Product Hunt founder: Here's how we could make money someday

Product Hunt, a Reddit for for tech apps and companies, is in an enviable position: it’s cool, but it doesn’t have to worry about money quite yet.

“The stereotypical answer is that ‘we’re not focusing on monetization,'” said Ryan Hoover, Product Hunt’s founder.

Product Hunt’s fanbase is growing quickly. Over 1,000 people showed up to a happy hour it hosted in San Francisco last month. The line wrapped around the block. Over 3,700 said they were going on Facebook.

The company also raised $US6.1 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz last fall.

How Product Hunt will generate revenue is on Hoover’s mind, though.

“The day that we break even will be a super exciting day,” he said.

Product Hunt seems interested in making money off its reputation as a place that connects techies with the new and exciting things people make for the digital world.

Hoover said the company is considering advertising and sponsorship opportunities that aren’t “disruptive to the experience.” Today, all products featured on the site are chosen by moderators and administrators.

The one thing he knows he can’t do is create an uneven playing field for people who submit their creations on Product Hunt by taking money for placement.

“If we do [feature products] we would never make that interfere with the democracy of the site,” he said.

However, Hoover suggested that Product Hunt might one day generate revenue by promoting previously submitted products on its home page. So products would still have to pass a user-chosen bar to get on the site in the first place, but once they have made it, there might be a way to buy extra promotion.

He also mentioned that they would consider opportunities for affiliate-based revenue, but didn’t go into detail. The way affiliate programs usually work, a recommendation site directs users to an e-commerce site where they can actually buy a product, then takes some referral fee or cut of the transaction.

But it’s still early days, and Product Hunt hasn’t made any firm decisions yet.

With venture capital investments approaching dotcom-era levels, startups have a long time to start making money as long as they can stay exciting and grow a community.

Hoover said Product Hunt would do just that “for a while longer.”

Disclosure: Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, is an investor in Business Insider.

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