DEV Community

Cover image for πŸ‘€ Under the Hood at DevHunt πŸš€
Zevi Reinitz for Livecycle

Posted on

πŸ‘€ Under the Hood at DevHunt πŸš€

The Challenge of Launching DevTools

One of the unique challenges for any DevTools company is finding the right platforms for launching the product.

There are many places to launch products in general, but DevTools by definition have a unique audience and that renders many of the standard launch platforms less relevant and less effective.

That's why I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered DevHunt - a product launch platform built by developers for developers, focused solely on launching DevTools to a relevant audience.


Launching Livecycle on DevHunt

In my experience, the best way to learn about a new platform is to use it myself. And the second best way is to speak to the founders directly about what motivated them to build it in the first place.

So this week, I'm checking both of these boxes at the same time:

  1. Livecycle is Live on DevHunt this week (πŸš€πŸš€Shameless plug... please upvote Livecycle on DevHunt!!πŸš€πŸš€)

  2. I reached out to DevHunt founder John Rush to learn more about his career and his motivation for building a dev-centric product launch platform.

This is the first installment of a launch-in-public diary that I'll be sharing so that other dev tools companies can (hopefully) learn and benefit from our experience.

My Conversation with DevHunt Founder John Rush

How did you get started as a developer?

I was building electronics since I was 5 years old and started coding when I was 12. I also studied computer science so I’m a typical coder who did it since he remembers himself.

You clearly have a lot of product ideas and you’ve built a bunch of them… How do you decide when an idea is good enough to actually build?

I only build stuff I really wanna use myself, but can’t find anything on the market that suits my needs 100%.

What does your early go-to-market process look like? How do you start promoting the product to developers and get those first 100 users?

I use X a lot. Trying to make a viral tweet that’s not a promotion, but indirect promotion. I post on Hacker News, Hackernoon, Devto, Product Hunt, Dev Hunt and 100 more directories.

Why did you decide to build DevHunt? What makes it unique?

Product Hunt is a closed company. They have no dialog with the maker community. This is unacceptable for such a platform. Everyone complains, including me. This leads to issues, often we see products cheating there. The last drop for me was when I got the #2 spot of the day because the top product was cheating with fake upvotes, it seemed obvious based on indirect metrics (such as upvote speed). That day I decided to make Dev Hunt and make it 100% open and transparent. The community loves it. We won PH product of the day and we have grown every week since the launch.

Can you give some tips on how developers can get the most out of a DevHunt product launch?

Promote it on social media, direct messages to friends, blog posts and add the Dev Hunt banner on your site. If all 15 tools do that, it means we merge all audiences and actually cross-promote these products. On top of that, the generic Devhunt audience checks all the tools. So in total, these actions create great traffic.

Beyond the initial launch, winning on DevHunt means you stay on the home page for years. This is so valuable for a brand and traffic, I can’t even describe it. Your tool is among the best tools in a short list visible all year long, every day to every visitor of DevHunt.

Can you share an epic failure you experienced as a developer? What did you learn from it?

Every time I put too much effort and time into coding a product, it fails. There is one product we spent almost a year building and when we launched, we got 0 users, because users didn’t really need it. We closed down that company later.

Building and testing so many products requires a lot of positivity and optimism. How do you maintain a positive perspective even when things seem to be going wrong?

I’m an optimist by nature. I think founders must be optimistic. If not, I’d rather not start a business, because almost everything I do fails, and almost every decision I make is wrong, but sometimes I’m right and sometimes my products are useful, these moments make me happy enough to go grind further forever.

Tell us about a new project you're excited about or something new you're learning

My goal for 2024 is to have 100 projects launched in total. I am at 20 now. So I need to launch 80 more. The one I’m working on right now is a tool to make websites/directories/CVs/roadmaps out of Google Sheet or Notion. Super simple. No advanced cms. Also I’m launching this week and next week.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Kill your EGO

More About John Rush

16 years in the startup world. 25 failures. 4 successes in VC funded startups. Pivoted into the bootstrapped indie world in 2023.

20+ projects:, website builder, Open Source PH alternative for dev tools, SEO on 100% autopilot, zero actions needed), lists a tool on up to 1000 directories with 1 click for traffic/backlinks, most popular custom GPT directory in the world, cinema SaaS platform - powers cinemas on all continents, processing over $50M in ticket sales a year, image placeholder api, **e-commerce and marketplaces powered by AI, ** generate UI mockups for your website, cofounder as a service for busy solo makers, index your new pages really fast, in just hours, dead simple emailers/CRM for solo makers, directory of all NextJS starters and boilerplates, startup tools used by famous makers, vetted OSS alternatives for the tool you pay for, My newsletter >>>

Top comments (5)

fmerian profile image
flo merian

Insightful read, @zevir @johnrushx!

Above all, this quote really struck me:

Beyond the initial launch, winning on DevHunt means you stay on the home page for years. (...) Your tool is among the best tools in a short list visible all year long, every day to every visitor of DevHunt.

If you plan to launch your dev tool on DevHunt, make sure to hit the #1 spot for maximum impact.

Let's go!

johnrushx profile image
John Rush

yeah, I dont think there is anything that gives more value than winning devhunt.
when you get #1 on PH, you just get 3 days of traffic.
From devhunt you get it for years.
It just sounds too good to be true :)

artxe2 profile image
Yeom suyun

This is an interesting site.
I'm busy with other things right now, but I'd like to post my forgotten library in a few months.

pradumnasaraf profile image
Pradumna Saraf

Pretty cool stuff, Zevi!

johnrushx profile image
John Rush

thx for the chat