I've been trying to find this out for quite some time - but how does PH work? In terms of submitting sites to it. To me it seems that it only surfaces apps that may have been submitted a certain number times by different people. And then they can only reach the main page if Ryan Hoover endorses them or posts the link himself? Then again I always see founders of companies being boosted to the top. Maybe once again, after PH staff or Ryan approves / comments on the post it goes up to the main page? Our app is squarely aimed at startups. After tirelessly trying to apply to BetaList I gave up as they said plain and square they won't feature us in their startup toolkit. I noticed that PH came out with a similar startup toolkit list. The ironic part is the upvoted companies on that list are NOT startups but corporations, and startups such as ours (a 5 man team of developers) can't even submit our app. What gives?
Mine got found through twitter within the first 2 days of releasing. Large apps get a lot of upvotes because the people are most likely users upvote it because they have the update. Just try and tweet one of the PH team, should get noticed then but don't be too formal or I am sure you may get blacklisted.
My startup got featured on Product Hunt about a month ago. I just posted a breakdown of how it went here: http://www.reddit.com/r/startups/comments/2od7o8/a_totally_transparent_look_at_the_traffic/
No it's not a scam- but it is a circlejerk. If you know one of the insiders it's easy to get featured - otherwise you have to submit and hope they like your product, or it will never see the light of day. The commenting is even worse. It's invite only. You have to be an insider or one of their friends.
Scam, no. There is a cool kids/ in crowd element but hey the exclusivity is actually a big part of what makes the site successful so you can't knock that if it's working for them. There's a good chance that your app sucks or isn't interesting to the crowd that picks what to post to the site. If you post it on Reddit, you'll know what the problem is and if there's no problem & people like it, multiple people will post it to PH increasing your chances of getting listed.
I got this answer from @andreasklinger on twitter when I was wondering how many submissions per day they get - "roughly 180 - where as roughly 50 make it"
BetaList, just like KillerStartups, has a priority queue. Less than six months ago, BetaList charged ~$50 to get into the priority list. Then I saw it go up to ~$70. Now it's at $99. I've also watched their advertising prices go up in that time. They've also increased their subscriber base by like 40% in the same time window. Supply and demand. You want to be featured by them for free? Good luck. Marc, the founder, seems incredibly reasonable and has responded quickly to any email I've sent him. So, are you saying they rejected you when you wanted to pay to get into the priority queue or advertise with them? If they feature your target audience, then pay now. Once you have traction, you're more likely to be able to get into the toolkit bundle. Honestly, every day I get his email I'm just a little envious on how he's been able to build a business that's making him money while helping new businesses. It's a win for him ($$$), and a win for the startup (exposure). Oh, and I've noticed how Marc will post a startup on PH that he sends out on his list. So, if you have a unique and cool startup, the $99 for priority queue to get noticed by Marc and make it onto PH is a win for the double exposure.
Nooo , It's not a scam! Best way to submit a product is to reach out to someone with posting rights. If you post your product to PH, you will have to wait till PH team approves. Which atleast from my analysis happens very rarely. But if a user with posting rights submits your product after you submit ,your post will get approved automatically and goes live on PH. PH will display a message to the poster of your product saying " This product has been hunted by you. Im a user of Producthunt from day one. Im no 2 on the producthunt leaderboard. Would be happy to post your product on PH. Let me know if you have any more questions!
**I am talking from my experience** - A couple of weeks back I submitted our startup on PH and then I went to tweet to Niki asking her to approve the hunt. I got a standard reply saying if the product makes it to the front page I will be contacted and that never happened. **Here is what I think of it** - entrepreneurs submitting their ideas are on the mercy of the PH team and its like the PH team speaking for the whole PH community. I mean how does the PH team decide the the merit of the idea. While they might have their own reasons for doing this, I like many other hunters are turned off.
The point of startup toolkit lists is not to support startups providing tools. The point is to show what the best or most common options for certain tools used by startups are. And no, Product Hunt is not a "scam". Just like any other publishing platform they have their bias. I would think that their core audience even likes this bias: PH is close with YC and 500, if something is popular there it gives you an idea for what might be popular with them. Many people look on there not to find the "best" products (whatever that would mean), but to find out what is popular with a certain group of people in the Valley.
Hit up http://twitter.com/nikkielizdemere. She runs community at PH and should be able to explain things to you.
How is it a "scam" if it is free?
Only a few people can post. Our product was on PH and it went great. What does your product do? It might be your product that sucks...