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🍐#45: How to get the first 1000 stars, header with tabs pattern, and "life is too short" campaign


What do pears do with forms? They outpearform 🍐;)
Speaking of, if you haven’t already, pls share your thoughts about newslepear in this anonymous G-form.

This week on the agenda:

  • Header with tabs from Appsmith

  • "Life is too short" campaign from New Relic

  • Playbook on how to get to 1000 GitHub stars

  • + a few bonus links at the end

Let’s go!

🪧 Promo

Wizard on Demand is a dev tool content marketing agency.

What they do is:

  • strategize on content that delivers results that mean something to you (signup, demo, trial, qualified sales pipeline)

  • write technical dev-focused blogs, guides, books (following an interview-based approach with your subject matter experts)

  • design illustrations and diagrams to make it look good (and share well)

  • distribute the content for you via SEO and paid channels

And again, they optimize for your biz outcomes (signups, demos, trials) not just clicks and traffic.

  • Together you strategize/review results on a monthly cadence

  • They write and distribute content for you on a weekly cadence

Watch a video about how Wizard on Demand works, or Book a meeting with Oleksii Klochai (he is in our community as well).

Developer marketing insights

1. Zevi Reinitz guide to 1000 stars

Zevi Reinitz runs (not only) marketing at an early-stage dev tool startup called Livecycle. And some time ago he wrote down learnings from growing Livecycle’s Preevy repo from 0 to 1500 stars.

Here is a tldr.

Prerequisites: Basic repo health:

  • A clear description of what your tool does

  • Well-structured readme. Show what you do, code snippets, UI gifs

  • A docs site you want to send people to

The first 100 stars - artificial growth:

  • Kick-off message to friends and family

  • Ask the neighbors in our shared office space

  • Show it off (for free) at conferences

  • First launch announcements on social media

Beyond the first 100:

  • Content creation: present the tool, directly and indirectly, do listicles, 

  • Content distribution: syndication, Reddit and socials, your own blog (SEO)

  • GitHub lists: PR to get it on every list that makes sense

  • Other Sites and Newsletters: reach out to wherever you can

  • Relevant communities and dark social: go to  Slack, Discord, Reddit, Whatsapp, LinkedIn and Facebook and spread the word

  • Paid ads campaigns: Ethical Ads, Reddit (subreddits), Twitter (keywords) worked for them

  • Influencers: list influencers, find collaborative things, reach out to them

  • Podcasts and promotions: get yourself on whatever lets you

  • Use cases testimonials: reach out to bloggers in your space, and see if they’d want to try your tool (and write about it). Some will

  • Hackernews: both show HN and share regular content. 

  • Social media retargeting: whoever engaged got a templated message inviting them to try/star

  • Shamelessly promote other people and projects: when you can promote other people’s projects (and yours with it)

  • My (crazy) Github retargeting experiment: reach out to folks who were stargazers of other similar repos. Just ask. 

  • Celebrate milestones: in public share your milestones and more people will get on the train

2. Header with tabs from Appsmith

What to put in the header when your dev tool does a lot?

I like how Appsmith approaches it on their new website.

In their case, they have multiple use cases they want to showcase.

But you could use the same idea for many features or products.

Show multiple clickable tabs:

  • It invites the user to click and see.

  • It hints at all of those different use cases

  • It doesn't overwhelm your audience with too much info

A bonus idea is the "Try cloud" | "Self-hosted" CTA.

It communicates right away that you can deploy that dev tool anywhere.

If the self-hosted deployment is important to your customers let them know.

You don't want them to look for it and drop from the page trying to find the FAQ.

3. "Life is too short" campaign from New Relic

Is this brand campaign 💩 or ❤️?

I like it a lot actually.

It gets attention, it is memorable, it gets reactions.  

And it does speak to a product message: that you have better developer experience than other tools.

The caveat is, obviously it doesn’t tell you what they do in the slightest bit. So this could never work in a vacuum and will likely not work if you are an unknown brand.

But it definitely beats 50 flavors of "10x developer productivity" ;).

Btw, found this campaign in a guest post from Maya Spivak in Elena Verna’s newsletter “Elena’s Growth Scoop”. Make sure to give them a follow!

Need more developer marketing insights?

1. Work with me

  • I have a few slots every week for 60-min strategy sessions and longer-term advising. We can talk strategy, tactics, brainstorming, whatever you need right now. See how it works -> 

  • You can also promote your product/service/job in this newsletter. But I want to 100% make sure this will add value for the readers so… Let’s talk first ->

2. Join our Slack community

1100+ dev tool CMOs, heads of growth, product marketers, and other practitioners. And later this month we’ll have our first AMA:

3. Bonus links to check out

Join the conversation

or to participate.