If you haven't checked out Product Hunt, I highly recommend you venture over to their corner of the internet.
Product Hunt is a dead simple way to discover new products (mostly digital products). That's literally it...for now.
As a VC, the value of Product Hunt is obvious. It's a window into new product and technologies, ideally before they scale. I don't even need them to keep building new stuff and I will use it for years to come. But the team over at PH is hungry. And they tweet a lot, which pretty much means they are up to no good. There is something brewing over there.
So what are they building and what comes next?
Here are a couple things I would love as the product evolves:
1. A product feed - the idea of a 'feed' dominates the most popular consumer products. Facebook pioneered this with the news feed, and others such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and even newcomers like Secret have followed suit. It's used by literally thousands of products today. Although they would have to break away from the current model of a voted list everyday (which I do very much enjoy), I think a product feed would be freaking awesome. (the PH twitter feed gives you a taste for this and it's amazing)
2. Product store - much like Birchbox sends out samples in a box but then users come back to buy the full size item, I think PH is well positioned to be a great storefront for products that they have covered. Perhaps it will look like FindTheBest for products. The data they collect about the products and user feedback won't hurt either!
3. Organic product launches - Most of the products on PH are added by the community, but I see that shifting to more and more founders as it becomes more popular. Launching a product is painful. Talking to reporters, herding media outlets, blogs, blah, etc. PH is a great way to organically launch a product and get real users feedback almost immediately. I love trying stuff out far more than reading a journalists spoon fed story. Maybe PH will allow a founder to just: tell a authentic story and press submit. Then let others reporters write stories based on the communities feedback around that product.
4. Beta platform - one of the most valuable assets PH has created is the community. No one has really cracked the nut on helping companies find really passionate users to try new features and products before they launch. Building a way to connect companies with users in the PH community for feedback would be awesome.
I could go on and on, but what this boils down to is two things: community + data.
PH's community is extremely valuable. They are early-adopters, eager, smart, passionate, real, authentic and respectful. Pointing this community at any new feature or product that PH creates will be amazing.
PH's dataset (although small today) will become increasingly more valuable. They created a simple way for users to give them data about new products that are launching, what those products do, and how popular they are. As that dataset grows, the possibilities are limitless.
I'm excited to watch PH grow and I'm glad there are some great guys behind it.