How to grow a GitHub project to 20k+ stars? with Nevo David (Novu)
Discover the growth strategies that propelled Novu's GitHub project from 2k to 20k+ stars in a year. Learn from Nevo David's insights on engineering, marketing, and community tactics.

How to grow a GitHub project to 20k+ stars? with Nevo David (Novu)

Jonathan Reimer
Jonathan Reimer
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In the world of open source, gaining traction and attracting GitHub stars is a common goal for companies. However, achieving significant growth in a short period of time is no easy feat. In this episode of Developer-led, we will delve into the key insights shared by Nevo David, the growth wizard behind Novu, an open source notification infrastructure for developers. Nevo managed to skyrocket Novu's GitHub repository from 2,000 to over 20,000 stars in just one year, employing a combination of engineering, marketing, growth hacking, and community tactics. Join us as we explore Nevo's journey from developer to growth marketer and uncover the strategies that propelled Novu to rapid success.


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From Developer to Growth Marketer

Nevo David shares his transition from a decade-long career as a developer to embracing his passion for entrepreneurship and marketing. As a digital nomad, Nevo had the freedom to explore his entrepreneurial instincts and learned valuable lessons from his early projects. He discovered the importance of achieving product-market fit and realized that simply building a product does not guarantee its success. This realization sparked his interest in marketing and growth hacking, ultimately leading him to the role of growth expert at Novu.

Systematic Growth Strategies

Unlike many open source startups that rely on long-term organic growth, Novu's growth trajectory was nothing short of remarkable. Nevo shares the systematic strategies that propelled Novu's repository from 2,000 to over 20,000 stars in less than a year. The key was to maximize visibility and drive traffic to the project. Nevo and his team focused on becoming trending repositories on GitHub by leveraging external platforms such as DEV, Medium, Hacker News or Reddit. They published articles and collaborated with influencers, strategically choosing platforms and content formats that resonated with their target audience.

Leveraging Developer Influencers for Growth

Nevo reveals the role of influencers in Novu's growth strategy. While influencers may attract a predominantly junior audience, they hold significant traffic potential. Nevo collaborated with influencers who aligned with Novu's target market and generated buzz around the project. By leveraging influencer partnerships, Novu was able to tap into new networks, gain exposure, and attract more stars to the repository. Nevo emphasizes the need to diversify influencer collaborations to reach different regions and maximize impact.

Crafting an Effective Readme and Documentation

Beyond marketing tactics, Nevo highlights the importance of a well-crafted Readme file and comprehensive documentation. These resources play a vital role in capturing the attention of potential users. Nevo advises developers to create clear, concise, and engaging descriptions of their projects, catering to both technical and non-technical audiences. He shares insights on how to experiment with different formats, including memes and captivating one-liners, to pique curiosity and drive interest.

Short-term Focus and Niche Audience

Nevo stresses the significance of short-term goals and targeting niche audiences. Rather than solely focusing on long-term plans, he recommends dedicating attention to immediate growth opportunities. By honing in on a specific audience and delivering value through targeted marketing efforts, developers can generate initial momentum. Nevo emphasizes the need to balance development and marketing efforts, highlighting his personal experience of achieving substantial growth by prioritizing marketing activities for several months.


Growing a GitHub project to over 20,000 stars in a short period requires a strategic blend of engineering, marketing, and community tactics. Nevo David's insights provide valuable guidance for open source founders and developers looking to achieve rapid growth. By embracing marketing, leveraging influencers, optimizing documentation, and focusing on short-term goals, developers can maximize their project's visibility, attract a dedicated user base, and achieve significant growth on GitHub. You can learn more about how Nevo grew Novu from 2k to 20k GitHub stars on his websites GitHub20k and How to get GitHub stars.

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