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Ryan Hoover

by Josh Pigford. Last updated on February 07, 2024


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This week I talk with Ryan Hoover, Founder of Product Hunt! In this episode we talk about growing up in Oregon, how video games shaped his future, the origins of Product Hunt, how Ryan was intentional about keeping Product Hunt a positive community, mistakes he’s made along the way and more!

Show Notes

  • 1:05- What were you into as a kid?
  • 2:00- Video games as a gateway into tech
  • 5:00- Entrepreneurship as a kid
  • 5:35- “How do I make money, not for my time but for my output?”
  • 7:35- High School; exploring more tech
  • 9:50- Modding Xbox’s
  • 11:22- Video game internship with InstantAction as a marketing intern
  • 12:30- Other interests and entrepreneurial spirit
  • 13:54- Transition from Instant Action to PlayHaven- Product Management
  • 16:35- Outlook on Product Management role
  • 17:40- The idea for Product Hunt and meeting Nathan. Being “Creators” not “Founders”
  • 19:00- Making Product Hunt stand out
  • 20:10- Building a community or brand around a particular topic or interest can create a lot of value. “Find a hole and fill it”
  • 21:35- Avoiding heir of negativity
  • 23:06- Having an identity
  • 24:23- Growing the Product Hunt community
  • 25:48- How having a product management background played into the formation of Product Hunt
  • 27:55- Transition from product manager to CEO
  • 29:40- Focusing on the team and the people
  • 31:40- AngelList acquisition
  • 34:19- Staying focused on “tech”
  • 37:18- The next year for Product Hunt
  • 37:40- Sip and Ship
  • 39:45- Partnerships for Ship
  • 41:09- SaaS side of things vs. Community side of things

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Josh Pigford

Josh is most famous as the founder of Baremetrics. However, long before Baremetrics and until today, Josh has been a maker, builder, and entrepreneur. His career set off in 2003 building a pair of link directories, ReallyDumbStuff and ReallyFunArcade. Before he sold those for profits, he had already started his next set of projects. As a design major, he began consulting on web design projects. That company eventually morphed into Sabotage Media, which has been the shell company for many of his projects since. Some of his biggest projects before Baremetrics were TrackThePack, Deck Foundry, PopSurvey, and Temper. The pain points he experienced as PopSurvey and Temper took off were the reason he created Baremetrics. Currently, he's dedicated to Maybe, the OS for your personal finances.