Introducing The Rise Awards

I’m thrilled to announce I’m launching a passion project: The Rise Awards — an award series and community celebrating top talent at all positions.

This all emerged from a simple curiosity: “Who made that?”

Early on at Product Hunt, I asked that question every day as I and the team hunted down the makers of incredible products to bring them into the conversation.

As I did, I discovered a nearly endless treasure trove of world-class designers, engineers, product managers, and data scientists. Although I had not known many of them by name, I certainly knew what they had built.

Why are all these incredible talents going relatively unnoticed, I wondered? Who actually makes the beautiful products that I use every day?

At the least, I wanted to personally thank them. But what I really wanted was to talk shop, to learn what trade-offs they made when building and designing products and why they made them.

One way people get recognized for excellent work is through awards & press. But typically, front-facing leaders (founders, founding teams, execs etc.) win the the awards. These leaders deserve much credit, to be sure, but it takes a whole team to build a great product.

So, I’m launching an awards series to celebrate world-class performers across the board — from executives to executive assistants, engineers to event managers, designers to data scientists, makers to managers, and everyone in between building great companies.

At Product Hunt, the founding team did an good job of recognizing and giving credit to the rest of the team; but many teams aren’t like this. People who do fantastic work often go unnoticed. I’m passionate about helping the world discover and recognize great people who do great work, particularly the people who you don’t know about — yet.

The goal here is not ranking — it’s recognition and community. I’m less interested in reporting that Erin The Engineer is the 7th best ioS engineer, and more interested in recognizing that Erin The Engineer is dope, does dope work, and should be celebrated for it while also meeting other, equally, dope people.


General nominations begin today. There will be 15 categories and 15 winners per category. Winners will be selected by the Rise team with help from a pool of 80 judges, including: Chris Sacca, Tracy Chou, Patrick Collison, Arielle Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Stacy Brown Philpot, Michael Seibel, and more.

Winners are awarded — but with a community instead of with a trophy. Winners get automatic access to events with some of the other winners, judges, and partners — the best in their fields.

Because there will be so much talent beyond the winners, we’ll also host city-wide meetups for those who have given or received five or more nominations. So far, we’re planning meetups in SF, NYC, LA, and close to 15 other cities. We’ll be adding more meetups around the globe to the list as we go based on demand.

There will also be special awards for companies with the most employee nominations in each category, accounting for company size. Winning companies will also be invited to meet all the winners and judges, and they’ll be listed on our “Top Companies to Work For” page.

So. Tell your teammates you value their work. Tell your boss you value his or her leadership. Tell your mentors you’re grateful for their advice and support. Tell your friends you think they’re excellent at what they do.

You may make someone’s day. Maybe you’ll make someone’s week. At the very least, you’ll make yours — gratitude is a hell of a drug.

Nominate someone here.

Thanks to Melissa Joy Kong, Ben Vishny, Raj Vir, Naitik Mehta, Laz Alberto,Alvin Hsia, judges, partners, and everyone else who helped make this a reality.