10 Cool Tech Tools from Product Hunt, the Water Cooler of Silicon Valley
Discovering new technology — apps, websites, and gadgets — should be fun.
But with thousands of startups competing for your attention, it can be exhausting to sift through the gimmicks and duds and find those rare, wonderful gems you actually want to share with friends.
Product Hunt, a relatively new website that hatched from a small group of Silicon Valley insiders, highlights the best new apps, websites, gadgets, and software on a daily basis, with the most intriguing products of the day promoted upward by the consensus of the Product Hunt community.
It works like this: The website allows a select group of entrepreneurs, developers, journalists, and other technologists to post links to interesting new products, along with short descriptions. Any reader can then upvote (like on reddit) and comment on the posting to vault it higher on the list.
The result is a sleek and simple list of products with clearly stated functions, ordered by the number of upvotes they receive, updated by the day. Click on any product, and you’ll go straight to the product’s official site — no lengthy explanations needed. As a result, there’s an air of minimalist expertise in each day’s finds.
Product Hunt’s front page.
Product Hunt was started in October 2013 by 27-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ryan Hoover, who explained to Yahoo Tech that the site started as an intimate email digest among his friends.
“We’d often talk about products,” Hoover said. “A lot of it’s ‘Have you seen Yo?’ or ‘What do you think about Slingshot?’ or ‘What’s on your homescreen?’ But there wasn’t this centralized place or platform for new products in the technology world.”
After trialing an email list, Hoover created a simple website that combined qualities of his favorite community-based websites: reddit, the tech-focused news board Hacker News, and “old-school” Digg.
Because the site has become popular with venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and other Silicon Valley types, the Product Hunt homepage can occasionally be filled with tools to search code and “mood-detection APIs.” But along with those niche items come genuinely interesting and broad-reaching products.
“A lot of people have smartphones,” Hoover said. “My mom is on these new products shortly after I am. That’s where the water cooler aspect of this is fascinating. Just like sports, movies, and everything else, products in the technology space are more part of our culture.”