Friday , June 5 2020

Launch HN: PostHog (YC W20) – open-source product analytics, Hacker News

James, Tim and Aaron here – we are building a self-hosted, open source Mixpanel / Amplitude style product. The repo is at https://github.com/posthog/posthog and our home page is https://posthog.com/ .

After four years of working together, we originally quit our jobs to set up a company focused on tech debt. We did not manage to solve that problem, but we learned how important product analytics were in finding users, getting them to try it out, and in understanding which features we needed to focus on to impact users.

However, when we installed product analytics, it bothered us how we needed to send our users’ data to 3rd parties. Exporting data from these tools costs $ manyK a month, and it felt wrong from a privacy perspective. We designed PostHog to solve these problems.

We made PostHog to automatically capture every front-end click, removing the need to add track (‘event’) – it has a toolbar to label important events after they’re captured. That means you’re spending less time fixing your tracking. You can also push events too.

You can have API / SQL access to the underlying data, and it has analytics – funnels and event trends with segmentation based on event properties ( like UTM tags). That means we’ve got the best parts of the 3rd party analytics providers but are more privacy and developer friendly.

We’re thinking of adding features around paths / retention / pushing events to other tools (ie slack / your CRM). We’d love to hear your feature requests.

We are platform and language agnostic, with a very simple setup. If you want Python / Ruby / Node, we give you a library. For anything else, there’s an API. The repo has instructions for Heroku (1 click!), Docker or deploy from source.

We’ve launched this repo under MIT license so any developer can use the tool. The goal is to not charge individual developers. We make money by charging a license fee for things like multiple users, user permissions, integrations with other databases, providing a hosted version and support.

Give it a spin: https://github.com/posthog/posthog . Let us know what you think!


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