How Firelab Made the Front Page Of Product Hunt

Kyle Gawley
Kyle Gawley
Gravity Founder
How Firelab Made the Front Page Of Product Hunt

Firelab made it onto the front-page of Product Hunt this week and into two newsletters In this article, I'll share my full launch strategy.

First of all, you may be wondering what Firelab is.

Firelab helps product managers and software developers eliminate bugs in their application using automated testing. Unlike integration tests or Selenium, Firelab requires no coding skills to use. I built it as a complimentary to Gravity.

Hypothesis

I’ve been a Product Hunt sceptic for a while, and I still am to a degree. I don’t believe that investing vast amounts of time into platforms like Product Hunt or TechCrunch is worthwhile unless your target customers are the people on these platforms, which isn’t the case for many people.

If you have a SaaS tool for landscape gardeners, you’re probably not going to find customers on Product Hunt.

In the case of Firelab, my target customers are product managers, developers and no-coders, so a Product Hunt launch did make sense as an experiment.

I previously did a PH launch for Gravity, which has a similar audience. It didn’t even make it onto the front page but went on to generate $100k in revenue, so I’m interested to see many sales I can generate from a successful Product Hunt launch.

I’ll share the results and verdict at the end of this post, but first. Here’s the process I used to launch and market Firelab on Product Hunt.

Product Hunt Pre-Launch Checklist

✅ Hired Louis Kender to design a new logo for me, which apparently looks like a something unintended according to some, but I like the concept and stuck with it.

✅ Created a promo video. No expensive production here; I made it myself in 30 minutes using keynote

✅ Sent a pre-launch email to my Gravity email list and Firelab users

✅ Wrote the copy for Product Hunt and created some screenshots

✅ Created a 50% discount for three months for Product Hunt users

✅ Posted a countdown image on Twitter every day long with what I achieved that day for prep

✅ Stress tested website using loader.io

Published a blog post about the upcoming launch

✅ Tidied up the firelab.io landing page

On Launch Day

Launch day required a lot of energy for direct outreach and hammering out constant tweets on Twitter. A difficult feat for an introvert!

✅ Scheduled the launch tweets with Hypefury and pinned one to my Twitter profile

Emailed Firelab and Gravity lists with the Product Hunt link and links to share on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn included in the email to make it easy for people to share

✅ Direct outreach to maker friends with a link to the Product Hunt page (not asking for votes)

Posted a milestone on Indie Hackers

✅ Updated pre-launch blog post with links to Product Hunt.

✅ Shared the link on LinkedIn, Reddit and my Gravity slack channel

I shared the whole journey on Twitter because that’s where my audience is.

Thanks to Arvid Kahl for encouraging me to get people invested in the number by sharing the Product Hunt dashboard screenshots.

I shared constant updates showing signups, current position and number of votes. I retweeted everyone who mentioned the launch and replied to everyone’s comments to get as much exposure as possible, putting aside any fears of spamming my timeline.

I was blown away by how much support I received from the community; people were sharing, posting, retweeting and rallying support from all corners to help get Firelab into the top 5.

The Final Stretch

I went to bed when I was alternating between position #4/5 and woke up at #7, where I stayed for the final 6 hours.

Most of the western world was asleep or nearing bedtime by this stage, so I tapped my Asian network for the final push. Thanks to Fajar and also Izsuddin from JOMLaunch for their help drumming up some exposure.

Results (launch day)

🎢 Finished at #7
🧡 271 votes
🚦780 uniques
💳 30 customer trials started (+17 following launch)
🦉 56 new twitter followers
⏱ 3 days spent on prep/launch
🏆 Featured in Product Hunt newsletter alongside Bubbles $100m funding announcement

Results (post launch)

🏆 Featured in Product Hunt daily newsletter
⏱ More TBC

The Verdict

Was it a success? It's too early to say; the only thing I'm interested in is paying customers. I have 47 new trials; if some of them convert, it will provide the validation I'm looking for to move forward with the product.

If they don't convert, then either:

  1. My hypothesis is correct, and PH drives irrelevant traffic that doesn't convert
  2. Firelab doesn't have product-market fit yet

A huge thank you to everyone who helped on the day; I'm insanely grateful to be a part of this supportive indie community 🙏🏻

Photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters

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