How did I end up making 2 projects for the Product Hunt Makers Festival?
I did however run into a bit of a stumbling block in gathering the data I need to build out a complete and accurate network, so part way thru I put Maker Network on the back burner, since I didn't think I'd be able to build what I wanted to build.
Around that time I had decided to move my blog from Medium and setup this site. I was looking to seed it with original content and recalled that may Making a Side Project series was very popular.
So I decided it to write a similar series but perhaps Making an MVP!
I knew I needed to officially launch For Sale By Makers to get the early adoption I needed to help spur growth, but I was hesitant because of the chicken and egg problem of an empty marketplace.
I ended up doing a series of soft launches instead.
The blog itself with the series of posts was a soft launch unto itself. I was explaining the idea, what I was building and why. Exposing people to the project before it was ready started to build interest and help to ensure I was building something that people actually wanted.
I've built a good following (nothing spectacular) on Twitter, so I announced the project when it was ready for others to use. I interact with a lot of other makers and so I thought there might be some folks looking to sell a project.
Indie Hackers is a community that has a lot of overlap with Product Hunt. The users have lots of products posted on Product Hunt, so that seemed like another good place to do a soft launch.
Of course it also helps to being a maker with so many projects, some of which I'd be willing to let go at the right price.
With a couple of projects of my own and a few from the soft launch I was able to avoid having an empty site for the official launch.
After launching Maker Network last Wednesday, I didn't know exactly when to launch For Sale By Maker. I don't typically launch sites on the weekend, but I woke up on Sunday morning and the weather forecast called for rain.
I figured I'd be indoors all day say I decided that would be a good day to launch!
Around 8am I posted the site to Product Hunt and since I'd already soft launched in a few other places there was much left to do except respond to comments.
As with Maker Network I started a Twitter thread and shared the progress of the launch on a regular basis.
Despite being an impromptu launch things went pretty well.
For Sale By Maker ended up the number 3 site of the day, it managed to get about 150 votes on launch day. Over 900 visitors to the site view over 3100 page views. Another 9 projects where submitted to the site listed for sale.
I spent most of the day reading and responding to comments on both Product Hunt and Twitter. Updated the sites functionality responding to users comments about how pricing was handled.
I love this part of launching. Finally your application is in the hands of real users, and you get great feedback and if you move quickly can fix any issues the users identify.
But 2 Submissions
After I'd finished the bulk of the build on For Sale By Maker, the team at Product Hunt got back to me about my problems getting an accurate network built.
Since I'd built the bulk of the functionality I needed for Maker Network, all I needed to do was adjust my data import process and re-run the import. I now had 2 projects ready to submit.
Both now have over 200 votes on Product Hunt, and have received a combined 2,500 visitors. Maker Network ended up winning in the Data Visualization category.
I couldn't be happier with how my hackathon entries turned out.