Ryan Hoover is a project manager from the Pacific Northwest. Hoover got his start in 2013 when he launched Product Hunt — a resource website that became an overnight sensation in Silicon Valley.
Since launching Product Hunt, Hoover has kept busy. He has launched several other projects over the years, including Ship, a toolkit that simplifies the development process for new product developers, and a mentor program that pairs industry experts with entrepreneurs. Most recently, Hoover was involved in developing YourStack, a social network aimed at connecting people with products.
Hoover served as the CEO of Product Hunt until October of 2020, at which point he stepped down and passed the reins to Josh Buckley.
While Ryan Hoover has had a hand in the creation of multiple projects and startups, his most noteworthy accomplishment is the founding of Product Hunt. Product Hunt has been described as "Reddit for new products". Users can view and vote on product ideas submitted by other users.
In this way, Product Hunt acts as an aggregator for new ideas, projects, and audiences. It gives entrepreneurs with lean resources a platform for expanding their audience and a chance to access funding that might otherwise have been out of reach.
A common challenge for new tech startups is the relationship between traction and technology. Traction is the momentum needed to generate hype, an audience, and funding, while technology encompasses the skills, know-how, and ideas that a project is founded on.
Ryan Hoover, who has not only worked with several startups but also watched countless new companies rise and fall, has noticed key trends in how founders view this relationship. In his experience, most new tech companies are built by people who just want to code great apps and services.
However, for companies to thrive, founding coders need to step out of their comfort zones and into tasks like marketing, speaking to investors, and fostering growth.
Hoover's advice: Spend less time coding and more time learning how to grow and maintain an audience.