stiff competition.
Reach out to your community and ask for feedback on a post - before you post it. Make revisions and then ask your community/friends to check out the /newest page. If they feel like commenting or upvoting, they will.
5) Luck Out
Produce something of high enough quality that the HN community deems it worthy of the front page. Then enjoy the server thrashing around 10K-100K visitors
Traffic is great, but if it's not your demographic, all you'll have to show for it is a new server bill to handle the foot traffic that won't be buyers.
It always feels like some PR person trying to figure out how to "game" HN, rather than trying to add value to the community in the first place.
It's a niche site — it appears that all my users are either competitive cyclists who train using power meters or heart rate monitors, or cyclists with analytical minds who want to get as much out of the data that their bike computers as possible — yet it did fairly well, probably because it appeals to many here, even if they're not potential users themselves.
Oh, and that was the only attempt at "launching" here that I made, and I did nothing more to promote it as a story here than posting the link (I didn't tweet a link or get friends to upvote it or anything like that).
The second post got 4 points and brings about 120 page views to my app's website, and about 10 sales for the next 24 hours. After that only about 1~2 download per day.
It's an app for reading Hacker News on iOS, 100 percent HN target market, so maybe my app just sucks? I really don't know.
I really want to get feedbacks on this, what kind of Hacker News iOS App do you want? or you just use Safari?
MiniHack - Practical Hacker News for iOS
Support login to HN, upvote, flag, reply to comments, sharing to many social sites, bookmarking/read later services and more.
itunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/minihack-practical-hacker/id...
Also, I got no comments, which I expected, since here people are critical + constructive in their discussions.
I know for sure that if any post didn't make it to the front page, this doesn't mean that is invisible for most of the community. There are a lot of blogs that follow what's been posted here. I hope the visitor impact isn't related with the time when people submit stuff here!
Both stories were only upvoted by a friend of mine. I can't figure out why... A lot of submissions that reach the frontpage took only a few days to build/write, I've been working on this with my friend for 2 months.
But don't obsess about trying to crack a big-bang launch. Big-bang launches are the ones we all hear about. But they're the exception rather than the rule. And they're not necessarily a good thing (remember Color?).
Far more startups become successful the old-fashioned way: by getting one customer at a time over weeks, months and years. In your case, you've got the ideal business for this: you've got a very niche product aimed at a fairly small, well-defined and reasonably easy-to-reach audience.
So forget about getting to the front page of HN, TechCrunch or other startup hipster places. Just go and get your customers:
- contribute to discussion forums about windows development and have your product in your signature. Promote it there if allowed
- reach out to relevant bloggers
- attend local Windows developer meetups. Some have open-mic opportunities for local startups to promote themselves.
- join BizSpark and see if Microsoft would be interested in helping
- experiment with a few Google Adwords campaigns
with our service thinkery.me we had what we would define as success after launching on HN: we got initial traction, a lot of great feedback and signups. we have been refining the service and growing since then.
It's not really the initial post that matters, but what you do with them after your launch. Even if you get say, 100 users, they are GOOD 100 users! (better than zero!) and if you believe in your product and continue to iterate + get feedback from them, I'm sure you can take your product quite far. Of course, you'll need to do many other things.
It received only 4 upvotes but the video has about 115 views two days later.
My favorite posts on HN are about new products/startups and even failed products/startups, but to be fair I should warn if you submit on HN multiple times for purposes of showing your startup- without a new feature, achievement, ect...- people may associate your product with spam.