3 Launches in 3 Weeks


By Kam Leung

We launched Papercups (an start core Intercom replacement) on Hacker Recordsdata no longer too long within the past. Within the YC crew the Hacker Recordsdata start is a rite of passage following within the footsteps of corporations devour Dropbox and Gitlab. At first place we had been alarmed about how it may well possibly possibly likely likely be received however on the the same time was as soon as focused on being ready to negate our product to pretty a superb deal of devour minded builders. We had been very grateful for the suggestions and desired to portion what we did and the lessons that we gain learned.

Right here was as soon as our favourite message that we received from our start:

We broke up our start in to three levels: family and friends, Product Hunt and within the raze Hacker Recordsdata. We desired to employ pretty a superb deal of time with particular person users within the family and friends stage then salvage broader suggestions from the Product Hunt and Hacker Recordsdata stage. The opposite abet of staggering and ramping up the launches is that you just may well possibly likely likely likely determine most of the bugs and person expertise concerns sooner than exhibiting to a notable wider viewers at every stage.

Our timeline seemed one thing devour this:

  • July 31st – Pals and Family Open
  • August 4th – Product Hunt start
  • August 11th – Hacker Recordsdata Open

Pals and Family Open

For our family and friends start we had a extraordinarily bare minimum region of capabilities required: authentication, dashboard, chat widget, and a Slack integration. We first called up as many friends that had been technical that had their very have net sites and hopped on a Zoom call with them. We would question them to portion their screens and look them register, region up the chat widget, and deploy to their inner most region. We refrained from giving too notable instructions and watched them region it up. It was as soon as somewhat painful to appear anyone no longer bag a particular button or having some integrations fail on us thanks to a alternate we did the previous day. However attributable to we watched them carefully we had been ready to grab most of the embarrassing bugs and UX concerns.

Product Hunt Open

When we felt jubilant with our instrument we desired to position it within the palms of strangers and salvage suggestions. Product Hunt was as soon as the next natural desire attributable to we’ve had success in launching our previous initiatives and getting other folks to try it out. In preparation we made certain we had some excessive quality screenshots and typed up a mercurial descriptions for the starting up. For our demo net page we linked it to our dashboard and Slack channel so we had been ready to answer and chat with a ton of users to build up suggestions. We ended up sending around 500 messages that day!

The Product Hunt start went very well. We didn’t gain any major bugs or concerns however we did explore just a few UX enhancements that we desired to form while dog fooding our product, devour better shortcuts for overall instructions and in the end a bot integration.

Right here are two of my favourite messages of that day.

All the teams consisted of me and Alex

The total teams consisted of me and Alex

Hacker Recordsdata Open

We made certain to set up our Hacker Recordsdata start for final since we desired to salvage pretty a superb deal of eyes on our Github repo and reach pretty a superb deal of builders. We started by drafting up our first start HN per week and a half sooner than our start. We desired to explain our fable and portion things that we thought the Hacker Recordsdata crew would be pleased. We had sent our draft to our YC crew companions and some friends. The major suggestions we had gotten was as soon as to consist of extra about our background and dive deeper in to the technical facet. Once the core was as soon as accomplished we made 2-3 extra smaller revisions to reinforce how it flowed, plus some minor text adjustments. All in all we had 5 revisions and spent around 6 hours on your full path of. By August 10th we within the raze felt ready.

From our expertise on Product Hunt we knew that we essential to gain a tool to answer to messages and no longer be overwhelmed. We made certain we took turns answering questions about Hacker Recordsdata and answering chat messages from our Papercups dashboard and Slack.

Right here are some of my favourite conversations from that day:

The start went extremely well and we had been 16th on the total Open HN of all time and we stayed on the front net page for over 24 hours. We ended up sending over 1400 messages that day and had a ton of characteristic requests which helped form our roadmap out for the come future. We had been pleasantly bowled over at how well our Heroku Hobby instance handled the amount with out any concerns and partly we desire to thank Elixir for that.


For the starting up there had been just a few classic metrics that we desired to trace: signups, Github stars, and what number of net sites we’re continue to exist. We had been the utilization of Github stars as a proxy for hobby within the developer crew.

Earlier than the Hacker Recordsdata start:

  • Different of signups on the hosted version – 316
  • Different of Github stars – 510
  • Different of net sites that are continue to exist our hosted version – 18

1 week submit Hacker Recordsdata start:

  • Different of signups on the hosted version – 621
  • Different of Github stars – 1500
  • Different of net sites that are continue to exist our hosted version – 52

We didn’t salvage of endeavor to take a screenshot of what number of company that came per week after our Hacker Recordsdata start however we had around 5,000 weird and wonderful company that week on our Github repo.

At some stage in our launches we paid very conclude attention to what triggered us to what showed up on trending. We monitored namely for the Elixir crew since it’s notable smaller than classic trending and was any other time straightforward to negate up. We seen that stars handiest played a runt fragment of whether or no longer it may well possibly possibly likely likely be trending and for us net page views on Github mattered extra. (Will write a follow up article on Github trending and metrics)

Classes Realized

We launched after we had been silent fearful about the product and no doubt had been embarrassed at likely the most blemishes and bugs. However taking a observe motivate we had been very jubilant that we had sat via these awkward calls where the product broke and didn’t work. They in actual fact allow us to transfer plan faster than making an try to bag these bugs or UX concerns with out them. Secondly to ease that path of smaller launches are gigantic gigantic and purposeful attributable to you don’t desire to worry about making a inferior influence with a lustrous person unfriendly. We had been moreover jubilant that we had set up in so notable time into our start submit since I mediate it no doubt paid dividends. At final the trending on Github made pretty an impact the next days in bringing in extra site traffic that fueled pretty a superb deal of our growth.

To be taught extra:

Checkout our Github repo for free self-net net hosting or the demo net page of our hosted version (liberate to 2 seats).

Posted on September 14, 2020

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