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How to Launch Your Next Project

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How to Launch Your Next Project with Product Hunt's Ryan Hoover

Ryan Hoover, Chase Jarvis

How to Launch Your Next Project

Ryan Hoover, Chase Jarvis

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1. How to Launch Your Next Project with Product Hunt's Ryan Hoover


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Lesson Info

How to Launch Your Next Project with Product Hunt's Ryan Hoover

Hey, Eddie. How's it going? I'm chased. Welcome to another upset of the Chase Drivers live show here on Creativelive. You guys know this show this arrested down with the world's top creators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders and do everything I can in a short sit down conversation to unpack their brains. Now, if you live your dreams and career in hobby and in life, my guest today is a writer whom you know he's an angel investor. And you will definitely know him as the creator of product hunt the place on the Internet where you go to find out about new things that happen every day in the world of physical projects, physical products, digital products. I've been tracking Ryan for a very long time. Very happy to have on the show. Ryan Hoover in the house. I love you. I was going to say super good. We have to make this happen for a long time. I know. I know. Been a while since I saw you. Amsterdam. Amsterdam? Yeah. That was a fun trip. Yeah, How? It sounds like it sounds I don't I'm not a...

fancy person. It sounds fancy. Then we say Well, last time. I know. I know, I know. I was my first time. Actually, rarely leaving was investigated, so I went to a museum at the Bank Siegel museum. I mean, how many trendy things saying to sentence? The reality is way. You know, it was a free trip for us because it was a conference. It was a tech things. Exactly. Oh, so others have about 10 different things that I want to try and cover in the next hour. I'm struggling honestly to just, like I really want to go right after one. But for the folks, the few folks who don't know who you are or about your background give me, like the overview. I know you consider yourself a product guy. I first knew of you as a writer. Also, you know, you'd be been a contributing writer to a book that I love. Um, by near, we'll talk about that a little bit, but give it. Give us little shape on who you are and how you got to where you are right now. Yeah. So see, once upon a time, I, um, group in Oregon originally and was there We're gon or gon, uh, very green over there. Very cold. I've grown very soft now living in San Francisco, but grew up in Oregon. Went to school there, was there for about 21 years and moved to Portland, Oregon. Long story short ended up stumbling into a startup Video games start up. Which was my first career in the world of tech. Azan interim. So unpaid Intern, which was great. I learned so much it was Ah, you know, without that, I don't know where I'd be. Honestly, um, that ultimately didn't work out. End up leaving that company moving to San Francisco to join another company. Also in gaming a za product manager. So my sort of professional career was marketing into product management. And, ah, I learned a lot there at that company for about 3.5 years. Um, we went from 10 people, downsize to a six, I think, at one point, and then went to about him 100 or so before I left. So wild ride, um, companies still around and still really good friends of CEO. Um, And then 3.5 years into that company, I realized Well, you know, I'm kind of sick of building things for other people. Yeah, I got tired of building for mobile game developers was our audience. And while I love the vision and what we're building, I was just wanted something for myself at the end of the day. So I realized OK, now is a good time. Maybe for me to move on transition and do something new. Um, I gave notice to the company and said, Hey, here's run thinking. I don't know what I'm gonna do yet, but I want to do something different. Um, so I'll give you two months, You know, the transition out that turned into a part time role, which actually was great, like it was super Fortunato have that opportunity where they just cut my salary in half, said work hours a week and then go figure out what you want to dio. And between that time is when I was doing a lot of writing and then ultimately started product around the time. Okay, so there's so many gems in there that I'm gonna quickly unpack. One is that you didn't actually set out to create the destination on the Internet where people discover new products every day that you were just sort of following one step at a time. A lot of people who are paying attention to show our people who I want to do, a lot of the same things that you just talked about but don't know where to start. And they think that they have to sit back and plan their whole life. So I love that we'll touch base on that in just a second. And the fact that you had this transition period, I think everyone else about their home there's like, Okay, bet it all, quit everything and go all in. And to me, it's one of the biggest sort of misunderstandings about the life of an entrepreneur or creator is that you have toe, You know, Teoh say that you're going all in. That's more of an emotional, spiritual journey, because there's things like food and rent. Your family's actually get in the way. So, um, well, let's let's go to product hunt. How do you do it right? Because for those who don't know their, it's a very popular sites. There's probably not that many on the Internet who don't know about it. But how do you describe it I talk about like that's where I go to getting products every day. Um, yeah, People use it for a lot of different reasons that at its core, it's a community of people launching and sharing new products. So these are physical products. When you were just showing right before we hit the record button here, which isn't yet, but coming soon, it's right there. That's the type of thing I have to be just the thing about it. That's everything you see on product on. You also see APS and a lot of trends kind of emerging. You see these waves of new technology trends surfacing, whether it's drones back in the day when they were brand new, A lot of people are experiencing with not only software hardware around drones. Today we're seeing a lot of Blockchain and crypto related products and things emerge. What is it? Crypto kitties? I saw that today. Yeah, crypto Kitties is the latest and coolest thing, and it's essentially like a Pokemon or a Beanie Babies built on the Blockchain. A lot of people over $3 million today in the past week has been spent in U. S. Dollars on that the script Oh, collectible, they're calling it. And it just really interesting example of how you see these kind of trends emerge. And these people using new technologies and creative ways, Yeah, so I think that's a really It's a very nice package to put product hunting, and I think it's really good descriptor. I feel like I use it for I'm not just launching products because you got we've got want podcasts on their This broadcast was on that on your platform. Um, I think to me, it's the trend. Part is really interesting cause you start seeing a lot of volume about a particular thing, and it's sort of because it's for the people who are the builders of those products. And that passion is usually much earlier than mainstream or even early adoption. These air for the people are actually creating the things eso it has helped me in past. Get into that. But what part of you is reflected in product time like, Is it the curious part? Is it like, Are you gadget? Yeah, you gadget geek. Like so many of people in our you know, our watching here are camera freaks, design freaks, the newest productivity's hacks or they're entrepreneurs and creators And what I'm trying to map like, What part of you said I want to create this thing where we discover new products. Yeah, so going back to what I said earlier in that I wanted to build something for myself and I was experimenting with a bunch of different ideas. But ultimately I realized me and my friends are always sharing new products all the time, whether there, APS or new products that you read about in the tech press. But there wasn't a place for community people to kind of come around and share these cool things that we're finding in a structured way. Nor was there a way to talk to the maker of these these products. So for me personally, I've I grew up as a kid just learning how to do, like basic html CSS. Just cause I wanted to build a website and gold was I'm gonna build a website not necessarily want to make money or like do it for any other motive. And just like I want to create something, yeah, so I also it's like hack Xboxes. When I was a kids like playing with hardware and, like learning. How do I, like, exploit this thing for my own game? Um, those are all things that I did as a kid in some of it inspired by my intramural parents. But then product in itself sort of manifested with all this interest in new technologies and products. And, um, even the way that we try to build the community to try to make it playful, kittenish is like a word that we use related. Yeah, kittenish change. Playful. Um, there's other words that we've kind of described internally described product, which is like, curious people go there because they're curious about new technologies and playing with new things. All of these traits ultimately ormat back to my personal passions and interests. Um, and it wasn't necessarily I'm gonna build a product that maps my own kind of inherent motivations, but it sort of organically happened that way as it started to grow. Inform Well, what They're, uh I guess one of the things that I find is when people scratch their own itch like those are the things that work. Because for every Ryan Hoover, there's probably, you know, how many how big your communities. But tens of millions of people who are curious about hardware software, the new products coming home want to be at the center of it and the fact that you're able to make a living in a life like literally discovering new products every day. It's almost like you know, you're curating and and reviewing and building community around that. Like if you just said that that five years ago or 10 years ago, that was possible. People like Wait a minute. So you're gonna, like, create an entire career and a company out of like playing with shit on the Net. I know it's it's kind of it's the old joke there now infomercials on this where it's I can't believe I'm getting paid to play video games, and it's like you a job or something. Yeah, but the reality is, a lot of these, especially early technologies or movements ultimately start out by hobbyists or people who are passionate to explore a certain technology. My brother is just telling you earlier, before this, my brother just finally got a job in videography. He's been doing jobs he hated for years, actually didn't go to college But he found this passion in doing drone filming and anything videos to Ellis. And now he was able to do that as a career, which is amazing. So, yeah, I think people who build things for themselves, that's not the only way to build a company by any means. However, it's incredibly motivating. And one, you're probably more likely to stick with it when things get really hard, because they do, Um, and to you know, that user, you are the user. And so it's a lot easier to empathize and build for that person if you are that person. Yeah, that's spoken folks out there. I'm watching this, that I'm looking at you. And if you're listening to this than then you should know that I'm looking to you. Um, so there's another I realize I'm bounced around a bit trying to I'm trying to, like, set up the base of the triangle they're going to build up. But, um, how did you create this thing? Because I think you know, this is a group and I talked about this a lot of the show. The group that's trying to go there are people who identify themselves as creators or entrepreneurs or makers. And there's a group that is, I call it creator curious, and they've got a safe job that provides for themselves and their family. But there's also that lack of fulfillment, and they're trying to find a way to bridge from where they are to where they want to be. Tell me a little bit about you. Say you're sorry you were younger, but you still didn't just quit what you're doing and go all and go back to that. That point you made just a little bit ago how specifically and as detailed as possible, did you create product. So it started product and some we started years before product began, which, you know, it started off initially by a lot of the You mention my writing and I've never another professional writer actually hated writing back in high school, and I think it's because my teachers make me write book reports on books I didn't barely read into really like. But I loved writing about technology and use your psychology and marketing and all these things which were usually based on observations or or maybe conversations with people. So I back in maybe I think it was 2013. I ended up at the end of the year marking down like how many essays didn't write it 150 that year, some of them very short. So it wasn't super long, but still 100 fifty's a lot. I was surprised by that, and a lot of that had over time. Over the prior two years, Built didn't have a massive audience. But least enough of people following their writing or follow me on Twitter subscribed to my email list, my personal newsletter, where it build up some tiny bit of reputation, or at least an audience, that when I did launch product on, I launched into an audience of people who would at least pay attention and check it out. And also a community of people who clearly are were in technology technology. Just says I was because I was writing about tech, um, so product line. In many ways, it started well before a product that was even an idea. And then then one morning, the actual idea for a product tent was just It wasn't anything. I didn't write a business plan. Um, I didn't forecast my five year financial productions. Um, initially was just an email list in the beginning, and ah, I wanted to create something that I could build very easily. I'm not engineer. Once I was forced to get creative, uh, and then to I just wanted something out there quickly. So I'm like, OK, how can I do that? Let me create an email list. Every day. There'll be new products that are launching, and I'll see it. People like this content, and it took about half an hour or less to set up. Send it to the people that were following me on Twitter and other communities. And then, you know, that sort of organically started to grow from there. Creo And then at some point, you did y Combinator. Yeah. Yeah. So this was so the we went from email newsletter for about 234 weeks. People kept signing out. They're going to say years. And then you said weeks. Yeah, well, 234 weeks. Uh, we were I was just having fun with this. And meanwhile, I'm, uh, again in a good position where I'm making at least enough money to float in financially in San Francisco has working 20 hours that play haven, Um and then kind of experimenting with this on the side and take note folks at home like that's That's the way to do it. Wait tables do something where you have mawr time If you have less money because a two beginning when you're experimenting, you don't actually need money. You need time and space mental, you know, mental freedom to pursue the thing. So I think that's Kiki. Yeah, yeah. I mean, in a lot of people, they Some are fortunate also to work nights and weekends on the projects. When they're employed somewhere, it's You don't have to quit full time and go in sometimes. Um so I ended up working on that on the side and two or 34 weeks passes, and it starts to continue to grow and getting people emailing me saying, Hey, I like that product and email. That's really cool. I'm finding cool stuff on there, and so is a bunch of reinforcement saying Okay, people seem to like this, and I was having fun with it, so I'm like, all right, e mails. Great. It's great place to start, but we need to build us into ah, website, a community where people can interact. So I reach out to my buddy Nathan Pasha, who we'd known for a while and over Thanksgiving break. This is almost exactly four years ago. Actually, uh, he and I were hacking together. He was building, and we're collaborating remotely because he was back in his parent's place and he had free time. So it was like Thanksgiving break. Uh, and we built the site and watch it to some baby users. Got their feedbag, symptom wire frames, getting them like getting them involved in the process. Um and then we eventually launched it shortly after that in December, the website itself So so total time from start to finish on the website was weeks. It was about five full days of, uh and it was just a ruby on rails. App simple, like a website where you can post things and then have a comment feed. Basically. So not very difficult. Really? Um, about five days roughly and then we had maybe 5 to 10 days of beta testing, and this is about 100 people where we would manually I'd be emailing each one of the one on one. Getting feedback and getting them one, uh, ultimately bought in and excited about what? Rebuilding. You don't need thousands of people on day one. You just need 100 people who love what you're building. And, ah, a great way to do that as being very community focused and, like, very personable with those people. So combination people I knew are people who are using the email. Um, And then So we launched that. And then the website kind of the fast forward. Over the course of, like, three or four months, they just kept growing, and we kept working on it again. Still a side project, not even incorporated or anything. Uh, and then it was a time where, like, Okay, well, it's been five months. Thing is growing. I could see where this could go. What do we do? Um, so that's the big question is, do you raise money, people? The team? Do you keep it aside, project and make money on job postings or some other revenue stream? Um, and then that's when I started talking to I see around the time or Combinator. Okay. What's that like? Um, so that was so my path towards y Combinator Our path towards towards Weiss he was unique in that. Ironically, we're building a product that is four people in technology and four startups. So in some ways, we had an advantage in that they already knew about product on the Y C companies in that prior bachelor actually using it they're using and launch and a great little meta reflexive thing there. Yeah, yeah, And so it's started circulating inside of Y c. And then, Ah, I got a d m from one of the Nicholas CEO of Mongolia. Dancing is like, Hey, have you thought about what Combinator Gary Tan would love to meet you if you're interested. And at the time, it was like right at the moment where I'm like what way we're gonna do this thing like, Do we raise money to build a team? Do we not? Um I wanted to be very careful because once you raise money, it's not like you can be like, actually, never mind. Here's the money back. Like I want to do this other thing. Eso You got to be confident. Yeah, so at first was like, I would love to meet Gary. Let's like I want to get his thoughts and feedback on it. So met with Gary and then after that, met with he connecting with Kevin, Hail and Cat and Alexis Ohanian. So I spoke with all four of them before applying. Do I see the impetus is really I just want to get feedback ultimately and understand just their perspectives. They built companies like Alexis built. Read it one of the largest websites in the world. Um, very community focused. Obviously came, uh, property some like if anyone's gonna know what to do or have good advice. Skinny Alexis. So I spoke with them and then decided, you know, why See, be the best place for us to kind of kick off and make this real company and build a team, Um and then just ended up applying, got interview and ultimately got in. So yeah, there's an element of mentorship there that I love, which is your finding people in the community who have done something bigger or first or or similar to the thing that you're aspiring to. And that's just a recurring theme that I also I can't like. Of the 150 people who sat in the chair that you're sitting there like, there's like, 145. Who said that? Same thing. That that, um that role that mentorship that I think maps to the story that you just told me. You feel like you have outside of why? See, Do you still keep a mentor? How do you think about mentor ship? And what role does that play for you? Yeah, I think it's for me. Mentorships always been someone organic. I never said Hey, like, email someone. Do you want to be my mentor? Um, because that is scary, right? It's like, Hey, we're gonna be We're gonna change for the X years. Yeah. Whoa, bro. So I don't I don't have any official mentors, Let's say, but I do have a lot of people were older and more experienced and ideo, who helped me in the beginning and still help today And in fact, like near near rail, who I connected with and admired his writing for for years. Uh, we ended. I just actually cold email them just like I told him. Hey, I love your writing. Um, you know, I'd love to meet some time and it was kind of that's how our relationship started that ultimately turned into helping him write his book. But you have in terms of mentorship, I think I think the way to approach it in my mind is always identify who can you learn from and try to create value for them in some way or just be casual about it. I've received emails or people that can you be my mentor and I'm just I know it's a first contact I've had with them. It's like I can't say yes to that. Yeah, I don't know you, Um and anyone who was probably being asked to be a mentor also has a lot of their commitments of the people. So it's not. It's a hard ask all that to say, like mentors and people who I can teach you things and help in different ways or super important. I actually met with ah person I've known for years and he's thinking about starting a company now and we're just We met up and I had flashbacks to four years ago when I met up with, like someone like Josh Elman who had similar conversations with. I was like, Hey, Josh, should I start this company shy? Joining company. What should I do? Uh, and he was helped helpful in thinking through that and making connections to other people, like lawyer Josh, Coca, Gunderson and others who helped along the way. Josh Elman. For the record, uh, early product at Twitter, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Yeah, he's a partner, Greylock, which is, uh, they're investor and creative. Live a long time maze like we set that up. Yeah. Uh, um, no, but I think that the concept of mentorship when you're creating something new and ideally useful is so critical. Have a huge fan of the casual. Um, I used mastermind groups and the things where you can create more accountability for yourself and the people who have actually done nothing like the reality is that they don't have formal mentorship programs. Aziz humans, you know, like, okay, I'm taking six mentors and we're gonna marching through Ah, but, you know, there are small, structured things like Seth Godin's all 10 B A and R mastermind groups would not. But it's interesting to hear how that's played a key role for you so well again. The several things that I was important for me to have you on the show to discuss one of the most important which I've admired a new for a long time. And I think hearing how you think about this will really benefit the people on the other end of the, um, the show here people were listening in and watching you watch how stuff is launched every day and have for years and years. And presumably you've seen it done really well and you've seen it done poorly. And this community is a community of makers. And so if you were to give, not just professional vice life advice were like, conceptually, tell us the best way to launch things or a good way and tell us some crappy ways. And what are some patterns that you've seen? Because, uh, you've had a front row to some of the biggest hits on the Internet. So what does it look like? What does it not look like? Yeah, I think one of the things that doesn't get as much attention there's there's advice like make sure your tagline or copier marketing landing pages clear and concise and like all of that's true. But the things that I think people don't talk as much. About is more about how do you start building an audience or community or people who are excited about this space that you're operating in before you actually build your product? Think about what you said with product time just minutes ago. You're like you had a group of 100 people. It's not like you had 10 million followers who had 100 people that you were designing for, right? Is that what you mean? Yeah, exactly. So product won't exist if I didn't have If I wasn't writing prior and building this this audience who was made up of people who love tech. And of course I'm building a thing for people who love tech. So, uh, you know, I think that's something that people can take away even today and say, I don't You may not know what you're going to build, even the product or the startup or what not, But you can today start building an audience, and I don't mean that in like a transactional way, like I'm going to be a self promotional marketer, but more in the sense that can you create something of value for community people, whether it's a podcast or video show are right or host meet ups like there's a bunch of different things that you can do to gain respect among a group of people. And if you start doing things you're passionate about in that type of context, you'll find and attract people who are passion about the same things as you. And that will not only be your first like people to talk to you, to get feedback, but your first users first customers. Um, you know, they might even be the people that you hire in the future, like some of the people who were early product users like Andreas is our CTO, and he was initially a project user. And to begin with, um, so I think building this kind of audience and creating value for a certain group of people is super important, something that we think a lot about a project. How do we enable people who are building products to do so because most people end up working in the old way of doing thing is like I'm gonna go in the basement or whatever metaphor you want to use and build my product. Do not talk to anyone, and then I'm gonna put in the Internet. People going to find it. Love it. And the reality is you. Maybe maybe you might have built an awesome product, but if no one finds out about it, doesn't matter. And right now it distribution. Discovery is so difficult because it's easier build things, and more people are building things as a result. So in some ways it's like flip it around, think about how do you find an audience and build an audience before you actually build a product is how we think about it. And what a lot of folks don't know is like. That's why Creativelive exists in large part, we facilitated ago I was a photographer and had built, incidentally, an audience around photography, just talking about photography and sharing trade secrets and hoping that helping that community be more open and incidentally created a large social falling. And that was on the backside of like, hey, and we built this other thing for you because we heard that you guys want to learn, so there's a bunch of photographers and you build credibility. You also probably had a pretty good idea what they needed and wanted. Because you really have been talking to those people for years and you're a part of that community. I think that's embedded in what in your advice there was. These are your people, and this is a great thing also to do on the side. Like if your side hustle while you're employed full time at fill in, the blank can be building community around. The things that you care about and building is both. It's like it's creating something for that community. But it's also participating in it, right? So it's it's, um how did you get into products like, What did you do specifically tactically to build that community? Where did you go? What did you do? Was it physical digital? Both? Neither. Yeah, actually. Both. So C let me go through the list. I mean, there's writing itself. So writing about technology and what I love to write about was looking at new products like tinder in the early days, and I just scratched my head. Be like, Why is tender so compelling? What the If you're to break down the components, like from a psychological perspective, what about even the subtleties of the card swiping feature makes us engaging stuff like that. Some post no one really read some of, um, read by thousands of people, but when you keep doing it consistently, you start to build up some reputation. An audience there. I also did brunches and meet ups like very small gatherings with other, mainly founders or other entrepreneurs. How did you find them? Mostly Twitter in that I was also using. And still today, for better or worse, is Twitter all the time. And it's the best place to get to know people because it's a very passive way to not only follow people you find interesting or insightful or whatnot, but then over time you start engaging them with them in the slightest touch. Ways is very different than trying to email someone. Hey, do you wanna be my mentor? But you know, for example, if I was to interact with someone for 12 months and hopefully add value to a conversation on Twitter and then email them and say, maybe a demon Twitter Yeah, it's me from Twitter. Do you wanna meet up, for example? Um, that's one way to break the ice and also get people comfortable with you. Um, I would, of course, interact on Twitter. I also read a lot. I was reading a lot of tech related blog's, and one tactical thing was always mention the author, so it took an extra 5 10 seconds to find the Twitter user name. But I would always take the author, and that was another way of one giving them some credit and be like, Hey, I read your thing Awesome. Authors love that. Every tweet is like encouraging. Yeah, especially if they aren't already a huge I don't have a huge audience. Doing that for years also builds up some recognition and and eventually relationships where you start following each other. And then over the course of 12 more months, he started getting know each other more. So it was Twitter meetups writing. Uh, what else and ideo did You was moving to San Francisco part of that because I think a lot of that's a question that I feel a lot is like If I wanna be great, fill in the blank. Do I need to move from, You know, you know Oklahoma to, you know, to San Francisco or Seattle if it's music or York of its fashion or so how much? What weight do you place on that yean? A impossible possible. What's the spectrum? Yeah, it's I have product. It would not exist if I wasn't in San Francisco. Uh, due to the nature of what product is, it's, ah, community of people who are excited about technology. And, um, and a lot of the things that kind of serendipity that happens in the city led me to connect people like Josh, someone who I mentioned earlier or other future investors in product. Those connections probably wouldn't have ever happened if I wasn't in the city, so for product, and it was very important. However, I also think increasingly more today. You, of course, can build a product anywhere in the world. We see it happening all the time on product on, more than half the people are outside the U. S. They're building these things, so it's quite a global community. But the world of tech is global. Um, so in many ways, I think it depends on what you're building and and who you're building for. So building a product for tech people being in San Francisco is obviously a huge benefit. Yeah, but I don't think there's like a anything. There's a right way to build a startup or single weight able to start up really anything. Yeah, that's really mind upon that threat a little bit. So you've seen it done lots of ways, right? And so there's no one path. Um, are there some preferred paths or is it literally like, you know, follow your intuition? You? What's your coaching there for people who are thinking about it, there's no way to do it. People want a prescription. How do you reconcile those two things? Yeah, I think one way to approach things break down. Well, one thing is you don't know exactly what this thing will become like the product. And I didn't I didn't know it was gonna become a company in the very beginning when I first started of it. Um, so you have to take with what? You know what? What's the biggest obstacle to get over? In some cases, there's, of course, it changes with different stages of the company, but in some cases, it's I just need to hire. I need to recruit so you have a couple pass you can from a geo geographical perspective, you could build distributed team and product. Envisage reading team. We have people in nine different time zones, I think nine time zones. Yeah, so all over, um, that's one way of approaching it. But other people might prefer building locally. So if you're building locally, how do you you know, if you're in San Francisco, get a lot of talent, a lot of amazing people to connect with if you're in some, if you're in Eugene, Oregon, where I was born, not many people in technology there to build a local team would be very difficult. So I think in some ways you could just dissect. One of the problems or challenges is I'm progressing the next challenges fundraising. If that's a path you want to go down again, you don't have to be in San Francisco. You could travel on like live remotely. But being in San Francisco makes it a lot easier to raise money in general as a technology company. So it's your tackling sort of the biggest challenge, like with your biggest challenge and then gentlemen tackling that yeah, or in. And if you're like a media company, you know, be in L. A. Has a lot of advantages to because there's a lot of people are experienced and capable in those cities. And then there's a lot of serendipity that happens when you're in the hubs of the core market. So, like in New York with finance, for example, in, um, SFO Tech L. A. With media and entertainment and not required. But I think again, cultivating that serendipity. And again it goes back to a physical community I talked about It is the other 50% like making stuff and publishing it and getting people on the Internet to know about it. But there is this other 50% of like, what are you doing to participate in the community? You contributing to blog's as are you commenting? Are you following people and being a part of the physical and the digital, like going to conferences? I think it's hugely faces and names and all that stuff, even if that example that you gave earlier of communicating with somebody for months on Twitter makes you infinitely more likely to help them if you know if they make an ask 12 months from now, and you've seen their name in your feet every day for 12 months like that's a powerful, powerful tool. Yeah, yeah, and I think the best way to get to know someone is in person ultimately. So And I think I try to avoid conferences, actually, in general, just because I find it very costly from a time perspective. Um, and it's usually not as intimate of, ah connection. Not to say that they're not valuable sometimes, but in person like intimate conversation is the best. That said, you can also reach very few people at the end of day. So I guess the majority of my emphasis has always been digital communication because you can send right one block posts and one tweet, and it can reach thousands of people air in the side of like doing things that are a little bit more scalable. In that sense, yeah, but then doubling down on the people you really want to get, you know, get to know them in person. Awesome. So what's an example of people at home in their basement using your analogy earlier, creating things and seeing them not succeed like, What's that? What's the dominant pattern for people who are and this goes, I want you to talk about the range from Yeah, like from hardware to, uh, podcasts that you know the something costs a lot and take a long time. And somebody somebody made a tear house in 45 minutes, cover the range of people's ideas. And what bombs with sucks. What is what is something that you see over and over that could be mitigated? What advice would you give? You have the most common thing, and it's we try to of encourage people, not Teoh, approach things. They're launched this way, but one of the biggest issues or challenges that people start to speak and talking a marketing kind of language in the sense that they start to lose touch with the actual value proposition that they're presenting. Or they start Teoh get ahead of themselves these buzzwords too much in their tagline or their messaging. So much so that one. It feels like disingenuous. A little bit and two. It's confusing. People just literally don't know what you're building, and it's a common challenge because founders air people building things there. They know it very intently. They know what the best, and they're super deep into it. They're also thinking, in many cases, like what it could be in five years. So what they tend to do. Sometimes they start to describe as if the people their audience knows with their building already. And they also tried to impress people by kind of touching on things that are five years in the future instead of focusing on. Here's what I have today and here's how you can find value in it. So you know, it just comes down to, like, simple, clear language, I think generally does best when it comes to communicating an idea. Um, and I would also recommend getting people who don't know you or people who don't know what you're building. Just get their feedback on whatever it's a landing page, your on boarding or the copy itself. A lot of that can fix a lot of issues because people who discover your thing, they're gonna take two seconds to judge it ultimately and say, Is this for me? One and then to visit looking for interesting, And if you can't hit both those two things, they're not going to sign up, they're not gonna care So what's done on the flip side of that? What? What is exceptional? When have you seen things? Assuming that they check the boxes that you just talked about, they don't. Yeah. Do they do a good job of the things you just described? People usually doing a poor job of. But what is your other attributes or patterns that you've seen? Yeah, actually, so one comes to mind, Uh, do you know superhuman the email client? No. So it's ah, sort of in private Beta and has been for a long time rule. The CEO is the former founder of Report, of which some people may recognize was really popular, required by Lincoln. And they're doing. They're putting in a really methodical way in that they are building an email client, which we seem done a 1,000, times before. There's a graveyard of email startups that have failed because really hard to build a better email client. That's that's 10 x better than Gmail. But they're approaching it in there on boarding new people manually one by one and getting a lot of feedback. First they digest. What are the things that you need is an email user. They have a survey about 20 or questions. And some of those questions are things like how important our is speed. How important is like email snippets. How important is like, read replies, stuff like that. And they're making sure that their product today, which is early, will serve all those needs. Because if you as an email user, like I need labels, I can't use anything without labels, for example, and they don't have labels. You're not gonna find value in it. So where I'm getting at is they've done a lot of customer development conversations, and they've narrowed in on not only a feature set for a particular audience, but also the way that they position email is is really unique. They're actually focusing a lot of speed and the value prop isn't better. Email client value prop is save you time and make you, you know, give you superpowers and getting through your inbox, which resonates with people because you feel like I hate, you know, can't get emails like inbox zero spending all this time. And so they're focusing on building a product primarily for that. How do we help people save time? And it's the right people, you know, buy and use a lot of products. It's not necessarily the it's the underlying need, which is saving time or saving money or solving loneliness like That's why people use Facebook and Twitter. In many cases, they're really focusing on, like that core message, which resonates with their audience. And so that's a type of that's a really good like Harvard case. Study it and how to think through positioning and marketing and on boarding for Company. Unique Way lets you use your thread of, like, simple language. Let's pulling this a little bit more and say So is it when people are creating things, whether it's a podcast or a new email client, do you see the most success in products that actually solve for that? The human like human need like the juxtaposition you said don't aim to build a better email client. I also like about don't just name for bettering for different but indifferent you're trying to solve for a thing, and that is this value proposition. So keep talking about that for just a second, if you would. Yeah, I think it's varies because it's sometimes it might be is literal a save help you save time like position that way. Sometimes it's Mawr implicit and how its position. So it's not literally saying that, but it's through its copy in the way it's presented. It implies that will save you time. Um, I mean, you could You could argue that things like instant cart while they don't say that they're going to save you time you as a consumer understand through its messaging. Oh, it's a service where I don't have to go to the grocery store and, like, spend an hour, you know, picking out groceries. That's that's one of the value props it it kind of positions. So, yeah, I think it's depends of what you're building. I think going back to Crypto Kitties uh, you know that value proposition? There's a couple of them. One of them is, uh, around just having fun. So it's basically like a It's almost like an old school card game to some extent where you collect these things and you own them, and you can trade them and breed them and so on. And so part of it is just like the playful nature in its cartoon kitties and and that kind of thing is all about having fun. There's a sort of a side piece, which is like the economics which is doubling down on like this this, uh, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain kind of hype train that we're on right now, which is like a secondary value prop, which is implied as well just due to the fact that it's built on the Blockchain that uses ether to purchase the kiddies and and things like that. So, uh, you're investing your participating in that community while you're doing the Yeah, cryptic ET Yeah, you're putting kids together, bringing the kiddies trading kitties. It's a weird thing. Um, but you know, it's in the past week or so millions of dollars important into this game because people are excited to have fun, but also potentially get on this this new train, this new money making opportunity potentially well, I've been focused the last, like, 15 20 minutes on helping people launch things on probing you for like, what's good and what's bad. Any like hard and fast advice that is just like, do this, do not do this. Yeah, 11 thing. It should be obvious, but it's really not as your launch is not a one time thing you're always launching. So we launched the email list in the beginning. Then we launched the beta when we lost the website. Then we lost numerous different features and other initiatives, and, uh, I think that's how people should think about it. It's not like I'm gonna get a launching product on or get a TechCrunch article, and then I'm done. But you're always building new things, and as a result of that, you're also should be always talking to people. And so we we a product that we have feature flags and get baby users. And we're always experimenting with both the qualitative but also quantitative side of things to get feedback on new things that we're building. And in fact, this weekend I haven't pushed it out yet, but and dp ing a new idea that were experimenting with. And I'm planning to use, like, type, form, survey and like quip, just like a document tool to identify behaviors and see if people will use like this. M V P, which is not even using any software, got it just out of box tools. So I m v p for those of you don't know minimum viable product, basically gonna launch something very simple and do little testing and trinkets and feedback over the weekend still launching, still talking and people paying attention. And I think we're talking about this right now in terms of launching products, because that's, I think, appropriate your bias. But the same is true for, like new series of photographs in the series of paintings or a mini documentary series. Or, you know what's embedded in everything you've said is like communication of the other Humans like this idea of going in a bunker and building something to come out and saying today, Uh, yeah, it's just fiction, right? And also it's Everything you create or are working on can be an opportunity to get feedback but build respect. Oh, are some engagement with people, So going back to my brother, he's published dozens, maybe hundreds of videos on YouTube and Facebook and Instagram. A lot of interest footage he's been playing with for fun and building on his own, and then now he just got a job, and that's solely because one he's built the experience and the talent to do so. but to he has a portfolio that he's been showing. I've talked to some people in more of the creative fields who are really nervous to share their stuff. They're like, talk to this one guy who isn't like pretty good music. I'm like I was I was bobbing my head to it, and I'm like You should publish things like he doesn't want to. He's too nervous, too, Like don't worry about it. I mean, worst case scenario known, like read it or even care. And they're not going to say anything. If they hate on you, it actually is probably a good sign. It means that the like, paying attention. Um, so I think that's, Ah, theme that I think people can take away is, like, just be okay with sharing openly, Um, and then more of the technology product side. A lot of people are secretive. They're like, I don't want someone to steal my idea. I think that's, um, that's not your worst fear or concern. At the end of the day, you have a lot more problems other than someone stealing your idea. Yeah, I think it's more advantageous to share and get feedback and talk to people rather than be secretive and stealthy. I've had people ask for lots of people. 100,000 probably asked me to sign an nd eight and feedback on like, You want me to do some work for for you to help you out. You want me to sign, like do people don't care? Okay, there, too busy. And as for the amount of passion that you have to actually stumble across, the person who happens to be building the same thing is going to take your idea and leverage into theirs. It's somewhere around zero. And by contrast, what this trend that you've seen if someone who's watched hundreds of thousands of products being launched like a theme is communication sharing, getting it out there. Yeah, yeah, it's it's ah, again, there's no right way to sort of sit up there certain companies, which should maybe be stealth, but majority should not. And ah, you know that person whose hearing about your idea they probably don't care or two Maybe they're not the right founder of personal build it. So, like, for me, I shouldn't be. I shouldn't be the one to build creative life like it's I'm not created. I don't I press the button on my IPhone to take a photo. That's about it. But like it, I'm not in my d n a. Where is? It's like certainly in yours. And you had experience with videography and working with brands in this community so many times like this, I think was Chris sticks and has a really interesting block post from way back around. Founder Market fit. And it's Ah, there's product market fit, which is all about the product. Your building has some sort of need in the market. Um, Founder Mark, if it is more about are you the founder of the person who build for this type of market? You're certainly built for this creative world. I'm certainly built for this tech kind of make your world. Um, but, you know, we all have our own biases or like, advantages in that way. Yeah, All right. So this I would get I would get roasted if I didn't ask. But it's like it's not why I wanted you on the show. All this stuff we've been talking about today it is really like the community is always asked me. So I wanted to bring on someone who has seen Mawr launches provident. Anybody in the world that I think I mean first hand, you get people sending you how many things you receive every day. New launches si un product itself will have maybe a little bit over 100 a day. Yeah, ah, 100 new products. And it spent four years and then you were looking at data of which ones were successful and why, And the ones that are successful you ever see Go. You know, you double click into that and say, Wow, what's making these people successful? Oh, they have a community. Oh, they have a founder who's out there or this particular podcast. This person has been really thoughtful and they're differentiated. And so even watching that, But here is the reality. People want to know what's coming. Yeah, we should be open the show with your you see, trends, macro trends. You've said Blockchain like 50 times already. So obviously that's one of the trends. But right now there's someone like that they've been wanting. They say, Oh my gosh, Ryan, who over there, listen to the the episode right now, like I just want to know what's coming, Build anything. I just want to know what are the hot trends. And I try and avoid content that that's not really evergreen. I think that evergreen content is what makes the world go round. But all right, here we are. Where its when it When is it? What's roughly with, uh, six. It's early December. Yeah, heading into the holidays here in 2017. Um, what's happening? What do you see? Look at your crystal ball and give us some guide posts of you know what's cool shit that's coming down the pipe. So I've been thinking more recently about trying to predict, and I'm certainly gonna be wrong, but least trying to think through what themes might be telling in 2018 in the next year. And, uh, sometimes it's hard to know what's too early in and what not like VR. For example, 545 years ago, we all know the viewer is gonna have a big impact on the world. 45 years ago, people were somewhere bending like it's gonna be this year or it's gonna be next year. Yeah, but it still hasn't played out from a mainstream kind of adoption perspective. So it's always hard to know it's more about timing than if in my in my view, I think there's a few interesting areas that I'm excited about in, like one of them. His voice and looking at voice input in communication, you know, we're seeing Alexa Ah, and all these echo devices infiltrating people's homes. I m forgetting exact numbers. But in the US this middle of this year, something around 11 million Alexa Devices were in homes, I believe. I'm sure it's probably could be 3 to 4 times that by now. Then you have Google home, and you will have, you know, the IPhone in our pockets and other things like that. I have heard a study that teenagers have. Half of the searches are actually through voice by younger generations versus like just typing on the phone. So you're seeing a combination of one adoption of these devices and this hardware, but to a behavior at least within a certain subset of the populists that's using voice to input data, and that's changing the way that people interact with technology. So I look at that and I'm like, OK, well, what does that enable in What can you as a maker or creator, build for this future? If you assume and place a bet, that voice will actually eat into a lot of the tap tap computing that we've historically been doing? Yeah, and, ah, it just fascinating thing through that, like does. Does the world need a new social network for this, this type of interface? Is there an opportunity to build a platform, a tool set for other people to build on top of voice technology? Um, and there's a bunch of people who, doing all those types of things so voice is super interesting. I think we're also seeing this. Um, I don't know. I haven't solidified my thoughts on this quite yet, so it's little bit raw, but there's a lot of interest, I think, around avatars. And, uh, we're seeing everything from Snapchat, of course, few years ago, introducing these face filters and like the dog face and all of these other things, using sort of augmented reality and Facebook and Instagram and a lot of others. Aaron Emoji, an emoji is a good one, and emojis probably the most. A prominent example, at least for a week or so future for regular. Yeah, and, uh, thinking through, like avatar communication is really fascinating and how there's a couple reasons for that one. We have the technology to create really emotionally driven, like life, like avatars that actually express our facial recognition, like our facial features and expressions and emotions, and to it solves actually some interesting challenges and problems that I'm seeing more and more in social in particular, and that I'm increasingly like frustrated sometimes with all the hate and Elvin asking that's coming through social networks today. And I think avatars creates this veil of privacy to some extent. Yet it doesn't avoid the intimacy of like a video or like a visual kind of expression. So again, really nascent. But I think there's something around there that will start seeing more avatars used in different forms and maybe even new social forms of communication or even networks built on top of something like that in the coming year or two. Um, cryptocurrencies Blockchain is all that stuff is obviously like super nascent. People are excited about it. There's partly a lot of hype around that There's a lot of CEOs that are very questionable at best on their legitimacy. But then there's also a lot of innovation and, uh, really fascinating things that are really we don't know how it's going to change things. I think a lot of people are comparing it or looking at, like, you know, early days of the Internet in that like T c B I. P enabled a whole lot of things to happen and that that's the Internet connectivity protocol, right? Yeah, about that. Like we won't have a least without that specifically would have websites. And who would have known that T. C P. I. P would have enabled us to even communicate like through Twitter like that's several years in the future but that protocols would enable these things to happen. And so when you look at Blockchain and crypto currencies and how it's changing the incentives and removing barriers that once existed before, it's super fascinating. So we'll see a lot of things and next year on that. Okay, so voice, um, characters or avatars uh, Blockchain me too. Other to others. Um, let's see. Um, like some of them, there's this theme that I am hesitant to talk about. Um perfect. Yeah, that's what I want to hear. It hasn't talk about cause it's a tricky one. So there's a lot of, uh, Silicon Valley is both loved and hated, and I'm afraid we'll see more of it hated in the future, particularly next two years. And the reason for that is like, of course, every industry, including Silicon Valley, has a lot of problems. And we're seeing this past year in particular a lot of sexual harassment finally coming to light, which is a good thing. But we're also seeing a lot of distrust around traditional venture capital. And, ah, a lot of the ways that people build companies and raising much money, never focusing revenue and then like doing the fire sale on like there's a lot of themes. And that's of course, a problem. Um, and the big issue that that you know is coming soon, and I don't know exactly where this will play out, but it's automation and thinking through Silicon Valley's is both location. But it's also an industry, or like a, uh, kind of like a brand in many ways, and Silicon Valley is seen as a place where automation is going to destroy people's jobs, and there's a lot of different opinions around one that is a problem. And we need to have basic income and things like that to protect against that. Others, like don't worry about it. We've had vehicles like Put the horse is out of work and we're fine in other things like that. But the reality is, no matter what, whichever direction it goes, there's gonna be a lot of distrust and hate and frustration placed on Silicon Valley for innovating in these technologies. And so it worries me a little bit on what will happen in our ecosystem and how the world were perceive Silicon Valley and I haven't mentioned all the other problems that has a longer discussion. But, um, I'm generally an optimist and always one that believes we should be responsible but also always push forward. Technology like and technology has also always been with us. Like this jacket. This is technology to some extent, like we don't have these types of wasting restaurant elastic like wrists shoes like we didn't you stop shoes. This is technology. Um, the world will always progress technologically speaking, and Silicon Valley has traditionally been the hub for that, and I'm afraid that the problems that do emerge from advancements in technology will placed Take the silicon valuably place. The blame favorite that's disproportionately blamed for Yeah. Is it just time? Um uh, this is what you're wrestling with? Yeah, it's hard because part of me, um, there's some some of it's justified in terms of, like, some of the specific things around, You know, the way that I a lot of medical Sure, yeah, the culture around like, OK, raise much money Raiser is running that success. That's not success. That's actually ah, vehicle to do something meaningful, create value in the world. And there's there's this culture that sort of manifested in the past 5 to 10 years around that that's a problem that needs to be fixed. But then there's another side of Silicon Valley, which it is a place that's innovating and solving a lot of problems in the world through technology, and we'll see more and more problems solved through through Silicon Valley in particular, we also see Silicon Valley causing a lot of problems also, so I don't think is a black white thing, Um, but I'm I am afraid that, like if we don't think through. How do we address these other issues that were causing in Silicon Valley? We're gonna get placed a lot of the blame and, like, there's even it's being in a big city like this. It's kind of some ways, like fearful when you think about, like, even physical attacks and things like that not to go down that rabbit hole. Yeah, terraced tax. Anyway, it's something I think about a little bit. I don't know the answer. Unfortunately, No, that's good. I like I want things on the show that a raw and not fully baked yet not processed, yeah, along the same lines. Like, what are some things that you know, we're in the same community we've known for a few years. Um, and you're very have talked to, you know, for the previous, like our almost about sort of being open and having community and whatnot. So what are some things that people wouldn't know about you that would be surprised to find out? Uh, see, it's only think of the most interesting thing here. Um uh, my people may know this, um, because I think I've written about it, but one of the first website he built was really awful, as most are. It was again. I was just learning, and, uh, it was actually I was building basically a joke website called operational laughed dot com. The domain is probably selling the Internet archive somewhere. Um, the domain expired. I don't have any more, but it was embarrassing and that I not only was the design terrible, but I was building it with static. HTML. Every single page was its own thing. There was no cascading like universal style sheets, like it was just terrible. So that's that's, like one thing. But, you know, that led me to learn more about technology and get excited about it. Um, let's see, what else did people don't know? I, um I almost first, I didn't know what I want to do in school. In business school, I, um I was thinking, Oh, just working my dad's company, which is in the recycling waste management industry, which love what they're doing. They build amazing business, but I mean, gosh, I was doing that right now. I hate myself. So there's always as moments where you know, I think people could empathize. We don't know what you want to do. And maybe you tryto go for, like, the least difficult path, which for me is like, oh, work for my dad's company. Dad was smart to say like, No, your like, You will work somewhere else for a year after college and then come back to me if you're so interested. Thankfully, I found something better. Um, but I think that's something that I took away is like trying Teoh play around, be creative and discover what you actually want to do and not settle is an important piece. All right? You keep going on that one, cause that's good. So not settling. What do you see? People settling. Do you see people, um, making things that they don't really want to make? Like, What's what made you say that? What made you realize that that was an important thing for you? Yeah. I mean, there's the There's a almost cliche thing where it's my parents want me to be a dentist or a doctor, and so they go to med school, and then they spend all that was I was that cliche. Oh, yeah, that's right. Yeah, yeah. How long? How far did you get into mitts full weight. You, uh, no, I bailed before. OK, but the whatever three of my four years in college spent preparing for it. Yeah, absolutely. Waste of time and money. I mean, I didn't lose a bunch of sleep over it, but I Those were the most sort of painful because I was doing something. It was felt so counter to what I must. Yeah. World. Yeah. And I think it's important. I'm glad that you said cliche, because at the heart of every cliche is not every cliche, but at the heart of a lot of cliches is some, some us. There's some part of it that's like, I need to look at that. Yeah. And, you know, I'm glad you said that having, personally, I felt like I was, you know, so lower middle class. Not like dirt poor, but not well off. But the fact that I'm white male, born in the United States, my mother and father are still together. The fact that all these things happened and I still found it probably the one of the biggest challenges of my life was breaking free of the thing that everybody else wanted me to be. the things where the people are the human that I was projecting versus one that I really waas to think that a I had all those advantages, and it was still arguably the hardest thing I've ever done to think of people who don't have all of those advantages. And then you put that in the big pot. And I think that's why things like creative, live or so powerful product hunt is powerful for people to be able to discover things out in the world that get them closer themselves. Or so when you're saying it's cliche, keep keep like that was so really for me. Um, is that it clearly is a thing that manifests itself in you as well. Talk to me about it. Yeah, yeah, because it's I mean, I've had friends that have gone to law school, and then they get their degree, and then they spend a year or two in law school and they drop out and they realize I never wanted to do this anyway. Yeah, uh, and it's really hard to know what to do again. I didn't know until my senior year in college happen again. Internship in a video game company. I was always into technology, but I never saw path to actually get into technology where I was located. And now we do live in a world where the Internet is has everything from learning opportunities. It's pretty much you can learn almost anything, um, on the Internet, almost for free, if not for free. And you can also connect with pretty much anyone on the Internet who has the same passion, whether it's, you know, through Twitter rented or other communities on online. Um, so I think it's easier for people to avoid those mistakes because their their paths to figure out an Explorer things you might be passionate about. Um, yet still people fall into that trap because my parents or everyone else is doing this or this is the easiest thing to do. But maybe now, when I want to do, do you have an anecdote like, What's the cure? What's the fix? It Um yeah, I think. I think just being recognizing that is the first step recognizing, like, why am I doing this thing or what do I want to pursue? And most people I'm almost speaking more to college students because I know this is a very common problem. Is like, I don't know what I want to dio um, So I would always recommend just explorer, talk to different people, explore different industries like my brother just randomly picked up a camera two or three years ago and just like it. And now he's doing that first year. Yeah. Yeah. And it only takes like that. One moment of that one thing you know, non professionally. I went to Coachella. 2015 was my first year, and for whatever reason, Coachella was I've always listen to music. But it was that weekend which made me really appreciate music, especially live music more. And now I love going to shows and going to festivals. And, um, I listen to more music, and I appreciate it a lot more than it used to. And it was that one week, and that changed my entire perspective. So never forget your one decision away from an entirely different life. Yeah, that's a really good, good way. Putting it someone way out more than me. Price. I quote me and somewhere, but just I think that's a really important, you know, pin to stick in tow. There's so many people you talked about college students. There's also so many people who got bamboozled to go down the wrong path, and they need to fear any. Bata had a couple of kids bought a house, got in over their head and extracting from that. I think that's a huge challenge and opportunity, and that's one of reasons that creativelive exists. Um, I've said before if our parents had one job, we're gonna have five. The next generation has five at the same time. Um, yeah, it's fascinating. Um, So what's next for you? Where you going with the What's What do you building next? What's, um, where you going it at 11 35? Yeah, let's see. No way, given the context like, what do you think about where you're going? What's next? Um, see, you can answer a few different ways one on the product inside, where thinking through, like next year's kind of road map in a lot of it's around two different themes. One of them is monetizing. So we've as of two months ago started selling our first thing collecting money for the first time because historically we haven't and we're having hundreds of makers and companies now paying us on a monthly basis, which is really exciting because it's new and it's like a different thing to explore. Um, and then on the other side were also experimenting and exploring like a product is, you know, the best place to see what's new in technology, and every day you click on product and you just like it shows the cool stuff things you wouldn't have never search for because they didn't exist yesterday. However, we now have this database in this community of people who are curating, reviewing, recommending all these things. How do we make this a place where now people can come and browse and discover the things that they're looking for? So Christmas is coming up. If you're like, OK, what should I buy for my mom, for example, for her home, You know, there should be a place where you can discover all the coolest smart gadgets, for example, for the home. If you just got a new android phone like what android app store like the best for photography lovers, for example, there's a lot of that which is changing and actually building more for a mainstream, bigger audience. To be honest, like more people have that problem, then I want to just discover what's new in technology. Yeah, so that's the product inside and then also been doing some investing as of about six or seven months ago. Raised a small fund and investing in early stage companies isn't it? Makes so much sense like you see them first. Why not be able to put a little bit of your own money behind him or your money? Plus some other folks like that seems radically intuitive. Yeah, it's actually going back to your question like something that people may not know about me. I during the whole transition from play haven into product run the same time I was looking at, ah, maybe entering the sea because I naturally, like I love new products. I love technology like talking founders. Maybe I would enjoy doing venture capital. Um, I ultimately didn't do it at that time. Um, now I feel like I'm in a good position and have more experience experience in credibility to invest in companies. So doing that, which is really fun. The my favorite part about it is it's an excuse to learn about different industries. One company invested in is in the shipping space, which, truthfully, I don't know much about shipping and now is basically a motivator to learn more about it and understand industry more visit ship No ship is the product we built, which is unrelated to shipping, but it's got a really cute sailor Kitty mascot. Um, yeah, there's there's just these opportunities to talk to these founders who are building early nascent companies, some of them even pre launch. And so that's been really fun on a learning experience, for sure. So we talked about a few things that people would know about you. There's a couple of things or what's next? Um, it's my goal to have this be the definitive interview with you on the Internet. So now pressures on. Yeah, I know. Just like you know, that the product hunt community that you know you personally like this have been a lot of professional talk. What drives you personally privately, like is it? Recognition is an awareness of the discovery isn't learning like I'm trying to unpack some of the attributes of the people who are on the show. So what are some of your personal attributes that you think have created, um, what people see on the Internet and what you How do you think of yourself? Yeah, there's, um there's a lot of lot of motivators, I think, with anyone in anyone's job or career. I think there's some of its, um, certainly, Frankly, there's some of it's proving in building credibility and something so, you know, going back to the molestation piece. My goal is for our business unit at product to break even, to cover costs next year, and it's both my goal and the team's gold. But it's partly Michael because I want to accomplish that. I want to check that office like a founder. It's a milestone is now you're you're floating at least the next, illustrating how to make more money. But that's that's partly it, I think. Also, the somewhat cheesy but rial answer to is that I also really enjoy those warm, fuzzy feelings when you help someone, Um, and it's articulate that I mentioned earlier. I met up with a guy who have known a while really young guy, 21 years old, came up starting a company, and he's been building products for a while, and when you ask me like he's like Ryan, um, towards the end of our commerce, just like why you helping me? And I was like, It's interesting. Let me think about that. I hadn't thought about like asking myself that and a lot of it really was around. You know, I saw myself where you are four years ago, and I want I want to just genuinely help you and see you succeed because I feel like that's the way other people treated me going back to Josh Elman and so many other people, like Near and others. They helped me when I was that stage. And so those feelings of like having a small part and maybe someone success or helping them in some way, and it could be through meetings could be intros could be funding. That's why, like funding in investing is such an exciting thing to do now to, like, extend the ways that I could help people, um, so a little bit cheesy. But it's authentic and that I, hopefully then the daily want to have a legacy of helping people do cool things and build valuable products and companies. Amazing Thank you. So, my strap being on the show? This is an amazing, amazing studio, by the way, like most, the interviews I've done have been like some sort of omni directional mike in a conference room. And you get the titties. Yeah. Yeah. Wait here. It's pro. It's pro. Thank you so much for doing what? You I've got so much joy from product hunt. Um, you discovered new things, been on the deliver, like, brought new products to you then that the community has found joy. And we've learned a lot just to rep boating and down voting in the comments, Your anything practical Live a long time ago. Way back in the day. Way back like time ago. Yeah. Um, well, congratulations on what you built. Extraordinary. Um, how did people follow you? You're on Hoover, right? Yeah. Are are Hoover, actually, is my Twitter user name. And also the same thing on Snapchat and everything else. So our hoover Yep. Awesome. Thank you so much. Really appreciate

Class Description

There's a common misconception that artists have a monopoly on creativity...But the very act of making waves - no matter the career - is a creative one. The Chase Jarvis LIVE Show is an exploration of creativity, self-discovery, entrepreneurship, hard-earned lessons, and so much more. Chase sits down with the world's top creators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders and unpacks actionable, valuable insights to help you live your dreams in career, hobby, and life.


Ryan sees more product launches than perhaps anyone else in the world and knows how to do it well and how to do it poorly. He shares his insights for his path of launching (and continuing to launch) Product Hunt and what he notices in the 100’s of launches that make it to his virtual doorstep, daily.

  • If you want to start something and stick with it for the long haul, scratch your own itch. Product Hunt was built out of Ryan’s own curiosity and drive to share new products with his friends.
  • Building community>building products. Successful products are rarely built in a dark dungeon and then released to the world, perfect and ready to go viral. Before you launch anything, it’s crucial to build a community of people who care about what you’re building and seek their feedback every step of the way.
  • You’re one decision away from an entirely different life. We talk about how to resist the urge to take the easy route and make a path to living a life that you want to live.


Ryan Hoover is most notably known as the founder of the website that brings you all the world’s newest products and technologies, Product Hunt. He’s also a writer and founder of his new VC firm, Weekend Fund which he admits he started because he’s constantly chasing the warm fuzzy feelings he gets from helping other people. Some call him Silicon Valley’s “resident nice guy” and it won’t take you long to figure out why.


Brandon Lamb