@noonionState of the Noonion
Where you can read redacted shareholder letters being sent to Hacker Noon 1.3k+ shareholders every quarter.
We’ve passed the total revenue of last year (
) within the first half of this year! In Q2 2020, Hacker Noon had its highest revenue quarter in company history (
), we built a lot of quality software (including Noonies 2.0), published a lot of great technology stories (some top ones), made it onto Wikipedia, increased the share price by 38% in our second round of financing (2020 Strategic Coil investment vs. 2019 StartEngine Equity crowdfunding round); but have seen a decline in Google traffic, and are actively working with Google and experts to rectify. We’ll dig into how our business is making adaptations for internet reading trends, but our overall strategy remains unchanged. Hacker Noon publishes insightful tech stories, makes useful software, and just is how hackers start their afternoons.
The Hacker Noon product team had a strong quarter. With our cleaner infrastructure detailed in our previous shareholder letter, we were able to accelerate our rate of deployment significantly, largely via automatically (as opposed to manually) deploying features, as well as adding one more part-time back-end developer to the team. We are so happy with the work of Richard Kubina, who’s a referral from our Full-Stack Developer Austin Pocus, that we made him a full-time offer in Q3, which he accepted 🙂
In 2020 Q2, here is a list of what we released, and one sentence about each:
- The Noonies v2: our custom voting product at Noonies.Tech (voting opens on August 13th).
- Story Archives: all stories published on a date accessible by clicking any date under each story title (example)
- Tech Stories Tab Chrome Extension: Chrome is Hacker Noon readers’ most popular browser and by installing this extension (open sourced here), users can get the latest stories from Hacker Noon when opening a new tab.
- Sticky Story Headline: removing barrier to reading even further, this feature emphasizes the story title, author accreditation, and a less annoying, more reader friendly sticky ad (example, scroll down to see how design functions).
- Single Story Stats Page: easily accessible under each story title for writers & editors, this new stat page also includes a pixelated graph that showcases how well the story does over time compared to average peak performance (example).
- Backup System: It is a lot easier to move fast and break things if you can go back in time to restore how things work – now we can!
- Time Reading Created on Profile Page: this feature emphasizes the value created by each writer via hackernoon.com (time reading, one of our 3 core metrics) front & center on their profile (example)
- Coil Web Monetization Integration: any writer can now add meta tag to their profile to be streamed micropayments from Coil subscribers (2.6k users have done so)
- About Page: all you need to know about Hacker Noon in one page.
- Open Sourced Emojis: Hacker Noon’s pixelated designs are now open sourced on Github (here & here).
- Admin/Editor Improvement: we continue to improve our app, which manages hundreds of submissions per day (reject, improve, schedule or publish), on top of 22k+ tags, 12k+ writer profiles, sponsor payments for BAA, and content curation & distribution.
- Commenting Leaderboard: ranking all comments on Hacker Noon; however, as we are transitioning off Disqus commenting system, this is currently turned off.
- Increased Testing: Reliability, reliability, reliability – we’ve built more testing systems with Sentry, Hotjar, and more importantly, we’ve been writing end-to-end tests that simulate user behavior with Cypress.
Overall, each of these product developments help move at least one of our main core metrics: time reading, words published, or money made.
Profit and Loss
For better or for worse, we are getting closer to profitability despite a growing pandemic. Last quarter, while the US GDP shrank by 32.9%, Hacker Noon revenue grew by 121.96% QoQ.
Editorial & Traffic
This quarter, we published 3,593,068 words from Hacker Noon stories; which marks a + 7.3% YoY and + 5.6% QoQ increase. We averaged 30.9 stories published per day; representing a + 19.6 % YoY and +5.5% QoQ increase.
Our long term strategy, however, is to diversify our traffic to come from different sources other than search, such as emails and social media, and overall, to significantly strengthen our relationship with our readers (think subscription emails, bookmarks, emoji reactions, smoother login, etc.).
Coil Strategic Investment, & Ensuing Investor Interest
, we offered Richard a full time position which he accepted. He’s the best developer Austin had worked with besides Dane, and has proven to be extremely agile, adaptable, and thoughtful. His skillset compliments our current dev team perfectly.
Outlook & Q3 Sneak Peek
Q3 started off with a
grant from Mozilla. Our mentor for the Fix the Internet program is Rotten Tomatoes founding CEO Patrick Lee. For the 8 week sprint we are working on inline emoji reactions. The data schema is set up to be able to iterate at the character level, word level, and paragraph level. We will be working hard to facilitate the exchange of value between reader and writer.
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