I design, I develop, I make


A maker based in Upstate New York.
Turning ideas into applications.

© 2024 Mubashar Iqbal

500 Makers

August 6th, 2015

One of my favorite quotes is...

“Lies, damn lies and statistics”, using those statistics I can now call myself the #1 maker on Product Hunt.

A few months ago I asked the question “Who are the top Product Hunt Makers”. I ended up answering the question myself, using the Product Hunt API, in this blog post.

My friend Dylan saw the post and wondered where he stood. I was able to get his rank from the database but the idea for a bigger, regularly updated list was formed.

A little while later we started working on 500makers.com.

500 Makers provides a list of the top 500 makers on Product Hunt. The list can be sorted by the number of products featured, or by the total votes on those products. It also provides a list of the 500 latest makers. Updated daily.

Dylan did the design and the frontend coding, while I handled the backend coding and hosting.

We wanted to keep the site as simple as possible. Giving visitors easy access to the lists was the top priority.

We considered using infinite scroll techniques to load part of the lists on initial page load and then loading more as people scrolled.

Based on the design we decided instead to load the entire list on page load, but only load the images (the bulk of the page weight) as the users scrolled the page, lazy loading the makers avatar.

We used the Product Hunt API to build a local database of the featured products, along with the makers of those products. A couple of quick SQL queries and we had the data we needed to render the pages.

I integrated Dylan’s frontend code into the website built on the Laravel framework, and within a few minutes had the server spun up using Forge and Digitial Ocean. I setup the processes for updating the data from the Product Hunt API, and once that finished running the website was ready … ready for more features!

The initial idea only provided a list of makers by the number of products they had featured, but once we got access to the data, it seemed obvious to add the additional options.

Becoming the #1 Maker

I have been a product hunt maker for only about 7 months. The first product I had featured was Interviewed, in January. I didn’t even make the cut when I first thought about the list of top makers.

With the featuring of 500Makers, I now have more featured products than anyone else. I’m still behind Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover, for the number one spot based on votes on products, but I’m cool with that.

It must be official — I got the t-shirt

How did I get to the top so quickly? I love building products, and more importantly I love building products with other people.

Of the 16 products I have made, half have been ideas from other people. Working with them to turn their ideas into usable products is very rewarding. It also frees me up from having to do all the stuff you have to do post build/launch, they handle all that fun stuff!

I’ve used hackathons, like Hack Upstate, as an opportunity to build some of these sites. The tight schedules allow me to focus the ideas down to the MVP features and get something launched in a weekend or as little as 10 hours in one case.

I’m not done though, so if you have any thoughts of passing me as the top maker you better think again! I have plenty of my own ideas, but even more people are sharing their ideas with me, and I’m sure I’ll be helping a few people become makers over the coming months.

I wanted to thank Eric for getting me hooked on Product Hunt, as well as Ryan and the entire team at Product Hunt for developing such a great platform, and nurturing an amazing community for us addicted to launching products.

If you want to hear about my latest product launches, follow me on Twitter: @mubashariqbal and remember to say hello.