Silicon Valley is an increasingly rigged game

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:


Assured promotion allows a coordinated launch

Careful followers of Product Hunt have caught on to the strategy of accessing this upper tier. Just consider the creators of Lrn, an app that teaches you the program in bite-sized chunks.

Lrn, while containing some new ideas, bears a striking resemblance to Swifty, a past product that had been previously featured on Product Hunt. Unlike Swifty, however, the Lrn team — having read Bram Kanstein’s post— found an advisor in advance with front page-promotion privileges and coordinated the launch with him, even going so far as to have him wake up at 4:30 in the morning so as to capture more European upvotes.

Confident of the precise timing and prominence of their promotion on the front page, they spread word and lined up press around a consistent launch time.

Their launch story, which they wrote up in great detail, avoids mentioning the crucial step of gaining an insider to promote their work. This follows an unspoken rule of Silicon Valley. They emphasize aspects of the process that are open to anyone — belief in your product, reaching out to your contacts, being open to generosity — and avoid invoking the vital but unattractive topics of power, status or wealth.