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Growth Hacking Killed GitHub Stars

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the evolution of open-source projects on GitHub, particularly the increasing importance of "GitHub Stars" as a metric for project growth and success. It examines how the open-source landscape has changed over the past decade, with the rise of intentional marketing and growth hacking strategies to drive star growth.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] The Rise of GitHub Stars

1. What led to the success of Max Stoiber's first open-source project, react-boilerplate/react-boilerplate?

  • The project gained 10,000 stars in just one weekend after appearing on the Hacker News homepage, leading Max to drop out of university and create other popular open-source projects like styled-components.

2. How has the value of GitHub Stars changed over time?

  • With the number of GitHub users increasing from fewer than 10 million to over 100 million, the value of GitHub Stars has suffered from inflation, as it is now more common for projects to reach 10,000 stars.

3. What are some factors that contribute to high star growth events for open-source projects today?

  • Intentional marketing strategies, such as appearing on the front page of Hacker News or getting mentioned by developer influencers, have become key drivers of star growth.

[02] Evaluating Open-Source Project Health

1. What are some alternative metrics, besides GitHub Stars, that can be used to assess the health and success of open-source projects?

  • Commit velocity, issue counts, pull requests, and forks can provide a more comprehensive understanding of a project's adoption and overall value.

2. How can the correlation between stars and forks be used to gauge a project's adoption?

  • The chart showing the correlation between stars and forks can be used to assess a project's level of adoption, with new projects like Plane showing a strong correlation between stars and contributions from employees and government developers.

3. What is the importance of considering multiple metrics when evaluating open-source project success?

  • As GitHub Stars continue to experience inflation, it is essential for developers and contributors to consider a combination of metrics, including commit velocity, issue counts, pull requests, and forks, to gain a more accurate understanding of a project's health and value.
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