First things first: do you know what is Remotes.in? Remotes.in born to give all our remote colleagues a presence in the office. In the beginning, we built it as an internal tool but soon we understood that we weren’t alone. Our goal is to create the biggest remote HQ in the world, bringing together remote workers from all around and share their experiences. We believe that remote work doesn’t need to be lonely and boring! Read the full journey of how we built this product.
#####The road to Product Hunt
When we started building Remotes.in, to launch it on Product Hunt (PH) was always one of our goals. The truth is that, in the tech world, to get featured on Product Hunt has become a universal milestone. Why? 1º Product Hunt is where you possibly can find “the next big thing” in tech; 2º Product Hunt is the biggest source featuring new products; 3º “For makers it’s a launch pad, for investors a hunting ground, and for the community just to stay in the know”.
We expected Product Hunt to be the first huge source of traffic to show our product and receive some feedback.
The first question that came up when we started preparing the launch was: “What we need to be featured on PH?”. We were on an early stage, we didn’t have an MVP yet, although we believed that our simple product had some potential. So, we gathered our team to define which features should be included on our MVP and started sharing the idea in some communities to receive feedback.
Our developers and designers worked hard on the MVP and, some weeks after, we had almost everything ready. We asked our friends their opinions and suggestions since they were our alpha testers for Remotes.in. At the same time, we came up with a list of things we had to do:
- Find an influencer to share Remotes.in;
- Create a custom landing page;
- Create a mailing list of friends, clients, partners and influencers to share our launch;
- Craft some emails, social media posts, and a newsletter for the special day.
We read a lot of articles about Product Hunt launches and the list above was a sum up of what we learnt, not only with the successful stories but also with the failures.
Our hunter was not any of the influencers we contacted, but instead was one of our clients, a well-known one - Hiten Shah. He is a big fan of Product Hunt and a well-known influencer, so we were really happy when he accepted hunting us.
And oh boy… when we knew we were about to be hunted, we were in our birthday week in the middle of the woods. Also, our internet was really unstable on that day, and… it was April fools’ day - which meant that PH was full of autonomous bicycles and polyglot pillows.
But Hiten is a busy guy, so we didn’t want to bother him by asking to wait until Tuesday (the best day on PH) - we embraced the challenge!
######April 1st, 9am, GMT We’re so excitedddddd! We woke up early and started refreshing PH page again and again and again… Then we remembered that Hiten was in PDT timezone. The morning was passing, we were working on other projects (always pressing “F5”) and then the internet stopped working - OMG!
Our engineers tried everything to reconnect (as you can see above), and some time later we got it.
######April 1st, 4pm, GMT Remotes.in was on Product Hunt and we just went nuts!
We waited long for this moment and we decided to make the most of it! The entire team was involved in this launch - some of us were answering to questions on Product Hunt’s website and social media, others receiving calls from our first users.
Since it was April 1st, we had to fight for the podium with Tesla Model 3 and with a lot of joke products like “self-driving bicycle” from Google.
Our goal for this launch was 100 upvotes and a lot of feedback. We made it!
We got 112 upvotes, 10 comments and we talked with a lot of remote workers through Remotes.in. They shared the best and the worst of being remote and how Remotes.in could help them working better. (Many thanks, guys.)
We even found some brothers separated at birth :b
Not everything was great, though… We would have loved to be on the top 3 hunts of the day, and have had more people using Remotes.in. The metrics of our website and social media were better than the other days, of course, but they could have been much better if we compared them with other products for remote people on Product Hunt.
At Whitesmith, we love to develop new products, but we know that we have much to improve if we want to Keep Shipping™ new products regularly. This launch on Product Hunt was a good effort in that direction - we shipped something at a large scale, and we were confronted with good and bad feedback, which is important for us to develop a thick skin.
We believe we are making good progress that will help us shipping more products, faster and with more quality. (Stay tuned for our next posts about the products we created in our hackathon.)
Remote working will continue to be a trend for the next years with more companies recruiting remote workers and/or allowing remote work. So, we think Remotes.in will continue making sense not only for our company but for all remote workers. We are now solving some bugs and small issues but we are always at Remotes.in, join us!
For now, we will not do any big change in the project. But who knows we will in the future? If you want to keep update follow us on twitter.