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Product Hunt Lays off 60% of Staff




Product Hunt, the product discovery site for smaller startups, apps, tech tools and developers’ side projects, is cleaning house. The company earlier this month announced layoffs, but didn’t give an indication of how widespread those cuts were. We now understand the cuts impacted around 60% of the team, including design, product, sales and other roles. Product Hunt’s about page indicates engineering, ads and community staff remain.


In a surprising move, Product Hunt, the renowned product discovery platform for startups, apps, tech tools, and developers’ side projects, has conducted a round of layoffs affecting approximately 60% of its staff. The company, which initially kept the extent of the cuts under wraps, revealed that employees across various functions, including design, product, and sales, were affected. However, it is worth noting that engineering, ads, and community roles remain unaffected, as stated on Product Hunt’s official about page.


Key Takeaway

Product Hunt, the popular product discovery site, has undergone significant layoffs affecting approximately 60% of its workforce. The company aims to streamline operations and focus on enhancing user experience through the implementation of new technologies. Despite the layoffs, Product Hunt remains financially stable, with high traffic levels.


CEO Rajiv Ayyangar Announces Layoffs


The layoffs were officially announced by CEO Rajiv Ayyangar on October 10th. Ayyangar reached out to the public via a post on X, emphasizing his willingness to connect former employees with potential hiring opportunities. In his post, he expressed the difficult decision to streamline the team’s roles to enhance speed and focus. Ayyangar emphasized that the departing individuals were highly skilled and deeply committed to their work and colleagues. He encouraged any businesses looking to hire to contact him directly.


Further Clarification on Layoff Numbers

The size of the layoff was initially leaked by Chris Messina, a longtime Product Hunt user and tech veteran turned investor, who indicated that 70% of the staff had been affected. However, CEO Ayyangar later clarified that the actual figure was around 60%. He acknowledged that the company’s about page had not been updated accordingly, leading to the discrepancy in public information.


Strategic Changes and Focus on Improving User Experience

Shortly after joining Product Hunt in September, Ayyangar hinted at forthcoming changes and improvements. While acknowledging Product Hunt’s position as an excellent platform for discovering the next trending product, he admitted that the company had not effectively catered to users’ specific needs. Ayyangar emphasized the importance of leveraging new technologies, including AI and moderation tools, to enhance the platform’s ability to showcase the latest developments in the tech industry. Additionally, he mentioned plans to introduce features such as “Pro Tips” product pages, serving as a wiki for users’ favorite products.


Strategic Decision, Not Driven by Financial Concerns

Ayyangar clarified that the decision to lay off employees was not motivated by financial or company performance reasons. He maintained that Product Hunt’s traffic remained consistently high, and the company was in a sound financial position. Instead, the change was driven by a strategic shift and the need to realign the team.

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Product Hunt’s Background and Future

Originally backed by Y Combinator (YC) and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Product Hunt was acquired by AngelList for $20 million in 2016. After being spun out in 2020, the platform inspired the creation of Hyper, a sister company that organized an exclusive Product Hunt launch event and investor demo day. However, Ayyangar confirmed that Hyper’s program has been discontinued, although support for existing portfolio companies will continue.


Businesses exploring cost reductions during the current economic downturn may potentially impact the demand for new software-as-a-service (SaaS) products, such as those discovered on Product Hunt. Nevertheless, Product Hunt remains committed to its mission of connecting users with innovative tech offerings.

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