Thousands of startups have had amazing launches on Reddit, Hacker News, and ProductHunt driving thousands of early adopters to their ventures.
However, very few have set out to launch exclusively with the Imgur community, and succeeded.
After weeks of planning, we succeeded in a big way on April 13th with our favorite community.
First, Imgur’s user base is roughly:
31% between ages 25 to 34
48% hold a college degree
417,000,000 monthly visitors
62% desktop web
Given these demographics are EXACTLY who we wanted to be using Hacksaw, we made Imgur our primary launching platform and set our launch date for the middle of April.
After researching dozens of posts about programming tools and projects that had been upvoted to the front page of Imgur, we found a similarity.
The Imgurian community cares about honesty when users post something they’ve built.
Telling a short story about who you are, the value of your product, who will use your product, and the overall goal. These are hooks every “startup accelerator” teaches in pitching large groups of people.
We viewed our post as an honest pitch to the community about what we had built.
That being said, this is the primary post we used as the framework for our post. It was upvoted to the front page of Imgur 2 years ago.
They were launching an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for Code Here a non-profit project and they’ve raised $8,000 to date.
The most impressive piece to this post is its 12,200 upvotes and 470,000 views.
We used that and a 3 other posts that had been upvoted to the front page 2+ years ago as the framework to create ours:
Our post (above) was posted at midnight on April 13th and upvoted to the front page at 6am Wednesday April 13th. This is a clip of the scrolling upvotes.
With 12,300 upvotes, 195,000 views and 500 comments the post drove the following results to our site:
3,000 new student enrollments
13,000 new sessions
20,000 page views
1,000 courses completed
1,000+ tweets with #HacksawEd
This cost $0.00. Not including the amount of hours spent preparing for this launch post.
Since the launch we’ve had hundreds of active users everyday giving us amazing feedback on the product. This is something that teams dream of in the early days. Feedback loops are vital to quick changes and growth.
“Do things that don’t scale.” -Paul Graham
Hundreds of users have been consistently reaching out to us about free trials so we changed the free trial from one free course to one free month. This was a huge change for the product and now all of our users have access to all available courses. This triggered even more feedback 🙂
If you find the right demographic for your product early on, try presenting what you’ve built with honesty.