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Nevo David

Part 1: How we have been trending on GitHub for almost a week during Hacktoberfest

October 7, 2023

Nevo David

We have started Hacktoberfest with 24,000 stars.
In 6 days, we moved to almost 29,000 stars.
We have also managed to get all of our sponsors to trend multiple times.
Welcome to Hacktoberfest Part 1.

We basically run two simultaneous events: Hacktoberfest and HackSquad.

Can you help me out?

I know it sounds condescending, but I am trying to become a GitHub Star.
I think that if I manage to get it, I will be able to help more open-source maintainers / founders / dev-rel and content writers.

If I have ever helped you before, please help me out (it’s 2 minutes) and nominate me here 👇

Novu Rockin’ Hacktoberfest

We have basically created more than 100 issues for Novu filled with hacktoberfest and hacktoberfest-accepted tags.
We created a very detailed Hacktoberfest page:
“Win a swag pack for just three merged PRs!”

This is a very high incentive to go and contribute to Novu.
If you check the Novu issue page, you will see that almost every ticket is assigned to somebody.

That’s not only for the main repository but also for all of our SDKs.
So we can really absorb many contributors.

Amazing work by the DevRel team.
I was not involved in that at all.

The second biggest event of October: HackSquad

HackSquad is a very special event. Unlike Novu, the audience is a lot broader. Any programming language is accepted here. The rules are simple: Contribute code to libraries in squads (max five people) to any repository. We will calculate the amount of contribution and put you on our leaderboard. The first 60 teams with the most contributions will win swag by the end of October.

Now, we have used three tricks to grow that funnel:

Trick 1: The Ticketing System

I did not invent the ticketing system. Companies use it for launches, but most of them miss the main ingredient » incentive.

We did something pretty simple.
Here is a pre-made tweet that we created for HackSquad and the sponsors.
Put it on X and participate in our giveaway of swag.

As you can probably imagine, we created an exponential machine.
People come, share their tickets, and then more people come.
That was a brilliant move and a huge success.

Trick 2: Invite your friend and get a bonus

A good team has team members who contribute code. Without a team, can you even win? Invite your friend to your team and get a 1-point bonus for every team member.

So, we already have two tricks that feed us with more and more community members.

Since the beginning of the month, we have passed the 10k registration. Can you believe it?

Trick 3: DEV listicle

Listicles usually grab mixed audiences without a real specific topic, but for events like HackSquad, that’s perfect because every developer can be a part of this. So, we created the listicle:

10 Github repositories to achieve Javascript mastery

That thing grabbed 50k views!!!
With a clear CTA to register to HackSquad.
(check the second section)

We will release another one next week.

The killer bonus

But Nevo, all good and everything, you have created a big event.
How does it impact Novu?

We have created a game-changer bonus to promote us and all of our sponsors.

Go to the Novu library, star us, and claim a +1 bonus (same thing for all of our sponsors).

That was the first time CrowdDev and Wasp got trended on the global GitHub feed.

So far, that has generated 1,000 stars (without the stars from being on the trending list) and got us on the trending list for a very long time.

So we keep on promoting this.

Every newsletter / Discord announcement » did you check our bonuses?
That was one of the most brilliant things I have ever done. The more people come, the more stars we get.

Currently, we convert around 10% of the funnel to stars. Over the course of the event, I will try to find more things to increase the percentage.


We wanted to test newsletters because we heard some good stuff about the conversion rate (it was also a good test for us in general.)

We booked the TL;DR newsletter for webdev (300,000 people) - $6000!!!!
You see, HackSquad is an easy funnel. We don’t sell to people. We offer swag, and usually, that kind of offer is really easy to convert.

That converted to 180 visits, 51 registrations, and 1 star 🤣

But we learned, and now I know what to expect from newsletters that claim to have a lot of people but have a very low engagement in the end.

In the next part of Hacktoberfest, I will talk about our Product Hunt launch (I hope it will go well as I hope). We are going to leverage HackSquad for it too.

And use incentives :)

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 🙇🏻‍♂️

Open-source stories 🫧

Do you have a GitHub library with more than 1k stars?

Can I interview and feature you in the following newsletter?

Please reply to this email, and let’s schedule a call!

See you next week :)