Learnings from hitting #1 on Hacker News

Brad Menezes, Co-Founder & CEO

Multiple authors

August 8, 2022

3 min to read


Thursday was an exciting day for our team at Superblocks as we launched on Hacker News.

After we posted around noon, we were pleasantly surprised to watch as engagement from the HN community boosted our post to the front page within about an hour, eventually reaching the #1 spot.

Although maintaining the #1 spot proved difficult, the hours we spent on the front page drove 1,000s of developers to www.superblocks.com and tons of candid feedback from the community.

As a company, we listen intently to all feedback - good, bad, ugly. HN is a community that specializes in 2 out of 3 of those types of feedback :) 

Since our product roadmap is driven by the pain we hear from developers first-hand, we thought it would be helpful to summarize the feedback -- both positive and negative -- to show how it will inform the direction of Superblocks moving forward.

Feedback #1: Tooling consolidation increases efficiency

Nimsical, an existing customer, spoke about the efficiency gains across an engineering team when consolidation takes place in Superblocks. This was certainly positive feedback, but this story inspired us to think of new ways to further the value to customers around consolidation.

Action: Add more programming languages and more building blocks outside of Apps, Workflows, and Scheduled Jobs. We noticed another comment about RPA (robotic process automation) to make web scraping and web form-filling simpler, which could be a great next candidate.

Feedback #2: Recipes and templates are missing

phoenixbox called out that Superblocks needs more templates to accelerate tooling development further, especially on the App Builder.

Action: Add use-case specific templates like “Postgres Admin,” “Deployment Monitoring,” “Credit Card Management,” “Insurance Claims Management,” and provide users the ability to modify in-app to accelerate development. 

Feedback #3: Vendor lock-in risk is a barrier to adoption

edf13 shared hesitation around vendor lock-in with tools of this nature. As developers ourselves, we thought about this deeply when building the product and agree that the ability to extend, export and leave without a major cost is important. We’ve taken some steps by making our self-hosted agent extensible and source available.

Action: Enable exporting of app definitions to manage as code with your own CI/CD process and git repo (already in the works). Brainstorm the best way to export as code so you can maintain a functional app off the platform. We researched and found that Webflow has an interesting code export capability for static websites which could work similarly in Superblocks.

Feedback #4: Custom components to replace React-based tools

a24white, a current Superblocks customer, mentioned they use us for some internal tooling but also still have some of their own tools in React because of component re-use.

Action: Good news! We’re actively working on ways to reuse components and import your own custom components. You can sign up for the beta here

We are incredibly thankful for the feedback from the Hacker News community and understand how difficult and rare it is to reach the #1 spot (even for a brief time). With the support of amazing users like you, we’re aiming to do it again soon – we even built this Superblocks app on startup funding that may be worthy of its own post!

Keep the feedback coming, and have fun building. 

Your tools, your rules 🚀

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Brad Menezes, Co-Founder & CEO

Multiple authors

Dec 13, 2023