Maker Hunt: The Community of Makers

April 6, 2015

5:00 pm

We all know and love Product Hunt: the team, the hunters, the moderators and… don’t forget the people who actually made the products you browse and upvote every day.

In the community they’re called “makers” and they’re multiplying by the hundreds. In fact, they are currently starting to conglomerate in one particular place, which I am going to tell you about in a minute.

Hint: It’s in the top #3 on Product Hunt today.

It starts with a wall.

I’m talking about a digital wall filled with startup success stories.

Eric Willis — Product Hunt super-fan and moderator — started by creating Maker Successa curation of startup success stories that have recently launched on Product Hunt. It will not only inspire you, but it will also answer the nagging questions on your mind: “What happens when my startup’s hunted? What about after? What do I get out of this?”

But Eric didn’t stop there. His fascination with makers only grew bigger:

Understanding why a maker built a product gives you a peek inside their mind. It’s interesting to know why they’ve chosen certain languages, stacks, etc. My favorite part is when they ask for help as there is no better way than understanding a product than directly working with the person who has built it.

Then a little over 3 weeks ago, with the blessing of the Product Hunt team, he joined forces with Mubashar Iqbal, Jonas Daniels, Remco Verhoef, Cat Noone, and Ben Tossell to create what might become “the next big thing”.

It’s called Maker Hunt.

No, it’s not a Product Hunt wannabe like the ones that pop up almost every day. It’s a community that grew directly out of Product Hunt.

Maker Hunt is a knowledge-sharing community of makers on Slack and its main premise is: “makers helping makers become better makers”. Anyone who has ever launched on Product Hunt can be a part of the community (currently over 500 members), and if that’s you, go to the site and request your invite.

Eric created it as one more thing to support the growing Product Hunt community, and since the makers only get featured once (a few lucky ones more than that), it felt like the time was ripe for a new extension:

[Maker Hunt] feels like a natural extension of Product Hunt: a sanctuary to spend time with fellow makers.

As a member, I can attest that these guys are hustling their butts off to deliver value to the growing community. There’s literally an AMA (ask me anything) every day — with people like Michael Siebel from Y-Combinator, Meng To from Design+Code, and Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré from Inbound.org — which are all transcribed on Medium for the non-members who would have missed them otherwise.

Other than AMA’s, there have been partnerships, job postings, and even new products coming hot right out of the frying pan and landing on Product Hunt, like Embed Hunt, Sourced, and Launchfeed.

The goal of the community, after all, is to help makers be makers. Like Eric says in his inaugural article, Makers gonna make, make, make.

The future of Maker Hunt

What came as a surprise was not the amazing support from Product Hunt’s team itself, but the response they got from the entire industry.

Jonas Daniels shares that:

A lot of people came forward and offered to help us any way they could and we were just overwhelmed by the response.

As a result, the team has been working hard on their new site, which is expected to soft-launch at the end of this month. One big change will be that the community will be opening somewhat to non-makers, which I am personally looking forward to. Until then you can look at some faces on the landing page and mark some upcoming AMA’s on your calendar:

makerhuntscreenshot

And while we all have to wait some time to catch a glimpse of what’s coming, we can always follow (or twitter-stalk) those guys on twitter.

Because you asked…

Finally, for those of you who want to get involved — both in Product Hunt and Maker Hunt — just be helpful and engage with the community. Truth is, everyone is super responsive, but you have to play nice.

There are many ways you can be helpful and engaging. Just don’t send any DM’s that look automated. You can’t expect me to sign up for your app five seconds after following you back any more than I would expect you to drop everything you’re doing to make me a sandwich.

Jokes aside, I’m excited for the future of Maker Hunt and I know it will bring amazing things because good people make great products. That’s a given.

Image Credit: Flickr/Richard

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Violeta Nedkova is a writer, marketer, and entrepreneur, who lives on coffee and communities. She likes to meet new people, hear about exciting new ideas, and chat on twitter 24/7.

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