Product Hunt Will Become The Launch Pad for Acquihires Under AngelList

Product Hunt: The Launch Pad for Acquihires

Product Hunt: The Launch Pad for Acquihires

If the tagline for AngelList has become “The LinkedIn for Startups”, will the tagline for Product Hunt become “The Launch Pad for AcquiHires”?

To me, the acquisition of Product Hunt is another signal of the narrowing of business models for standalone apps. Product Hunt was never in the running to scale enough to attract advertisers. The referral fees from Amazon for purchases of makers’ products launched on Product Hunt never really took off.

I suggested that the Product Hunt team morph to become paid, virtual, consultants to Fortune 500 companies looking for world class UX.

I said that they should become the McKinsey of the “Software Eats World” World, starting with becoming the premier consultant for Slack implementations.

Instead, they are headed down the path of becoming part of Angel List’s talent pool for hire. A more curated, nuanced LinkedIn. IMHO, this is a sad day.

An Alternative Business Model for Product Hunt

Product Hunt Logo

Below is a comment I first published on Medium in response to an article by Ryan Hoover called Introducing Product Hunt 2.0

It is the process of PH that is world-class and of great value, not the PH 2.0 website itself.

Seeking a wider audience by expanding PH beyond curating new software to books and sneakers suggests strongly a business model based on advertising.

While PH may have been early to sense the maker’s movement and the need to expand its site to physical products, Amazon has also been quick to sense this with their new Launchpad offering. While PH 2.0 might offer maker’s better feedback, maker’s first choice for launch will be Amazon not PH.

I would like to offer an alternative roadmap for PH. Stay focused on software to deepen the skills of the team’s, and top contributor’s, ability to evaluate and suggest improvements to developers.

What has been so exhilarating to observe is the PH process — the speed, the collaboration, the crowd-sourcing of feedback, the cloud-based team communication and project management tools, the iterative way PH does product-market fit. This is great stuff.

Instead of advertising, the business model should be to brand and sell the team and the PH 2.0 world-class process to others — start-ups and even Fortune 500 companies.

Charge the likes of AT&T or United Heathcare $1+M to apply the PH 2.0 process to all UI/UX of their consumer-facing software. Offer the PH 2.0 process pro bono to all Obamacare ACA websites. Become the first and best VAR of Slack to the enterprise.

PH should set it sights on disrupting the consulting business. At the same time, keep running PH 1.0 to sharpen team’s skills to evaluate new software offerings.

But, the work that will pay the bills will be to take share from the 20th century dinosaurs of McKinsey and Bain. There is enough revenue and profit to be had there to satisfy PH’s venture capital backers.

In short, become the McKinsey of the “Software Eats World” world not the Reddit for sneakerheads.