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Nevo David

How keepHQ got their first 2,000 GitHub stars!

December 2, 2023

Nevo David

I enjoyed talking to Tal, CEO and co-founder at Keep.
It started as a CLI tool and, over time, became an alert aggregation tool.

Today, they have almost 3,000 stars. You can watch the full video here:

Starting out

They have made a very basic alerting CLI tool and posted it on Hackernews - “Show HN:” They went on a flight, and when they landed, they saw 600 stars.

Hackernews is an interesting website. It’s super ugly, gets a lot of traction, and is very hard to get in.

I have seen and launched many products on Hackernews. While getting in for an article on Hackernews is hard, the “Show HN” one is much easier.

It’s usually a secret weapon since you can maybe do it once a year - it’s better to tie in with more channels to get a better chance to trend on GitHub.

They created more tools, such as gnip, and while this tool is not bringing a lot of traffic today, it did on its launch date.

You see, for every side project you build, you can launch it in Hackernews (Show HN) and Product Hunt.

My suggestion? Aim to release a new project once a month.

HACK: Lately, some random person posted the Novu organization page on Hackernews. I do not know how it got accepted, but it brought us 400 stars.
Check the post here

Product Hunt with the community

While Hackernews is super friendly with the open-source community (many early adopters), Product Hunt feels a bit more like indie-hacking / non developers’ tools.

The goal is to get as many upvotes as possible and reach the top of the list.

You should usually incorporate Product Hunt with other channels.
If you are starting and want stars - put your GitHub as your “Visit” URL.

If you are a more prominent company and want to get more leads and book meetings, add your website URL.

For the first launch, I would usually aim for the GitHub repository.

Keep had a very small community but still managed to take 1st of the day.
The best founders don’t let luck guide them. Here is what they have done:

  • They posted on their social media about their launch (like most people)

  • They try to contact as many people as possible to help them out.

  • They have built a secret weapon tool! Slackline


Tal showed me this tool a while ago, and I have used it ever since.
When you are a small startup, you must do the impossible to get from 0 to 1. Use all the possible options that you have.

Slackline is just for that. You can take any Slack group and DM every possible person in the channel.

There are a few options for it:

  1. You can use it on your Slack channel to drive feedback for your product or get help from community members to do different things.

  2. Ask people for help on Product Hunt.

And while number 2 sounds a bit intrusive, it works - they got 1st of the day and the fame and glory 🎩

Using bounties

You can put bounties on issues with Algora, to tell you that this will grow your community - probably not, but it will give you more credibility.

If you are starting, Algora can help you get more contributors (in the contributors list) and make you look more credible.

However, remember that contributors who come for money usually will not do the same things for free (not always).

Do you need help?

I am happy to help any founder/maintainer to find their growth.

  • Get more stars

  • Get more contributors

  • Get more visibility

  • Get more customers

Schedule a free meeting with me here.

I might give you some “aha!” moments. Who knows 🙇🏻‍♂️

See you next week!