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2nd Product of the Day on Product Hunt!
Week 37 of Founding Typogram
Hi, I am Wenting. I recently quit my job of seven years to build my start-up, Typogram, a logo design and editing tool for startup founder. We just launched our pre-order✨! Get a one brand lifetime license at a huge discount and edit your design forever.
I utilize Product Hunt heavily for launching products. It feels ceremonial — it almost doesn’t feel “official” until I do a proper Product Hunt launch. I launched four products so far:
The latest launch happened last week! Unexpectedly, it became 2nd Product of the Day and is my most successful Product Hunt launch to date!
It is a tool called Symbols to Copy, built with #NoCode tools Notion and Cloudflare. I wrote up a little introduction of Symbols to Copy as follows:
I am a typographer first and foremost, and I can’t stand to have straight quotation marks ("") in my writing — straight quotes are for the muggles! There is no excuse to use them other than in code, in which I do use them and admit they are useful. For everything else, use curly quotes (“” ‘’)!
I am a sneakerhead but don’t own a pair of off-white x Nike sneakers for that very reason — having "AIR" in double straight quotes printed on my shoes and wearing them in broad daylight? I don’t know who I would be anymore.
Typing out curly quotes is no easy task — in Windows, it is holding down the ALT key and then typing out 0 1 4 7, which I know by heart at this point. Judging by the length, they are more like “longcuts.” As an average human, there are only so many silly longcuts I can remember. I need to search for “ellipsis” every time I need to add a proper … instead of three periods in my text; it is getting increasingly infuriating. So I made Symbols to Copy!
Symbols to Copy is a weekend project hacking around NoCode tools. It is built with Notion and Cloudflare workers. It does simple tasks:
Search for the symbol in the database
Click to copy that symbol to your clipboard
If you need other format of the symbol, like Unicode (U+2026), HTML Code (&# 8230;), CSS Code (\2026), or HTML Entity (…), click into the detail view
The chances are that you don’t need it today, but you will need it one day — bookmark it, or remember it is called “Symbols to Copy”! Hope you enjoy this little tool Symbols to Copy, or rather, §ymbols to ©opy!
Two things I did differently for this launch but not previous launch:
1. Wrote a personalized and playful introduction
I launched Symbols to Copy as a personal project under my own domain wentin.net, so I went a little personal and wrote a playful, even a little snooty back story of why I built this tool. It feels more authentic and (maybe) relatable.
2. I told everyone I could reasonably reach to upvote my post when the race started at 3 AM EST
Because the Product Hunt launch starts at 3:00 AM in my timezone, previously I didn’t want to bother any of my friends; instead, I only shared a tweet. Last time after we launched Typogram, a friend told us the best strategy is to have a few people upvote right away at 3:00 AM to secure a front-row seat.
If we can’t secure a front-row seat at the start, then our traffic is relatively low compared to front runners. The upvote count correlates to traffic — it is very unlikely for us to catch up. This was exactly what happened with our previous launches. Gather nothing but organic upvotes at 3:00 AM, we quickly fell off the front page, and throughout the day, we fought an uphill battle to climb back to the front page and usually landed at #9 ~ #14 spots in the end.
This time around, I reached out to west coast friends and friends living in China to upvote my product. It worked! By gathering just one additional upvote within the first 3 minutes, my project got to occupy the first place for a split second and stabilized at the 2nd / 3rd place shortly after.
Getting to the 2nd Product of the Day brought traffic to the project and also to Typogram and landed us on a couple of pre-order sales! However, I think I might have used all my social capital, though — I can’t keep asking friends to upvote for me at odd hours.
I genuinely hope Product Hunt can optimize how ranking works — you see, it is flawed: the top #1 always gets the most traffic, and the upvote count correlates with traffic — the ranking reinforces itself as time goes by and is usually stabilized after 30 minutes or an hour. The end ranking doesn’t reflect how good the product is; instead, it merely reflects how much momentum it can get at 3 AM EST when the race starts. A better way to do this is to randomize the ranking at every page load and refresh, giving every product an equal opportunity to gather votes, and after the launch day, present by order of upvotes. I randomize the ranking for my students’ projects to avoid picking my favorite student and the alphabetized order as I suffered throughout the years personally with a last name that starts with the letter Z.
Overall I am super happy with this launch. It didn’t take me much time to build the project as this is actually an old stale project I never did any marketing for. The Product Hunt launch took me an hour to set up during non-productive time before heading out for a trip on Memorial Day weekend. The refreshing the page saga happened while I was on the train, and there is honestly no better way to kill time on a train than refreshing pages and replying to comments — I felt productive! It brought some traffic to Typogram pre-orders, which is the ultimate goal!
What do you think of the Product Hunt ranking mechanism compared to other sites like Hacker News or lobste.rs? Do you agree with my suggestion? If you do, let’s shout loudly together to the owner of Product Hunt!
See you next week! If you have friends who are interested in founding startups, please consider sharing my newsletter with them!
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