From idea to #1 on Product Hunt in 24 hours

With absolutely no code

I was pretty close to not even posting it on Product Hunt. It was a stupid idea. It wasn’t even novel. I’m just some random guy.

560+ upvotes later on Product Hunt, I’m pretty glad I did :)

The inspiration

Last week, I was listening to an episode of the Indie Hackers podcast, and Jason Sadler was mentioned, the guy who started IWearYourShirt back in 2008. Jason’s thought process was, “Why do I pay money to a company to advertise their brand on a t-shirt? It should be the other way around.”

So Jason started charging companies to wear their t-shirts, and made over a million dollars over the next few years.

I started to dig a little deeper into Jason’s story: He ended up shutting things down in 2012, after some very successful years, to move on with his life.

Because I am on Product Hunt all the time, I immediately searched throughout the site to see how many copycats had launched over the past few years (keep in mind that Product Hunt started in 2013, after IWearYouShirt had shut down).

To my surprise, I couldn’t find any.

A quick Google search didn’t turn up any active results either.

Should I give this a go?

Building the site

I thought about how long it would take to build a site that could serve as an MVP. All I really needed was a contact form with Stripe and Paypal payment buttons. Using Carrd, that is buildable in minutes with no code necessary.

I threw that together and added an FAQ section. Boom, done. “Can you wear my company’s shirt?” was ready to go.

I decided to charge $20 per tweet of me featuring a company’s shirt. However, I offered a super discounted rate of $1 for the day of Product Hunt launch — I wanted to make sure people weren’t going to sit on the fence.

Launching on Product Hunt

Even though I didn’t have much time invested into this, I was still hesitant to post it on Product Hunt. It’s not an original idea. I am no celebrity. People will mock how stupid this is. I thought there was a very good chance of finishing with 1 upvote (me).

I hunted it myself in the late afternoon on Thursday, and shortly after, tweeted this out (with a lot of fake confidence):

That tweet was immediately retweeted by @ProductHunt, in addition to a few other large accounts. That led to a nice chunk of upvotes, but I went to sleep that night having no idea how it would perform on Friday.

I woke up the next morning, pulled up Product Hunt, and couldn’t believe what I saw: “Can you wear my company’s shirt?” was #1 on Product Hunt.

I thought it would most assuredly fall in the ranks at some point, but people just kept upvoting it, and it finished the day as the top product.

Almost all the comments and tweets were encouraging, with many people telling me it was a “brilliant idea”.

Jason, the inspiration behind all of this, even gave his (unofficial) blessing:

Key Takeaways

  • Ship fast and don’t be afraid of failure.
  • Try to build as much as possible without code.
  • You don’t always need to come up with something new.

Moving forward

I just started to receive my first few shirts in the mail. If you want to follow the journey (and see my stupid face in tweets), I am @daviswbaer.

Coming soon will be a follow-up post detailing traffic from Product Hunt, tech press mentions, order numbers, and revenue numbers from Can you wear my company’s shirt? :)

More by Davis

More Related Stories