Jeremy Vandehey is Cofounder and CEO of Growbot.io, a bot that makes it easy to show appreciation in Slack, and a 500 Startups Accelerator company (Batch 15). Previously Jeremy led products at Intuit, Verizon, and several startups. In his spare time, you’ll find Jeremy making beer or music (often at the same time).

Founders can check out applications for 500’s Batch 16 accelerator program.

2 weeks ago we introduced Growbot for Slack to Product Hunt and the audience @ 500 Startups demo day. It was a crazy day for both Growbot and its builders, so we wanted to bring everyone up to speed.

But first what is Growbot?

Growbot is a simple Slackbot that helps employees appreciate each other. It does this by encouraging and recognizing peer praise inside of Slack. Once Growbot recognizes a team win in a channel (teams can call them props, kudos, cheers, etc), that win is shared, celebrated, and saved forever and ever.



Simple? Yes. Awesome? We think so. But enough selling. Here’s how Growbot did on Product Hunt:


Props to Hiten Shah for hunting Growbot 🙂

By the numbers

We saw a TON of traffic. Roughly 1/2 of the 30,000 page views came from Product Hunt. The rest came from TechCrunch, VentureBeat, & 500 Startups. Interestingly, almost 3/4 of the 200 teams that added Growbot came from Product Hunt.




These teams aren’t mom and pop Slack shops either. The average team had 85 members with the largest having over 2,200 members. Even more exciting, most teams aren’t just kicking the tires. We saw good initial engagement and promising retention (50% of active users engage with Growbot weekly).

Some more stats for you data junkies:

  • Visitors came from 93 countries
  • 80% were desktop users
  • 17,250 new registered users
  • Over 1,000 Props since launch
  • 3,500 likes/reactions
  • 90% of teams still active

The ‘intangibles’ of Product Hunt

It’s very easy to get lost in the allure of reaching front-page glory when the actual gold came from the product feedback, conversation in the comments, and investor intros post PH launch. We even got a better tagline suggestion (‘the like button for work’) that we immediately A|B tested to boost our conversion rate.

Thanks Chris Toy!

Even more exciting, the community shares our vision of messaging as the next frontier which creates new and exciting ways to solve old problems, like appreciating your coworkers (and eventually all types of feedback).

 Growbot fosters a culture of supportive celebration, the UI is universally understood, and it works on the biggest name in the business [Slack]. — Wade Vaughn

And some more awesome PH comments:


cc Buster Benson (also, clever use of props, ha!)


cc: Kelly Kuhn-Wallace


Here’s Justin Vandehey pitching (and sweating) on stage

Launch 101

There is a lot of great advice on executing a great Product Hunt launch (sources: 1, 2, 3). A few things that didn’t make those lists were crucial to not just getting a ton of upvotes, but learning from the community to help transform Growbot from a simple appreciation Slackbot into a feedback powerhouse for the enterprise:

  1. Keep it simple — launch a simple, polished product. Product Hunt loves ambitious products, but they also appreciate polish. It’s much easier to polish something small.
  2. Tell a story — upvotes are good but comments are better. Try to be one of the first to comment and give some backstory on the founders, how the product has evolved, and your vision. Be very open and honest. Don’t sell too hard.
  3. Get stakeholders to weigh in — the great folks at Slack and several of our beta customers were gracious enough to weigh in on what they liked and what needed to improve. This shows the community 1) we are somewhat legit and 2) open to listening and learning from feedback.
  4. A tiny step — Too many teams think a good launch will magically solve all their problems. The truth is your leaky conversion funnel will be just as leaky a week after launch. Retention won’t magically shoot from 25% to 75%. Think of it as one step on the path to startup summit. It’s important to take a good first step, but there are miles and miles of land-mines after launch. No (edit: few) startups flied or died because of a launch.

We’ll see you soon, Product Hunt

We are excited to see how messaging as a platform evolves to create new enterprise opportunities. We’re heads down on Growbot 2.0, and we’d love to keep you informed along the way. Make sure you follow Growbot on twitter, get notified when Growbot writes a new blog post, or add us to your Slack! Hopefully we’ll meet again on the front page of Product Hunt 🙂

PS… 500 Startups Batch 16 is accepting applications. The program, mentors, and network of advisors/investors were instrumental in shaping our product and strategy (plus $100k in funding). If your startup is ready to pour on the gasoline, apply here!

Some FAQs (and thanks)

Why Product Hunt?

Product Hunt is the best place to discover (and launch) new products. It’s filled with brilliant and kind-hearted people who actually give a shit about your product. Ryan Hoover has fostered a community of fellow makers, early adopters, and investors who understand the time and effort that goes into making anything of substance (so their upvotes and comments come from a place of support and encouragement).

Why Slack?

Slack fundamentally changed how our team communicates. We believe there is no going back from this fundamental shift, and it is going to forever alter the face of enterprise software. The old way of teaching new user interfaces or ripping users out of their workflow is over. This opens the door for new ways of scheduling meetings, managing employees, and giving feedback. Bots are taking over, and we want to be the best appreciation bot there is.

‘Who uses apps anymore?’ — a bot probably

Special thanks to these fine folks 🙂