There’s a story I like about an elephant where several blind people touch an elephant in different places and each of them concludes that “elephant is like X” but X is different for each person.
It’s a stretched metaphor because what you do is willful blindness.
You look at a an elephant (“Product Hunt”). You see it has a trunk (“Product Hunt wasn’t completely unique”). You see that your stuff has a trunk (“my product isn’t completely unique”). You then conclude that your product is also an elephant (i.e. a successful product).
You ignore the fact that elephant is also gray, and your product is not, it weights a ton and your product does not etc. There are more differences than similarities.
I don’t think Product Hunt is like Reddit at all.
It’s not like anything that existed before. At the core it’s a software discovery platform and those did exist (like alternativeTo or softonic) but it’s a very unique blend of daily curation, reddit-like commenting and hard work of making it a community and finding a business plan to support full time work.
Coming back to the elephant story you can point to similarity of Product Hunt to this or that but it was more different than alike than those other things.
Also, I’ve already said:
If I were to generalize a business advice: in content business you can start with something focused and small and potentially build it into something bigger.
This applies to Product Hunt. They are not Reddit, they are very focused on software discovery.
This doesn’t apply to Readory which is Reddit in scope and majority of mechanics. You didn’t create a site about Russian Dolls, you created a site about anything.
You have a good explanation why I, as as a creator, would want to post my stories on Readory (self-promotion) but I won’t if you don’t have readers. I’ll focus my self-promotional efforts on places that already have an audience, like Quora.
You don’t have a good explanation of how you’ll acquire readers.
The business of linking to other’s people content has only 2 successful patterns.
You either have high-quality curation (like techmeme or topical newsletters like
https://golangweekly.com/issues/202). They require fair amount of work and in case of newsletters you have to start early enough, before other people have the idea to start a newsletter on the same topic.
Then you have sites like Slashdot, Reddit, 4chan, HackerNews, Indie Hackers etc.
Superficially you might think that they are about the links. That people go there because that’s where the most interesting articles are and therefore the most important thing is to assure links are to high-quality content.
That’s not correct.
At any given time there are 100x more interesting articles out there than there are on front page of HackerNews. You need to meet quality bar but going above it has diminishing returns.
Those sites are about discussions i.e. comments.
And because we’re all vain, what matters the most is number of other people on the site because no one wants to scream into abyss. When we scream, we want an audience.
That leads to “rich get richer and poor get poorer” dynamic because over time people migrate to places that have other people and abandon places with less people. We have only so much time to spend on online screaming. I mean commenting.
Compare https://voat.co/v/golang to https://www.reddit.com/r/golang/ or https://lobste.rs/ to HackerNews.
And that’s why Readory has no prospects in this world.
You maybe think it’s about the quality of the links but it’s all about people screaming at each in comments.
And that’s only satisfying if there is an audience.
There is no audience on Readory and I haven’t heard a plan to create an audience.
Not that it’s impossible to bootstrap a discussion site.
Indie Hackers did that recently, but here are important things that Indie Hackers did that Readory doesn’t do:
- the site is focused on a single topic
- the creator bootstrapped the site with unique content (interviews)
- he relentlessly promoted the site on HackerNews and reddit
- creating that unique content and promotion was his full-time job
- it took him months of daily, full-time hard work to get any traction and over a year to get acquired by Stripe (and I wouldn’t count on being so lucky)
See https://medium.com/the-mission/how-indie-hackers-grew-from-zero-to-170k-sessions-in-3-months-ded6b2eb032 https://www.indiehackers.com/blog/acquired-by-stripe
That’s the success story. If you just put up a website and hope that people will submit links, upvote links and comment on them then you’re much more likely to end up as https://voat.co/v/golang. Last post submitted 2.4 years ago.