From Zero to Launch In Six Hours: The Story of PodKoi

On May 3rd, I live-streamed myself building a new side project as fast as I could in what I called ‘The Startup Speedrun.’

This challenge led to the creation & launch of PodKoi. A directory site for podcast hosts to connect with people who want to be on podcasts.

Overall, PodKoi took around six hours to build & launch. And though I had low expectations, it’s done pretty well for itself.

This post was written to provide a quick recap on how I built & launched PodKoi, and what the short-term results & takeaways were.

The Build πŸ› 

Six hours to build and launch PodKoi may sound like a testament to my ability, but it’s really more of a testament to the work of 27Collective (AKA the creators of the MyListing Theme).

Here’s the thing, MyListing is an incredible theme. Using it, anyone with a basic understanding of WordPress & Elementor can build any listing site idea they have (e.g. Airbnb, etc.). All for a one-time payment of $59.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with 27Collective or MyListing at all. I just love their work. Ok, back to the post…

After stumbling upon MyListing for a client, I couldn’t stop thinking of potential use cases. A few which came to mind were platforms for people to: sell music gear & equipment, list their online yoga classes, and (of course) find podcasts to guest on.

As you could imagine, once I had the idea for PodKoi in my head, I knew it was a winner. To make sure I wouldn’t distract myself from my other side-project, I decided to speed-build PodKoi over a livestream.

To recap, the tools I used to build PodKoi were:

Using these tools, I had successfully built my idea in six hours, and put it up on ProductHunt.

The Launch πŸš€

A key rule in my Startup Speedrun was that the finish line had been reached once my final product was submitted to ProductHunt.

Now, this was my first ProductHunt launch, so I came into it with zero expectations.

After all, I’ve come across endless posts on executing a successful ProductHunt launch, and had no time to follow any of their steps, so I was certain it’d be a bust (my estimate was that I’d get 8 upvotes).

On top of that, after making a few posts celebrating the launch, some were less enthusiastic than others about me launching an empty directory site on ProductHunt.

Nonetheless, it was all in good fun, so I kept moving forward with the launch.

To recap, the steps I took to launching PodKoi on ProductHunt were:

  • Building a GIF on the ProductHunt GIF Maker
  • Taking some screenshots of the site to use as a cover photo
  • Writing a one-sentence description to make the product’s use clear
  • Writing a brief description & comment explaining everything further

…Yup, that’s really all there was to it.

With the launch done, I took the rest of my Sunday to hang out with family & kick it back with some drinks 🍻

The Aftermath ⏰

Seeing everything laid out in front of you, you’re probably starting to understand why I had such low expectations for this launch.

That said, it was an extreme surprise waking up the next day to see PodKoi featured as the #4 Product of the Day on ProductHunt (it fell a couple spots shortly thereafter). On top of that, the site was now populated with real podcasts & guests on it.

That night, it was featured on ProductHunt’s Twitter (twice).

The next day, The Hustle featured it in their Trends newsletter.

Needless to say, I was blown away 🀯

To recap, here’s a breakdown on some of the numbers (as of today). Since launching on May 3rd, PodKoi has received:

Disclaimer: Though these numbers look nice with zero ad spend, traffic is dropping every day (as expected). Here’s a shot of my analytics dashboard.

Anyhow, still happy with the viral turnout πŸ‘

The Next Steps πŸšΆβ€β™‚οΈ

Since PodKoi’s launch, I’ve been getting questions as to what I plan to do with it next.

My honest answer? I have no clue.

I could take a swing at building a business model behind it & dabbling with promotion, but I’m staying cautious.

Reason being, people like PodKoi as it is — a free platform with no business interest behind it. If I change that, it could completely compromise the product.

So, for now, I don’t plan to do anything other than bringing the traffic back up & making iterative improvements.

The Takeaways 🧐

Looking back on the past couple of weeks, some interesting takeaways crawled out of the woodwork. Here’re five that come to mind:

  1. There are an endless amount of affordable tools out there to help you build your next idea. The key skill you need to have to execute on them is resourcefulness. PodKoi could have cost thousands of dollars in custom work, but being resourceful helped me make it for only $65.
  2. ProductHunt launches don’t have to be a marketing marathon so long as you have the right product on your side.
  3. Don’t let one person’s skepticism keep you from moving forward on an idea you believe in (clichΓ©, yes, but still very true).
  4. Challenging yourself to build something as fast as possible is a fantastic way to cut out any unneeded fat from an MVP.
  5. The best ideas can be effectively explained in one sentence. If you can’t do that, it doesn’t mean your idea is bad, it just means your methods for communicating it are.

There’re likely more to add, but those are the most salient points that come to mind right now.

Anyhow… that’s a wrap on my PodKoi recap.

Feel free to check PodKoi out and, if you have any questions, I’d love to hear them in the comments πŸ‘‡

πŸ‘‹ Jasper