Product Hunt has the best shot of building something I’ve wanted for a long time: an IMDB for Products. In the arts and other traditionally creative professions “credits” are a well understood part of professional recognition. Those efforts were always collaborative and project-based. But for some reason technology projects, despite possessing those same characteristics, never ended up with the same way to identify and recognize individual contributions. Instead you were left with boring resumes and job titles.
When we published Homebrew’s WhatIfs, our venture fund’s collection of areas we’re excited to investigate, one of the items listed was IMDB for Businesses/Products. From prior conversations with the Product Hunt team I’ve known this is an area of interest for them as well. So of course I was excited when last week Ryan announced Giving Credit, a PH feature which allows CEOs to note the folks who worked on a product. Because PH has a community (and ability to drive traffic to a product), there’s motivation for a CEO to keep their company profile complete and lively, to foster conversation around it. Why does this matter? In response to my request, lots of people sent me links or mocks to their ideas for a solution. The challenge those people failed to realize is that the issue isn’t with building the webpage or database structure to house this info but rather the community and incentive which causes data to be entered, verified, maintained. IMDB kickstarted their site with canonical data already available about movie credits. The tech industry has no such kickstart opportunity. It will need to be full self-assembled.
Having gotten the chance to know Ryan and Product Hunt before it was RYAN and PRODUCT HUNT, I enjoy seeing them gain supporters and momentum. If they can also deliver on one of the resources I’ve thought could actually compete with LinkedIn, well, even better for them and their investors!