I spent the past few weeks preparing for the Product Hunt launch of my personal project UI Design Daily. This is something that was born out of my daily UI practices that I started roughly 4 years ago.
1000 days later
Sometimes developers asked me for the source files for those practices, and since last year I was closing in on 1000 daily UIs, my husband suggested I upload all the source files somewhere.
He helped me a lot with coding the website and taking care of all the server thingamabobs I don't know much about. (I'm not very technical, but learning)
A little more than two weeks ago, I made a soft-launch with about 600 designs. The reception was great, it was really humbling and motivating.
So much so, that I got a bit obsessive over the launch, I wanted to make it perfect!
Created a video, banners, uploaded over 1000 designs, animated the logo for Product Hunt, fixed the bugs and changed some features based on user feedback. I really wanted to make everything pixel perfect.
After I prepared everything, it was time to create a draft project on PH, and start configuring it.
I was in for a surprise.
As soon as I typed the URL and wanted to create the project, I've been prompted with an error message. The project is already listed.
Already listed? How? What? Hey! I must have mistyped something... Quick! Double check. Nope, it checks out.
I couldn't believe my eyes. I made a quick search to see what's going on, and surprise, surprise, it was there, staring me in the face.
The next 10 seconds were spent in a loop, going through the 7 stages of grief over and over again. It choked me up a little bit, (okay a lot) because it felt like somebody robbed me of years of my work. I invested a lot in making this perfect, and somebody has made a mockery out of it.
It was very hard to process how can somebody go through all this trouble, visiting the website, downloading images from social accounts, creating a logo, uploading and configuring everything, without ever taking the effort to write an email, give a heads up or ask for permission.
What do they stand to gain from doing something like this? This is something I still don't understand.
My husband told me that he read about this exact thing happening to an indie hacker and he couldn't do much about it. He even emailed them from the project domain and they refused to take down the post.
This was the last thing I wanted to hear. And while still in denial I wrote an email to the product hunt support explaining my situation and asking them for their help in the matter.
Today was my lucky day! Relatively speaking. They were prompt to respond and they cleaned up the situation by removing the post, which to my understanding rarely happens. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, but I guess all is well that ends well.
That said, going forward this is something that should be kept in mind. If you're planning on releasing a project make sure you reserved that listing on PH somehow, because you might not have the luck I did.
A bonus lesson learned is that contacting support is always worth the effort. Especially when you have nothing to lose and everything to win.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this post will save you from some dark moments!