How Loom’s bet on Product Hunt paid off

Published on
August 15th, 2022
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Shahed Khan weighs in on how Product Hunt helped Loom become a community-favorite workspace tool.
With over 14 million users, it might be hard to believe that Loom once struggled to solidify its place in the market.
But best friends-turned-co-founders Shahed Khan, Vinay Hiremath, and Joe Thomas found growth and success, using Product Hunt to grow and engage their user base for Loom’s pivots along the way. Today, Loom is a community-favorite workspace tool with two Golden Kitty Awards and 19 total badges in the bank.

Standing out from the crowd

A good product doesn’t always guarantee success. Shahed told us that positioning was one way he leveraged Product Hunt to gain visibility. “It’s important to understand what makes [your] product inherently novel. There are a lot of products that end up looking the same,” he noted.
So the makers made sure their product would be seen and leave a strong first impression. “I think people tend to just put up an essay in their first post on Product Hunt, rather than giving just enough information to where they want to visit the homepage,” Shahed emphasized. “Having a very clear first launch page helped us a lot in getting the skeptics to click into the post. They read the first comment, they even look at a YouTube video or some screenshots that we uploaded.”
The first comment of each proceeding launch also provided key feature updates that reeled people in and showed off Loom’s distinctions. For Loom 2.0, Shahed linked to use cases that demonstrated how Loom videos in fact provide “a really fascinating approach to the problem that multiple people are trying to solve.”
The tagline also highlighted its appeal — Loom isn’t just a regular recording tool, it is a “one-click” desktop, cam, & mic recording tool.

Turning feedback into allies

The Loom founders made a conscious, unique decision with their first launch — they were going to launch on Product Hunt, not on their website because they “wanted to drive a lot of engagement to [their] Product Hunt post.”
That decision helped them build a devoted audience in the Product Hunt community. When Loom (then Openvid) launched on Product Hunt in 2016, 3,000 people signed up within the first 24 hours.
Reflecting on their initial launches, Shahed told us, “After talking to users and launching on Product Hunt, we realized the problem was there just wasn't enough brand trust with our product.” So the team focused on engagement, building brand trust, and learning what was inhibiting or propelling their success.
After numerous launches, the team quite literally knew their audience. Instead of just reading comments and silently incorporating feedback, they went a step further.
“In terms of leveraging the community, we made sure to get back to everyone,” said Shahed. “In fact, we also recorded Loom videos responding to them personally.”
People were deeply entrenched in all-things Loom, and as Shahed put it, they became “allies” of the company. On Loom’s Product Hunt launch page, you’ll find a comment section full of maker-user interactions like this:
The makers took feedback from Product Hunt users seriously, which in turn helped ship future features and updates.
Continuous development is key and as Shahed put it, “startups in general should be coming from a position of consistently launching their products.” Loom’s consistent launches helped the startup grow its audience into a ride-or-die community:
“Whenever [Loom fans] would see a competitive product to Loom, they'd be like, 'How is this different than Loom?' So I think [we leveraged the community] by really empathizing with the makers and builders and founders that were actively on Product Hunt at the time; we made sure that their voices were being heard as they were using the product, and built that connection with them.”

Why Shahed took a bet on Product Hunt

Crafting a high-quality product takes lots of time and effort. By the time it’s ready to launch, you may wonder if you should take the next step of launching on Product Hunt. For Loom, that extra step was worth it—so much so that Shahed took a bet on the future of Product Hunt.
Earlier this year, he departed Loom to step back into the venture capital world. Together with Josh Buckley and Patrick Olden, Shahed co-founded Prologue, a tech-holding company composed of Product Hunt and Hyper, an early-stage venture firm that focuses on funding cohorts of high-quality founders. As a General Partner, Shahed has gone full circle, helping other founders launch their products and careers.
“Over $200 billion in startup valuations have first appeared and launched on Product Hunt,” says Shahed.
And it’s not just about the success stories, it’s about the unwavering support many start-ups receive when they launch on Product Hunt—“there’s no better option.”
“You might launch on Twitter and if you have a really good following, you might get a good reaction. But the Product Hunt community is also just a very positive community,” Shahed emphasizes.
Makers launch on Product Hunt to get their product noticed, but as seen with Loom, oftentimes the biggest reward is building a community and hearing their feedback.
“Product Hunt lifts these products up and gives feedback so you can build a better company,” Shahed shares. “It's this inflection point in a startup’s journey where founders get together, they start writing some code, they start designing some early mocks of what their initial product is going to look like, and they get really excited and work towards launching on Product Hunt. Nothing really compares to Product Hunt.”
With this new path, Shahed hopes to use his experiences to provide other makers with the same support Loom received:
“Having Hyper and Product Hunt operate within this new parent company gives us strong competitive advantages to identify and fund the best founders, provide them with high-quality distribution, and a world-class tech community.”
Visit Loom’s Product Hub to follow its journey on Product Hunt. Find more success stories here.
Comments (21)
Thanks for sharing the helpful instructions
Mayank Jain
Thanks for such an informative post, Veronika. Really appreciate it. This would help lot of startups to plan their PH strategy.
Aruna Chawla (she/her)
I love using Loom — it's such a great product and the attention the founders have paid to solving users' problems is so clear.
We will use this as our guidance to the next launch! Thank you.
As a maker, I realized PH is such a good platform to connect product with kind users when we finished our first launch. A good product doesn’t always guarantee success. But PH helps to increase the probability of success. Thanks for sharing.