Channel logo
Technology, Startups, Business
Courtland and Channing Allen interview the ambitious indie hackers who are turning their ideas and side projects into profitable online businesses. Explore the latest strategies and tools founders are using to capitalize on new opportunities, escape the 9-to-5 grind, and create their own personal revenue-generating machines. The future is indie!

Lukas and Liz Hermann talk having ambition as an indie hacker, scratching other people's itches, having kids or spouses to help run your empire, making $8k/month from a simple idea, and charting a course to $100M/yr with and Channing.

Steph Smith (@stephsmithio) talks making millions in content subscriptions, working at a16z, putting the AI genie back in the bottle, thread boys on Twitter, educational vs entertainment podcasts, and media companies that monetize aspiring entrepreneurs with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Seth Godin (@ThisIsSethsBlog) talks indie hacking, finding new business ideas, meaningful jobs vs mechanized jobs, dealing with internet trolls, his secrets to productivity, freelancing vs bootstrapping, writing 9000 blog posts in 20 years, and finding significance in a changing world with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Alex MacCaw (@maccaw) talks living on a boat, quitting his own 7-figure company, starting over with a lifestyle business, whether free will exists, crowdfunding from your own customers, and gaining a foothold in a crowded market with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Emma Lawler (@emmaryanlawler) talks whether crypto is dead, VC vs bootstrapping, getting an MBA after a successful exit, why NYC beats SF, trading sleep for work, whether capitalism leads to perverse incentives, and how she plans to disrupt the App Store with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Danny Postma (@dannypostmaa) talks his rivalry with Pieter Levels, selling his AI startup, using SEO as a moat, how to be an AI first-mover, why he’s not allowed to use ChatGPT, and passing $300k in revenue with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Lane Wagner (@wagslane) talks hitting $26k/mo in revenue, why A.I. disruption is a good thing, the ethics of addictive products, surviving after a first year of no traction, why most business writing sucks, and how to grow revenue by making your product smaller with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Rob Walling (@robwalling) talks his new playbook on SaaS, why he launched on Kickstarter, the latest startup trends, how to have a winning mindset, and whether we should build a Kickstarter for Indie Hackers with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Wes Kao (@wes_kao) talks disrupting traditional education, what it's like to raise $25M, how to stay motivated as a founder, why cohorts are the gold standard of online learning, and how to apply the science of love to product-founder fit with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Indie Hackers is no longer a part of Stripe! Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen) talk about their history at Stripe, the process of spinning out the company, and future ideas for how to generate revenue now that they're indie hackers themselves starting at $0.

KP (@thisiskp_) talks about why building in public beats mere transparency, whether AI will be the end of no-code, why he's made more money from organizing community than anything else, and how he went from a 9-to-5 job to being a founder with multiple exits with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Marc Lou (@marc_louvion) talks living in Bali with a private chef, monetizing habit trackers, first date ideas, growing on Twitter, and building over 10 products in a year to finally reach ramen profitability with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Stas Kulesh (@stas_kulesh) talks about building internal tools as a great hack, why it takes 10 years to understand a new country, the challenging secret of enterprise sales, and slowly growing a SaaS business to $40k/month with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Shaan Puri (@ShaanVP) and Ben Levy (@benmlevy) talk making it big as a content creator, choosing the right business idea, creative ways to monetize, big boy vs small boy stuff, making friends as an adult, growing a newsletter brand, and exiting for millions in under a year with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Josh Ho (@jlogic) talks raising kids, automating word-of-mouth growth, bouncing back from a previous failed business, and bootstrapping beyond $2M in annual revenue with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Yahia Bakour (@mynameisyahia) talks trading stocks, quitting a $250k/year job at Amazon to become an indie hacker, how to join an existing project as a late cofounder, marketing via SEO, being a night owl vs an early bird, and bootstrapping his revenue to $20k/month with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Justin Welsh (@thejustinwelsh) talks setting a high bar for yourself, releasing products without knowing how to code, growing on social media (esp. LinkedIn), selling courses, dealing with burnout, and growing his solopreneur empire to $3M in 3 years with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Mat De Sousa (@DsMatie) talks having million-dollar ambitions as a child, learning from numerous failed startups, why Shopify apps are great for indie hackers, the proper way to find a business idea, and growing from $0 to $37k/mo in 2.5 years with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Damon Chen (@damengchen) talks failed side projects, validating your idea, charging higher prices than is comfortable, what makes for a good website testimonial, and growing a bootstrapped startup to $30k/mo with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Eric Turner (@_etdev) talks living in Japan as a foreigner and visiting Japan as a tourist, finding inspiration to start as an indie hacker, picking a lucrative market, and shares some tips growing a job board with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Laura Roeder (@lkr) talks life coaching, starting multiple successful businesses (and selling one for millions), early growth via SEO, and designing a company to align with your lifestyle with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Marko Saric (@markosaric) talks living in Brussels, things he learned working in marketing, joining an existing project as a late co-founder, succeeding on Hacker News, surviving against a behemoth competitor, and learnings from bootstrapping an open-source project to over $1.2M in annual revenue with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Kapil Kale (@kapil) talks AI-generated art, going through YC, buying out his investors to own 100% of the company, pivoting from an okay idea to a great idea, and growing a profitable business to 8-figures in annual revenue with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Tony Dinh (@tdinh_me) talks growing up in Vietnam, quitting his job working for the man, failed vs successful side projects, growing via Twitter, and managing multiple projects that add up to $18,000 in monthly revenue with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Liron Shapira (@liron) talks relationship and dating advice, building a coaching business, marketing via Facebook groups, and growing his revenue to millions of dollars with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

Dashiell Bark-Huss (@DashBarkHuss) talks quitting the fashion industry, living in a van, learning to code, selling to sex workers, lucid dreaming, and growing her first-ever startup to $36k/mo with Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen).

We're talking to Patrick Campbell, an indie founder who just sold his company for $200,000,000. That's an insane nine figure exit for a bootstrapped founder. In this episode, we talk with Patrick about his champagne problems and what indie hackers need to know today to get to where he is more quickly. 

  • Follow Patrick on Twitter:
  • Check out ProfitWell:

Sahil Lavingia (@shl) and Justin Jackson (@mijustin) join Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen) for a special debate-style episode. It's four dudes talking about Elon Musk. What could go wrong?

  • Follow Sahil on Twitter:
  • Check out Gumroad:
  • Follow Justin on Twitter:
  • Check out

Vincent Woo (@fulligin) sold his company for tens of millions of dollars. He joins the pod to talk to Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen) about advice for fledgling indie hackers trying to make money, the purpose of business, defining principles for one's life, and why he shouldn't have to pay Courtland for a $10,000 bet he lost.

Daniel Vassallo (@dvassallo) and Arvid Kahl (@arvidkahl) have both already made it as indie hackers. They join Courtland (@csallen) and Channing (@ChanningAllen) to discuss making money as an indie hacker, designing your life after you reach financial freedom, avoiding risk, mitigating inflation, and whether or not college is worth it.

Related episodes:

  • #212 – Actionable Steps for Building the Right Business with Arvid Kahl
  • #177 – Mastering the Lifestyle-First Approach to Indie Hacking with Daniel Vassallo
  • #140 – Vital Learnings from Bootstrapping and Selling a $55k a Month Business with Arvid Kahl of FeedbackPanda

Long-time listener, first-time guest — Courtland (@csallen) and Channing's (@ChanningAllen) mom, Eva, joins the pod to talk raising twins, buying gifts, selling computer parts, co-founder theft, an Indie Hackers quiz for moms, and why you should never retire.

I'm making some changes to the Indie Hackers Podcast. Check out this episode for a sneak peek into what's ahead. 

Julian Shapiro is back on the show today. He's been my co-host for our podcast Brains, he's an investor at and a writer at Lately, he's been super into investing. He's managed to take an overly complex thing like investing and reverse-engineer it, breaking it down into its simplest frameworks. 

  • Follow Julian on Twitter:
  • Check out Demand Curve:
  • Become an investor with Carveout:
  • Apply to Hyper:
  • Read Julian's memos for founders:

My twin brother Channing (@ChanningAllen) joins the show for the first time, for a casual chat about our recent trip to Italy, the best and worst parts of getting COVID, the future of media companies and indie creators, and DALL-E 2 and the future of AI.

When Sam Eaton hears a new idea, it's all he can do to contain his excitement and dive right into the code. So when his sister told him she wanted to start a cookie delivery business, there was never any question that he'd apply his indie hacker skills to help out however he could. And to great effect — today they're selling hundreds of thousand of dollars worth of cookies every month. In this episode, Sam and I discuss the advantages of target your local community as a niche, ways to leverage scarcity and social proof to increase sales, and how software engineers can best apply their skills to selling products in the real world.

Twenty pages into reading his first business book, Peldi Guilizzonni (@peldi) closed it for good and told himself, "This is not for me. I'm never going to start a business. It's insane." Not long after that, he rolled up his sleeves and got started building Balsamiq Mockups, which would go on to employee dozens of people, serve thousands of customers, and generate over $6M per year in revenue. Over ten years later, it's still going strong. Learn about the path Peldi took to get where he is today, why he's a legend among bootstrappers, and how he's building a business that's meant to last.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Today I'm talking to Indie Hacker Brett Williams (@brettfromdj) who has built a $1M ARR "agency of one." In this episode we talk about how he manages 50 clients as a solo designer and has 10x'd his prices in the process. 

  • Check out DesignJoy:
  • Follow Brett on Twitter:

Today I'm talking to Greg Isenburg of Late Checkout and Dru Riley of In this episode, we cover a bunch of topics around media and community. I'll ask them where they get their content ideas, how they create product stickiness, how they stay productive and what new business ideas are sitting in their notes app. 

  • Follow Greg on Twitter:
  • Follow Dru on Twitter:
  • Check out Late Checkout:
  • Subscribe to

Today I'm talking to Victoria Young (@victoriahyoung) and Ravi Mehta (@ravi_mehta) about their coaching platform Scale Higher. In this episode we talk about the type of person who could benefit from a coach and how they've been inspired by platforms like Noom and TalkSpace to change the way people are able to level up their professional lives. 

  • Follow Victoria on Twitter:
  • Follow Ravi on Twitter:
  • Find a coach on Scale Higher:

Today I'm talking to Steph Smith (@stephsmithio). She runs and recently got my attention when she posted on IH how she grew her podcast from 0 to 15k downloads/month. She took a really unique approach to launching her show, The Sh*t You Don't Learn in School, and I want to find out how she did it. 

  • Follow Steph on Twitter:
  • Check out her new book: (Enter code "INDIE" to get 60% off!)
  • Subscribe to her podcast:

Today I'm talking to Ben Orenstein of Tuple and Derrick Reimer of SavvyCal. I recently joined them on their podcast The Art of Product and we talked about things like long-term goal setting and hiring a team of people you actually enjoy being around. 

  • Follow Derrick on Twitter:
  • Follow Ben on Twitter:
  • Listen to The Art of Product:

Today I'm talking to Shahed Khan, the co-founder of Loom and investor at Hyper. In this episode we talk about his first business failure at 16 and the many iterations Loom went through before catching on fire. 

  • Follow Shahed on Twitter:
  • Check out Hyper:

In this episode I'm chat with Rob Walling about a wide range of topics including metal health, how to find a business idea and the relevance of bootstrapping today. 

  • Follow Rob on Twitter:
  • Apply to TinySeed:
  • Listen to Startups for the Rest of Us:

Today I'm continuing my conversation with Pieter Levels (@levelsio). In this episode we dig into what habits make Pieter so prolific as well as his thoughts on investing, crypto, and money in general.  

Today I'm catching up with Pieter Levels after 4 years. The world has changed dramatically since we last spoke. Attitudes toward remote work and global travel are all completely different now. We'll talk about what headwinds and tailwinds these changes have meant for his projects. 

  • Follow Pieter on Twitter:
  • Move to Portugal:
  • Work remotely:

Today I'm talking to Amjad Masad (@amasad), the founder of Replit. I'm captivated by his strategy and how Replit is eating the market from the bottom up. We'll talk about that and how he's learned to love being a founder even though it didn't start out that way. 

  • Follow Amjad on Twitter:
  • Check out Replit:

Today I'm talking to Li Jin (@ljin18). She's here to talk about the passion economy, DAOs, and why she's so optimistic about the future of tech. 

  • Follow Li on Twitter:
  • Check out Variant:
  • Subscribe to Li's newsletter:

Today I'm talking to Niya Dragova (@mediumsizecats). Her story is pretty amazing. She grew up in Bulgaria during the fall of Communism where she experienced severe poverty. Today she is championing the mission of making resources more equitable. I want to find out about Candor, her company, and how she got to where she is today. 

  • Check out Candor:
  • Follow Niya on Twitter:
  • Get the best gossip in tech:

Today I'm talking to Sahil Lavignia (@shl) about what indie hackers can learn from his new book, The Minimalist Entrepreneur. 

  • Get a copy of Sahil's new book: on Amazon
  • Follow Sahil on Twitter:
  • Check out Gumroad:

Today I'm talking to Matt Wensing about the long journey he took to get to where he is today with his second company, Summit. I think Indie Hackers can get a lot out of Matt's experience and I have a lot of questions about how he was able to stay afloat for years without any revenue.

  • Check out Summit:
  • Follow Matt on Twitter:

I'm finally doing it. I'm doing an episode on cryptocurrencies--specifically, NFTs. I have been a huge skeptic of this space, but a few weeks ago I started looking deeper. I even bought my first NFT. In this episode, I invited two friends, Hiten Shah and Mubashar Iqbal, to talk about what I've realized about this space and what indie hackers can do today to get something out of it. 

  • Sign up with Coinbase:
  • Follow Mubs on Twitter:
  • Follow Hiten on Twitter:

(Throwback episode!) After spending years pursuing a career in science, Lynne Tye (@lynnetye) shocked her family and colleagues by dropping out of grad school. Thus began a months-long journey of discovery and experimentation that eventually saw her managing 150 people at a high-profile tech startup. But when Lynne realized the fast-paced startup lifestyle was not for her, she quit that, too, and began her search all over again. In this episode, Lynne shares the story behind how she took her career into her own hands, learned to code, and started a business doing what she loves.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

How do you make a ton of money on the internet, and how do you manage it once you've got it? In this crossover episode from the Brains podcast, we have a fun discussion about money with Anthony Pompliano (@APompliano) who's a Bitcoin 9-figure millionaire and Sam Parr (@theSamParr) who sold his startup The Hustle for a reported $27 million. Whether you enjoy this crossover episode or not, tweet me and let me know! I'm @csallen on Twitter.

You can subscribe to Brains in your favorite podcast player or via our website:

Today I'm talking to Justin Jackson (@mijustin). He's someone who started out in entrepreneurship by opening a brick and mortar snowboarding shop. I want to find out how he made the unlikely leap into SaaS and how having four kids at a young age changed both his journey and how he thinks about money, legacy, and the future. 

  • Follow Justin on Twitter:
  • Get your podcast hosted on Transistor:

Today I'm talking to Spencer Fry (@spencerfry), the founder of Podia. His business is super relevant right now because it is basically a one-stop shop to support creators and entrepreneurs. In this episode we discuss the importance of planning, how to iterate on a plan and how to stay persistent.

  • Follow Spencer on Twitter:
  • Check out Podia:
  • Ready Spencer's blog:

Today I'm talking to Sonal Chokshi, one of the biggest experts on building a media business that I know. Currently she's the Editor-in-Chief at a16z. In this episode we'll talk about creating content in a world where media moves so quickly.

  • Follow Sonal on Twitter:
  • Pitch Future:

In this episode I'm talking with Andrew Warner (@AndrewWarner), the host of the Mixergy where he's interviewed over 2,000 founders in the tech and software space. His new book, Stop Asking Questions, breaks down everything he's learned about having a meaningful conversation and maximizing the value out of one-shot encounters. 

  • Learn how to have better conversations:
  • Follow Andrew on Twitter:
  • Check out Mixergy:

Andrew Gazdeki (@agazdecki) has some contrarian viewpoints when it comes to the startup ecosystem today. I invited him here to find out about his beef with TechCrunch and how he is empowering founders with his own company, Microacquire. 

  • Follow Andrew on Twitter:
  • Check out Microacquire:

Today I'm talking to an Indie Hacker Marie Martens (@mariemartens) who has gained over 10,000 users in less than a year for her software Tally. The best part of her story is that Tally isn't even a new idea. In fact, incumbents like Google are already in the space. I invited her here to find out how she did it.

  • Follow Marie on Twitter:
  • Build a beautiful form with Tally:

In this episode I'm talking to AJ from Carrd. I want to find how he grew from $30K MRR to over $1M ARR in just two years and what Kim Kardashian had to do with it. I'll also ask him how he thinks about fundraising as an indie hacker. 

  • Follow AJ on Twitter:
  • Build a simple one-page website with Carrd:

In this episode I'm talking to John O'Nolan (@JohnONolan), the founder of Ghost. For the last year, he's been living on a sailboat and growing his company remotely. I want to ask him about what decisions he made early on that put constraints on how and why Ghost grows.

  • Follow John on Twitter:
  • Check out Ghost:

Today I'm talking to James Layfield (@layfield) a founder who put $3M of his own money into his company Clearfind. I want to find out how he pulled that off and how he's outsmarting the what he calls the "rigged-game" of Venture Capital. 

  • Check out Clearfind:
  • Follow James on Twitter:

In this episode I talk to my buddy Julian Shapiro about proven growth tactics for a SaaS he's seen within Demand Curve. I also want to find out what he did to grow his own Twitter audience to over 200k in basically a year. We'll also dig into the details of a side project he and I have been working on. 

  • Listen to our new podcast:
  • Follow Julian on Twitter:
  • Check out Demand Curve:
  • Sign up for Julian's newsletter:

My guest today is Michele Hansen (@mjwhansen) and she is here to challenge the stereotype that developers fear talking to customers and are naturally bad at it. We'll also get into specific principles and tactics from her recent book, "Deploy Empathy: A Practical Guide to Interviewing Customers."

  • Read Deploy Empathy:
  • Follow Michele on Twitter:
  • Check out her podcast:

In this episode I catch up with Rob Fitzpatrick (@robfitz) about his new book, Write Useful Books. We'll talk about how he approaches book-writing like product development and why the sales graphs for his books look more like a hockey stick instead of shark fin. 

  • Follow Rob on Twitter:
  • Read The Mom Test:
  • Read Write Useful Books:

In this episode I talk to Indie Hacker Valentin Hinov (@ValCanBuild). He is someone caught the pandemic wave in the best way possible. He came up with an idea that not only helps teams feel more connected but also removed a huge pain for team managers. I'll ask him how he built it and how the model for the product has a built-in growth mechanism. 

  • Send a Thankbox:
  • Follow Val on Twitter:
  • Read Val's journey:

In this episode I catch up with Samy Dindane (@SamyDindane), the creator of Twitter growth tool Hypefury. I'll ask him how he found his co-founder from an Indie Hackers post, how he grew Hypefury past $20K MRR, and why indie hackers don't have to solve a completely unique problem to be successful. 

  • Hypefury Twitter:
  • Hypefury Podcast:

Michael Seibel (@mwseibel) and I discuss the secret sauce of what goes on inside Y Combinator and how indie hackers can create it for themselves. And because Michael sees nearly 2,000 startups a year--we'll find out the difference between companies that make it and companies that don't. 

  • Follow Michael on Twitter:
  • Read startup advice on the YC Startup Library:
  • Apply for a YC batch:

My guests today have a really exciting business model and strategy that I want to dig into. Dan Shipper (@danshipper) and Nathan Baschez (@nbashaw) are the founders of Every, a bundle of business focused newsletters. By structuring Every as a "collective," the writers are happier, the readers are getting better content, and Every is profitable.  I want to find out how they get readers, how they get writers, and how "bundling" can be strategic for indie hackers. 

  • Subscribe to Every:
  • Follow Nathan on Twitter:
  • Follow Dan on Twitter:

Sam Parr (@theSamParr) and Shaan Puri (@ShaanVP) have both sold their businesses and are currently hosting one of the best business podcasts out there. In this episode, we talk about what it's like to be in their position now and what kind of businesses they would start if they were doing it all over today.

  • Listen to My First Million:
  • Follow Sam on Twitter:
  • Follow Shaan on Twitter:

Kyle Gawley (@kylegawley) was running a high-growth, venture-backed company when he ended up in the hospital partially due to all the pressure he was under. That experience led to some introspection, which I'll ask him about in this episode. We'll also talk about his new company, which he decided to build with a completely different approach to growth. 

  • Follow Kyle on Twitter:
  • Save three months by trying Gravity's SaaS boilerplates:

In this episode I talk to Andrey Azimov (@andreyazimov) about moving to Bali with a $3K runway and launching his "Hardcore Year." I'll ask him about the projects he launched to reach $10K MRR.

  • Follow Andrey's journey on Twitter:
  • Check out his personal site:
  • Create a website from a spreadsheet:

Today I'm talking to Dan Cederholm (@simplebits) about his somewhat reluctant journey into growing Dribbble. He's a self-described "accidental entrepreneur. So, in this interview, we'll talk about how someone who identifies as a creator and a designer can fill the role of a founder. 

  • Follow Dan on Twitter:
  • Check out Dribbble:

Chris Bakke (@ChrisJBakke) came on my radar when he posted an AMA on Indie Hackers after selling his $2M ARR SaaS for $50,000,000. Like a lot of people in the Indie Hackers community, I have a lot of questions. In this episode, I'll find out how Chris came up with the idea and why he intentionally chose a tiny market. 

  • Follow Chris on Twitter:
  • Check out Chris's new startup:

Molly Wolchansky is the founder of The Agent Nest (@theagentnest), an application that manages social media posts and marketing materials for real estate agents. In this episode, we'll find out why she chose this niche and how seven years of manual agency work led to a breaking point. 

  • Follow Molly on Twitter:
  • Check out Molly's App:

Today's guest recently sold his company, FeedbackPanda, but instead of disappearing to an island, I've seen him all over Twitter, all over his blog, all over Indie Hackers helping people. In this episode, I talk to Arvid Kahl (@arvidkahl)  about how involuntary reciprocity built his audience and how Indie Hackers can do the same. We'll dig into his new book, The Embedded Entrepreneur, to break down how he co-developed and grew his businesses through audience engagement. 

  • Check out The Bootstrapped Founder:
  • Follow Arvid on Twitter:
  • Arvid's new book:

Today I'm talking to two of the top creators on OnlyFans: Savannah Solo and Aella. Each of them is earning 5-figures a month on the platform, which sits at the intersection of the creator economy and porn. (NSFW… depending on where you work.) In this episode we talk about the stigma of making a living from porn, marketing strategies to get huge on social media, and the future of independent creators on the internet.

  • Savannah's NSFW Twitter:
  • Aella's NSFW Twitter:
  • Aella's safe-for-work Twitter:
  • Courtland's OnlyFans page:

Derrick Reimer has been following a playbook that involves taking on big players in a market by drafting on their tailwind. It's gotten him to six-figure revenue with SavvyCal but it wasn't a strategy that always worked. In this episode, we'll talk about how he failed when trying to take on Slack and how he eventually bounced back with SavvyCal. 

  • Follow Derrick on Twitter:
  • Get your first month free with Promo Code "IndieHackers" at SavvyCal:

Since John Doherty (@dohertyjf) was on the podcast three years ago, he's completely changed the business model of his company. In this interview, we'll talk about the moment his customers told him "his baby was ugly" and what happened next. 

  • Follow John on Twitter:
  • Find an agency on Credo:
  • Get unlimited copyediting on EditorNinja:

Joining me is an indie hacker whose broetry post about how he hit $10K MRR went viral. I invited him here to walk me through how he got to that milestone and what his new challenges are as he grows his company Bannerbear toward the $1M ARR mark. 

  • Follow Jon on Twitter:
  • Check out Bannerbear:
  • Subscribe to Jon's newsletter:

Rob Walling (@robwalling) returns to the show to talk about new and not-so-new trends in SaaS that Indie Hackers should be paying attention to. 

  • Listen to Rob's podcast:
  • Follow Rob on Twitter:
  • Check out Tiny Seed:

Nathan Barry (@nathanbarry) has grown ConvertKit from $7M to $27M since I last spoke with him three years ago. He’s done several things in the last few years to grow—including making ConvertKit’s first acquisition and riding the wave of the creator economy. But mostly we’ll discuss how incremental improvements over eight years is responsible for the email marketing tool’s compound growth.  

  • Follow Nathan on Twitter:
  • Find and build your audience with ConvertKit:

Today I have Chris Justin (@Chris_Justin) and Eathan Janney from the Run With It podcast. They are coming on the show today to share some business ideas for 2021 for indie hackers. In this episode we discuss flying cars (VTOL), NFTs, people coins, and other trends to get ahead of for the next year. 

  • Listen to new ideas on the Run With It podcast:

Over the past two years, I’ve been getting emails from Collin Waldoch. The first was in 2019 when he told me his startup Water Cooler Trivia was making $10K ARR. That was followed a few months later by him telling me he was making $50k, then $100K, and most recently $250K. I want you to hear how simple the product is that he built and why he’s not seeing any churn. 

  • Try to beat your co-workers on Water Cooler Trivia:

Joining me is prolific indie hacker and Bitclout enthusiast Mubashar Iqbal (@mubashariqbal) to discuss the pros and cons of the new platform. Is it a scam? Is it not a scam? Are we all living in a real life episode of Black Mirror? We get to the bottom of your burning questions in this episode. 

Austin Rief (@Austin_Rief) started the newsletter Morning Brew in college when he didn’t care if he made money or mistakes. That freedom in the early days resulted in an authenticity that he credits for their growth. In this episode, I talk to Austin about how he’s using Twitter to grow, what types of customers become brand ambassadors, and so much more. 

 • Follow Austin on Twitter:

 • Get smarter by subscribing to Morning Brew:

Today I’m catching up with Ben Orenstein (@r00k) after nearly two years. Since then his company Tuple has grown 3x and is hitting millions on annual revenue. In this episode, I talk to Ben about the factors behind his insane growth, what it’s like being single as a startup founder, and why he’s hiring a coach for nearly every aspect of his life.  

 • Follow Ben on Twitter:

 • Ask Ben out on a date:

 • Pair remotely with Tuple:

Today I’m talking to some of the best online course creators that I know. So many indie hackers got started and became successful because they found ways to teach others online. So I invited Andrew Barry (@Bazzaruto), who runs the On Deck Course Creators Fellowship, Marie Poulin (@mariepoulin), who runs an online course called Notion Mastery, and Ali Abdaal (@AliAbdaal), who runs Part Time YouTuber Academy. In this episode, we’ll talk about how to get started, overcome imposter syndrome, and how everyone has something to teach.  

 • Build a Transformative Online Course:

 • Master Your Life and Business Workflows with Notion:

 • Learn How To Grow Your YouTube Channel:

One of the best ways to build a successful business as an indie hacker is to teach people a valuable skill. So in this episode, I sat down to talk to you two of the best educators that I know. Darrell Silver (@darrellsilver) is the founder of Thinkful (an online learning service that's helped thousands of students get high paying jobs in tech)  and Quincy Larson (@ossia), the founder of freeCodeCamp.

We’ll get into some of the best ways for indie hackers to get started as educators and the economics behind an education business.  

 • Learn to code on freeCodeCamp:

 • Follow Quincy on Twitter:

 • Check out Thinkful:

 • Follow Darrell on Twitter:

Nadav Keyson and his brother built a podcast recording tool on the bleeding edge of technology. By being hyper-focused and product-driven they were able to score clients like Hillary Clinton and the NFL as first customers. In this episode, I’ll talk to Nadav about how he reached out to big names, turned them into customers, and built a product with innate virality.

• Check out Riverside:

• Follow Nadav on Twitter:

In just two years, Ben Tossell (@bentossell) grew Makerpad to over 10,000 users, $400,000 ARR and got bought by Zapier in a deal that became Zapier’s first acquisition. In this episode, I’m going to put Ben’s poker face to the test as I dig into the details of the deal and what it’s like for a founder to go through that process for the first time. 

  • Learn about no-code:
  • Follow Ben on Twitter:

David Perell (@david_perell) is someone whose own friends told him he wasn’t a good writer. By his own account, he was “horrible” at it. In this episode, we talk about why he decided to get really, really good at writing instead of just giving up and what specific techniques made it possible. 

  • Learn how to write online:
  • Follow David on Twitter:
  • Listen to David’s podcast:

Sabba Keynejad (@sab8a) is the founder of one of the fastest growing companies that I've ever featured on the show. In this episode we get into exactly how he used YouTube, side project marketing, Reddit and even getting banned from Qoura to grow

  • Edit videos using Veed:
  • Follow Sabba on Twitter:

Kevin Lee (@kevinleeme) has run the premiere community for product managers online and is now working on something brand new, but it's not what you'd expect. He's working on noodles. Better, healthier, instant noodles. So in this episode, we just get really personal. We talk about our own health and wellness. We even talk about deathbed regrets and how to avoid them by working on the things that actually bring you joy.

  • Shop healthy ramen:
  • Follow Kevin on Twitter:

Jay Clouse (@jayclouse) first popped onto my radar when he posted on Indie Hackers that he sold his community to Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income. You typically don't see communities get acquired because they're often built around a single individual and frequently they get worse as they grow instead if better. In this episode, we'll find out how Jay not only grows this thing, but also holds the ship together as it scales.

So many kids decide to become software engineers because they were captivated by video games at a young age, and they dreamed of crafting that magic themselves someday. More often than not, they end up working at Facebook or Google building web apps and selling ads. But not Dave Geddes. Dave (@geddski) followed his passion, quit his lucrative job, and is making a living creating games that teach people to code. In this episode, Dave and I talk about the moment that led to him leaving his high-paying job, the launch of his first game, and how he's reaching tens of thousands of people.

When Yaro Bagriy (@yarobagriy) set to learn about paid newsletters, he was disappointed by what he found. So in true indie hacker fashion, he decided to create his own learning resource to teach others like him — Newsletter Crew: a podcast, blog, and community all about the paid newsletter ecosystem. In this episode, Yaro and I discuss some of the most inspiring stories from newsletter creators, Yaro's process for coming up with paid newsletter ideas, and why indie hackers building newsletter software may stand to gain more than anyone else.

When Li Jin (@ljin18) was young, she dreamed of going to school to pursue her passion in the arts. Instead she settled for little old Harvard, because common wisdom said there was no money in the passions. Today, the world has changed. The passion economy is stronger than ever, and Li is its patron saint. People are making millions of dollars on passion economy platforms like Shopify, Etsy, Teachable, TikTok, and Substack. And founders are creating millions of jobs by creating these platforms to empower other people. In this episode, Li and I discuss how she's indie hacking in the passion economy space despite being a venture capitalist; power-law distributions and their role in wealth inequality; and her massive ambition to expand the middle class.

  • Sign up for Li's course on the creator economy:
  • Email Li about raising money for your passion economy startup: [email protected]
  • Follow Li on Twitter:
  • Side Hustle Stack, Li's platform of passion economy platforms:
  • Follow Side Hustle Stack on TikTok:

When the founders of WhereBy.Us set out to connect people in their city, they weren't sure where to start. Holding events? Press conferences? Opening a bar? Local news? In this episode, Chris Sopher (@cksopher) and Bruce Pinchbeck (@BrucePinchbeck) share the story behind how they created local media brands in cities across the country, and then used their learnings to spin out a SaaS product for newsletters.

  • The New Tropic:
  • The Evergrey:
  • Letterhead:
  • Follow Chris on Twitter:
  • Follow Bruce on Twitter:

Evan Britton (@Evan_Britton) runs a massive website focused on digital celebrities called Famous Birthdays. It gets multiple billions of pageviews a year, has dozens of employees, and he bootstrapped it to profitability without raising a dime from investors. They key to Evan's approach is his laser focus. He says no to almost everything, including the most obvious of opportunities. Instead he prefers to "stay in his lane." He'd rather make one thing great than do a mediocre job at 4 or 5 different things. The story of how Evan made Famous Birthdays great is one of fame, focus, ambition, patience, and just a little bit of luck.

  • Evan's platform for digital celebrities:
  • Follow Evan on Twitter:

I hopped on the Run With It podcast with Chris and Eathan to share 3 business ideas for indie hackers to run with in 2021. Two are brand new, and one was inspired by my recent episode on bundling with Tyler King. 

Subscribe to Run With It:

Jordan O'Connor (@jdnoc) is one of the more impressive solo founders I've had on the podcast. Saddled with student loan debt and eager to take care of his growing family, Jordan embarked on a years-long journey to learn as much as he could and help everyone in his path. In this episode, we talk about how he developed the skills to build a $38,000/month SaaS business all on his own, and the importance of understanding that not only *can* your business help people, but it *has* to in order to succeed.

  • Closet Tools, Jordan's SaaS for selling more on Poshmark:
  • Follow Jordan on Twitter:

Tyler King (@TylerMKing) and I discuss how indie hackers can take advantage of the current cycle of bundling and unbundling. What is bundling, anyway? Why does it present an opportunity for new business ideas? How can fledgling founders take part in what seems like a game for big companies? And who's already doing a good job of this?

  • Startup To Last, Tyler's podcast about building lasting, profitable SaaS businesses:
  • @TylerMKing, follow Tyler on Twitter:
  • Less Annoying CRM, Tyler's CRM with 22k paying customers and $3M ARR:
  • Indie Hackers Episode #128, the full story behind Tyler's CRM business:

I've been procrastinating sharing my own story on the Indie Hackers podcast for years now. But when Ben and David (the co-hosts of the Acquired podcast) asked if they could interview me, it was impossible to put it off any longer. They're among the best podcast storytellers I know, so before you do anything, search for "Acquired" in your podcast player and subscribe to their excellent show! In this episode, Ben and David walk through my entire startup history, including my early childhood and college years. We talk about the creation of Indie Hackers, how I got it off the ground, and deep dive on the Stripe acquisition. I hope you enjoy it!

  • Follow Courtland on Twitter:
  • Fmail, Courtland's first startup to check your Gmail in Facebook:
  • Syphir, Courtland's second startup, advanced Gmail filters:
  • Taskforce, Courtland's YC startup, convert emails into tasks:
  • v1 of Indie Hackers, v1 of Indie Hackers on its launch day in August 2016:
  • Indie Hackers launch on HN, Hacker News launch post for Indie Hackers:
  • Acquired by Stripe, announcement of IH being acquired by Stripe:
  • Indie Hackers acquisition on HN, Hacker News post when IH was acquired by Stripe:

Dan Pierson's (@DanPierson) first entrepreneurial experience was a walk in the park — he was making $10k/week as a 23-year-old college grad, thinking life was easy. But when his business came to a halt, it set Dan on a 5 year walk through the "entrepreneurial desert" to find a business that could work. In this episode, Dan and I talk persisting through hardship, new ideas for indie hackers to help shape the future of work, and how he made $60k in a week by selling services before products.

  • Unsettled, Dan's business helping shape the future of work:
  • Follow Dan on Twitter:
  • Read Dan's writing on Medium:
  • Gather, a virtual space to gather:
  • Branch, a virtual HQ for remote teams:
  • Grain, transcribe Zoom calls:
  • First Base, physical equipment for remote employees:

Chris Oliver (@excid3) is a solo founder who recently passed $1M in revenue from his suite of projects targeted at Rails developers. He's had a wild journey, from being so broke he had to get a job, to getting to the point where he was literally living the 4-hour workweek while making a full-time salary. In this episode, Chris and I discuss the tradeoffs of different indie hacker business models, the right path for building and selling to an audience, and how to use combinations to come up with unique ideas.

  • GoRails, Chris' Ruby on Rails screencasting business:
  • Jumpstart, Chris' pre-built features for Rails apps:
  • HatchBox, Chris' SaaS to build, deploy, and manage Rails apps:
  • Follow Chris on Twitter:

Mubashar Iqbal (@mubashariqbal) is the most prolific indie hacker I know. He's got nearly 100 side projects under his belt, and more than a few of them are serving the burgeoning podcast space. In this episode, Mubs and I discuss opportunities for indie hackers to serve the podcasting market, what Mubs is working on in the space, and whether or not Spotify is building the Death Star.

  • Pod Hunt, Product Hunt for podcasts:
  • Podcast Ping, uptime monitoring built for podcasters:
  • Podcast Hosting Review, reviews of popular podcast hosting platforms:
  • "I Worked On…", a list of all the projects Mubs has worked on:
  • Follow Mubs on Twitter:

David Hsu (@dvdhsu) was able to grow Retool to almost a million dollars a year in revenue before making a single hire. Rather than stopping there and resting on their accomplishments, Retool set an even more ambitious goal: to literally change the way developers write code. In this episode, David and I discuss the benefits and the perils of deciding to "go big," the keys to finding product-market fit and word-of-mouth growth, and opportunities that founders can take advantage of in the low-code space.

  • Retool, David's low-code SaaS for building internal tools very quickly:
  • Follow David on Twitter, even though he has yet to ever tweet:

At some point, Tara Reed (@TaraReed_) decided that she didn't want to build a funded, scale-at-all-costs, move-fast-and-break-things type of business. The trouble was, by the time she realized this, she was already headed down that path with investors, employees, and high expectations. In this episode, I talk to Tara about quitting one business to pursue a new idea, bootstrapping her way to $5M in annual revenue, and what she's learned about the future of no-code from teaching others to build no-code businesses.

  • Apps Without Code, Tara's business for teaching people to build businesses and apps without code:
  • Follow Tara on Twitter:
  • Idea to Income in 60 Days, Tara's free webinar:

Traf (@traf) is a designer and a serial indie hacker. Just over a month ago, he made over $100,000 in a week. No, not by selling a course or a book to some email list he spent months growing. He did it by whipping up some icons and putting them online. It barely took him two hours. In this episode, Traf and I discuss how to get lucky by both spotting and capitalizing on opportunities, the importance of no-code tools and a clear schedule to help you execute quickly when the time is right, and the power of permissionless marketing for reaching audiences much bigger than your own.

  • James' app for publishing your Notion docs to the web:
  • Follow James on Twitter:
  • The iOS 14 icons James Created:
  • "Six Figures in 6 Days", James' popular blog post:
  • The Boring Token, James' digital currency:

Rob Walling (@robwalling) and I discuss the state of SaaS in October 2020. What are the newest trends? Who's getting ahead right now, what kinds of companies are they starting, and what channels are they taking advantage of? Is SaaS too competitive, and if not, how do you pick the right niche when it all seems so saturated? Are info products, paid newsletters, and communities a better path for indie hackers than SaaS? And do you really need to listen to this constant advice to build an audience?

BONUS EPISODE from the Run With It podcast: Restaurants have been hit hard during COVID-19. Listen to us brainstorm ways Lindsay and Alessandro can leverage their wine club and community to support their workforce and recover lost income.

Subscribe here:

When Daniel Vassallo (@dvassallo) quit his job to become an indie hacker, he was making over $500,000 per year. It could have been a disastrous choice. Instead, less than two years later, he's built a suite of products that most founders would envy. In this episode we discuss how Daniel minimizes risk by running multiple projects simultaneously, how he turns time into a friend instead of an enemy by lowering his costs, and how a lifestyle-first business mindset can make you both richer and happier.

  • The Good Parts of AWS, Daniel's eBook:
  • Everyone Can Build a Twitter Audience, Daniel's video course:
  • Userbase, Daniel's platform for building end-to-end encrypted web apps:
  • Follow Daniel on Twitter:

After raising money from VCs, Aleem Mawani (@aloo) chose a path that most VCs would consider a failure: to turn his company, Streak, into a large, profitable, and lasting software business. To do so, he'd have to pivot away from a failing idea, start charging customers who'd always been free, and bet everything on a risky platform controlled by another company. But today he's never been happier. In this episode, Aleem and I discuss when to work harder vs when to call it quits, how to pick the right community to surround yourself with, and how he chose a SaaS idea that scaled to millions in revenue.

  • Streak, Aleem's CRM for Gmail:
  • Follow Aleem on Twitter:

BONUS EPISODE from the Indie Bites podcast: "I first met Sabba at a pub in London when Veed was just an early beta product making $0. Fast forward a few years, Veed is now making over $100,000 a month and growing rapidly. It's well-executed product in a growing market, but that hasn't stopped Sabba and the team firing on all cylinders to grow the business. I talk with Sabba for 15 minutes about how they came up with the idea, how they've managed to grow so quickly and advice for indie hackers that are looking to go full-time on their business."

Subscribe here:

When Przemek Chojecki (@prz_chojecki) had had enough of startup failure, he decided to interview successful founders to see what he could learn from them. But instead of doing it by hand, he built his own "A.I. journalist" to do it for him, and interviewed 1000 founders in under three months. That's just one of the many ways he's found to use cutting-edge A.I. to be more productive as a founder. The best part? Normal indie hackers can do this, too. In this episode, Przemek and I discuss the explosion of accessible A.I. tech, how indie hackers can use it to accomplish more with fewer people, and how Przemek himself is using it to earn thousands of dollars per month.

What if you spent years growing your business to millions in revenue, then lost it all overnight? It's every founder's worst nightmare, but for Aline Lerner (@alinelernerLLC) it was reality. When COVID-19 hit and companies stopped hiring, Aline's business suddenly lost its main source of revenue. She found herself "staring into the abyss" and looking bankruptcy in this face. In episode, Aline and I discuss what it's like to almost die as a company, how to be scrappy when the situation calls for it, and the brilliant new business model that brought her company back from the brink against all odds.

When Dru Riley (@DruRly) quit his job, he was more than ready for his mini retirement. Little did he know that it would take him over three years to make his first dollar as an indie hacker. In this episode, Dru and I discuss the difficulty of finding an idea with product-market-founder fit, the latest trends in new markets for indie hackers, and how he was able to grow his newsletter from nothing to $20,000/mo in under a year.

"Build an audience first" might be the most common advice given to indie hackers. But how do you build an audience at the highest levels? In other words, how do you build an actual media company? To find out, I needed to talk to a pro. Alex Wilhelm (@alex) the Senior Editor at TechCrunch. He's also built two news organizations from the ground up — Mattermark and Crunchbase News — the latter of which published thousands of articles and broke over a million monthly pageviews. These are numbers that could easily turn a mediocre indie hacker business into a successful one. In this episode, Alex and I discuss the strategies and principles that differentiate successful media companies from half-hearted content marketing efforts, and drive millions of pageviews in the process.

Nathan Latka (@NathanLatka) believes we've entered a new world where the most scarce thing any founder can compete for is not funding, but people's attention. So after selling his first business in 2015, Nathan made a surprising pivot from SaaS and started… a podcast. Then he wrote a book. And launched a magazine. In his eyes, nobody should be building SaaS products until they've built a media brand. In this episode, Nathan and I discuss how he's built up an audience, his tactics for earning millions of dollars in sponsorship revenue, and how he's capitalizing on the attention he's earned with his new product Founderpath.

When Vincent Woo (@fulligin) first started CoderPad, he was certain his idea was a good one. But he still needed to put in the work to prove it. Seven years later, after growing CoderPad and selling it for tens of millions of dollars, it's clear he was right. In this episode, Vincent and I sit down to discuss why bootstrapping is easier than taking the VC path, how it feels to grow and sell such a successful SaaS business, and what exactly he's doing with all that money and free time.

Just because you built it doesn't mean people will come. And just because you got press for it doesn't mean the people who came will stay. As the founder of PR startup, Dmitry Dragilev (@dragilev) knows these lessons well. With his website, Dmitry helps early stage founders not only get PR wins, but capitalize on the gains for the long term. In this episode, Dmitry shares his knowledge of the most important things to do (and avoid) in your quest for press as a startup founder.

Jonathan Little (@JonathanLittle) got his start by making millions at the poker table, and then found a way to turn his favorite card game into an online coaching empire that brings in millions of dollars per year. His "secret" is a combination of consistency and love: Jonathan has authored countless books, YouTube videos, quizzes, webinars, podcast episodes, and more, and part of why he's able to work so hard is because he genuinely loves poker. In this episode, Jonathan and I talk about intentionally develop skills with a specific future in mind, how to find purpose in your career, and ways to parlay success from one career into another.

If you want to build a successful business, you have to be ready to work 24/7/365 to have a shot at success… or do you? Both Natalie Nagele and DHH bootstrapped their internet businesses to millions in revenue, yet they took different paths to get there, with DHH only putting in a small number of hours vs Natalie who ate, slept, and breathed her job as a founder in the early days. In this episode we discuss whether or not DHH's approach is truly repeatable for others trying to get their businesses off the ground, the limits to human productivity and happiness, and the role that society and hustle culture in  shaping how we feel about our work as founders.

When Sam Eaton hears a new idea, it's all he can do to contain his excitement and dive right into the code. So when his sister told him she wanted to start a cookie delivery business, there was never any question that he'd apply his indie hacker skills to help out however he could. And to great effect — today they're selling hundreds of thousand of dollars worth of cookies every month. In this episode, Sam and I discuss the advantages of target your local community as a niche, ways to leverage scarcity and social proof to increase sales, and how software engineers can best apply their skills to selling products in the real world.

Greg Isenberg (@gregisenberg) has spent years practicing the art and and studying the science behind building hit viral products. Today he's using his skills to build a communities design firm called Late Checkout, based on his theory that the best products come from unbundling parts of much larger communities and social networks. In this episode, Greg and I discuss the work that goes into building viral products, how to use niches to gain an advantage as an indie hacker, and why the massive growth of large platforms like Twitter and Reddit has created a short window of time for great business ideas.

From tourism to transit, the travel industry has taken a bigger hit than any other during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, Scott Keyes (@smkeyes), the founder of Scott's Cheap Flights, has managed to stay optimistic. In this episode, Scott and I discuss the frightening state of the travel industry and the economy as a whole, why a curated product is superior to a comprehensive one, and the keys to building a 7-figure paid newsletter that's capable of weathering even the darkest of storms.

Rob Walling (@robwalling) spent years bootstrapping successful SaaS businesses, and today he's helping others do the same as the founder of TinySeed, the first accelerator for bootstrappers. In this episode, Rob and I discuss common misconceptions around fundraising, how to succeed as a founder from an investor's point of view, and why now is the best time to be an indie hacker.

We've heard a lot about what it's like to build a company from scratch, but what's life like after you've made it? In this episode, Steli Efti (@Steli) returns to the show for a casual chat about his experience being the CEO of a profitable and growing SaaS business for years. We talk about the importance of "building the house you want to live in," how to guide a company through its awkward teenage years, and how Steli is planning to get through the pandemic and the looming recession.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Sam Parr (@theSamParr) returns to the podcast for the second time. You may remember his journey as the midwesterner that went from running a hot dog stand to creating an 8-figure ad-supported newsletter. In this episode, Sam shares how he's now on track to build an 8-figure paid newsletter — — and how other indie hackers can do the same. We talk growth strategies for media businesses, advertising vs subscription revenue, and why learning to write persuasively is the most important skill any founder can have.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Bram Kanstein (@bramk) has more experience validating, building, and launching online products than almost anyone, and more success than most. One of his earlier creations, Startup Stash, still retains its title as the most-upvoted Product Hunt submission of all time. Today, Bram spends just as much time teaching others as he does making himself. In this episode, Bram and I talk about the importance of being an early adopter, the best strategies for finding new ideas, and why "mindset" is the first thing he teaches in his new course, No-Code MVP.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Tomas Pueyo (@tomaspueyo) is the author of the the mega-viral article "Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now," which was shared by over 40 million people in a single week after it was published in March. He also happens to be an expert on storytelling, and the VP of Growth at a unicorn startup called Course Hero. In this episode, Tomas and I discuss the universal structure of stories as problem-solving devices, why founders and makers should always think about problems first, and how he applied his storytelling and growth marketing skills to write one of the biggest articles of the year.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Rand Fishkin (@randfish) has been doing something a lot of founders are afraid to do: He's blogging about the coronavirus pandemic directly from his company website, for all his customers to see. And it's working! Not is he providing useful advice for founders and marketers, but he's also setting an example for how others can do this same. In this episode Rand and I sat down to discuss the changing nature of the online conversation around COVID-19, how founders and businesses can communicate effectively and empathetically in this environment, and the most important things to get right when preparing for the looming recession.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Baird Hall's (@BairdHall) first attempt at starting up didn't go so well. When all was said and done, he'd burned through his savings without finding a working business model, and he and his co-founder were forced to sell the business for parts. In other words: they were ready for round 2. In this episode, Baird explains why he can't stop bootstrapping businesses, why it's important to work together with a great team, and how listening to users helped him grow Wavve and Zubtitle to over $100,000/month in total recurring revenue.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Amy Hoy (@amyhoy) didn't merely survive the 2008 recession: she built multiple profitable online businesses that grew to support her and, eventually, to generate over $1M in annual recurring revenue. Amy and I sat down for a casual conversation (which we livestreamed to YouTube) about the looming recession, how Amy made it through the last one, and how founders should be thinking about their businesses going forward.

Ever since I came across his blog years ago, Brian Balfour (@bbalfour) has been one of the most influential people for how I think about growing online businesses. Not only is Brian a successful blogger, but he's also served as the VP of Growth at HubSpot and founded four companies. His most recent business, Reforge, generates millions in revenue helping tech professionals boost their skills. In this episode, Brian explains why it's crucial to have a visual model for growth, shares his models for growing Reforge, and discusses why sometimes the best thing you can do is the exact opposite of what everyone else is.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Customers will lie to you. So will your friends and family. It's one of the most surprising things you discover when you talk to people about what you're building. Rob Fitzpatrick (@robfitz) should know. He spent years making a habit of talking to customers, only to learn the wrong lessons and have his startup flame out anyway. There had to be a better way. In his book, The Mom Test, Rob shares his strategies for talking to customers the right way, gathering accurate feedback, and even finding people to talk to in the first place. And in this episode, Rob and I dive deeper into each of these topics.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

William Candillon (@wcandillon) didn't plan to become an indie hacker when he first started making coding videos on YouTube. He just wanted to learn more efficiently and hold himself accountable. Three years later, he's built an audience of tens of thousands of viewers, and he's making over $6,000/month teaching what he's learned about React Native. In this episode, Will and I talk about why building in public, sharing transparently, and being vulnerable make it easier to succeed as an indie hacker.

Transcript, speaker information, and more: founder Justin Jackson (@mijustin) goes head-to-head with Earnest Capital investor Tyler Tringas (@tylertringas) on the topic of picking the right market. The decisions you make when you're just getting started on a project carry the most weight and might affect your life for years to come. How big of a market should you target? How important of a problem should you solve? What does Justin mean when advises working on a "main dish" instead of a "side dish?" And how do a serial founder's views on this topic differ from an investor's?

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Sergio Mattei (@matteing) might be the most energetic founder I've had on the podcast. After discovering the world of online maker communities, he built his own from scratch—Makerlog—and grew it into something special through his passion for sharing and celebrating others' achievements. In this episode, Sergio and I discuss the importance of finding balance in all things as a founder: gathering insights from users vs your personal vision; seeking feedback from the market vs chasing validation from other makers; and getting things done on a consistent basis without letting productivity hacks and hustle culture overshadow the people and things you love outside of your business.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Jen Yip (@lunchbag) is the founder of Lunch Money, a budgeting app that's going head-to-head with big names like Mint and YNAB. The catch? She's a solo founder, doing 100% of the work on her own. In this episode, Jen and I cover the wide breadth of experiences and skills she's gained in order to make this possible, her strategies for working hard enough to catch up with competitors but soft enough to avoid burning herself out, and why she's doing this all as a digital "snowmad" who works overseas during the winter.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Greg Rog (@greg_rog) is one of the few indie hackers I know who's actually managed to build a passive income business. His website,, makes over $10k per month, yet he spends less than a day each month updating the content and answering questions. His secret? A combination of hard work over a sustained period of time, obsessive focus on making a 10x better product, and embracing no-code tools to support automation despite knowing how to code himself. In this episode, Greg walks me through his story, his successes, and his failures, and we discuss why teaching what you know is an underrated path that anyone can embrace.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Nathan Rosidi has bootstrapped his side project, Strata Scratch, to 2500 users and over $1,500 in monthly recurring revenue. In this episode we discuss the lessons he's learned from past failures, how to prioritize what to work on when you're getting ideas from so many different people, and why it's both a blessing and a curse to be able to take things slowly as an indie hacker.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Cory Zue (@czue) made over $26,000 in profit from multiple side projects in 2019, including a printable place card business and a Django-powered SaaS template. In this episode Cory explains how his journey began by taking a sabbatical from work, he lays out his plan to reach financial independence by 2023, and he shares some tips for ensuring your indie hacker journey is an enjoyable one the whole way through.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Alexandria Procter (@alexprocter101) is the last person you would ever describe as timid. When the bureaucracy at her college in South Africa failed to address a massive student housing crisis, Alex taught took things into her own hands, learned to code, and created a startup to help. In this episode, Alex and I talk about the personality traits and the economic realities that drive people to take risks and solve problems. We attempt to answer the question, "What do founders in the developing world have that founders elsewhere do not, and vice versa?" Alex also shares the incredible story behind how her startup, DigsConnect, has grown to find over 70,000 beds for students in just two years.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Jane Portman (@uibreakfast) is no stranger to making money online. Not only has she run a successful consultancy for nearly a decade, but she's also published 4 books and become a leading authority on UX and product design. So when Jane decided to start a SaaS company—Userlist— she was surprised to learn just slow and difficult the process can be. In this episode, Jane and I discuss the variables that makes companies faster or slower to grow, the importance of nailing your customer messaging so people understand what it is that you do, and her tips for how other founders can stick through the tough times to turn their side projects into successful SaaS businesses.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Vlad Magdalin (@callmevlad) might just be the most principled founder I've had on the podcast. "When it came to making hard decisions, I've leaned more on my morality rather than my business sense. That's what I regret the least." Sticking to his heart has paid off. Not only has he built a company that's changing and improving lives by the millions, but he's also grown it to millions in revenue and 155 employees. In this episode Vlad and I talk about the ups and downs of raising money from investors, the impact of building something that empowers your customers to create, and the compounding benefits of focusing on people and relationships over profit and product.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Pete Macleod (@petecodes) didn't have a cushy fallback plan when he set out to become an indie hacker. Eight months ago he was unemployed, and a few months after that he was working a minimum wage job with dangerous clientele. He knew figured his best bet would be to strike out on his own: "I don't really have anything to lose at this point, so I suppose I'll just go for it." Today he runs No CS Degree, a profitable online business that helps aspiring software engineers who don't have the stereotypical credentials. In this episode, Pete and I discuss his remarkable ability to get help from others, his techniques for rapidly learning how to create a successful company, and the reasons it was crucial for him to solve a problem he was passionate about.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

When Dmitry Dragilev (@dragilev) looked at the personal lives of his business heroes, he didn't like what he found. "Horrible family lives. Just horrible personal relationships." He knew he wanted something different, so he made the conscious decision to prioritize his family life and build his business around that. In this episode, Dmitry and I talk about how he was able to bootstrap from $0 to $30,000/month in revenue working just 25 hours a week, as well as how his business helps indie hackers do PR with less time, effort, and money.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

When Cesar Kuriyama (@cesarkuriyama) first got started, he had nothing but a dream of freedom, an app idea, and a rapidly declining bank account. When every dev shop in New York City turned him down, things looked dire. But through sheer persistence and a penchant to seize every opportunity in front of him, Cesar managed to create an experience that people loved, give a talk on the TED main stage, launch a successful Kickstarter campaign, bootstrap his app to millions of dollars in revenue, and even get it featured in a Jon Favreau movie. In this episode we break down Cesar's improbable path to success, and in the process discover why you should never give up as a founder.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

In the span of two years, Arvid Kahl (@arvidkahl) and his partner Danielle Simpson (@SimpsonDaniK) went from new idea, to $55k a month in revenue, to selling their business, all without hiring a single employee. In this episode Arvid and I discuss the ideal market size for indie hackers to target, the importance of building with a specific audience in mind, and the vital learnings from Arvid's past businesses that contributed to his recent success.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

When John O'Nolan (@JohnONolan) set out to create Ghost, he made an unintuitive decision for a mission-driven founder: to use his skillset to tackle the *obvious* thing to work on, rather than chasing the most *interesting* thing to work on. But 8 years later, and perhaps as a direct result of that decision, Ghost finds itself in one of the most interesting places of any indie business I've had on the show: reinventing online publishing in the the midst of a crisis for journalism, and making close to $2M/year while doing it.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Robert James Gabriel (@RobertJGabriel) never had it easy growing up. Before he was finally diagnosed with dyslexia at age 17, he had teachers counsel him to drop out of school and was told he would never amount to anything. But with some positive encouragement from a few helpful mentors and individuals, Robert found his way, learned to code, and became a prolific indie hacker. In this episode Robert and I discuss the psychological effects of being trapped inside both negative and positive feedback loops, his strategy for coming up with dozens of product ideas, and the story behind how he bootstrapped his app Helperbird into a six-figure business that helps others with learning disabilities like dyslexia.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

When Taylor Otwell (@taylorotwell) first sat down to create Laravel, he had no idea it would be the seed of an ecosystem that would revitalize an entire programming language. He was just building it for himself. In the years to come, his "build it for myself" strategy would continue to pay off, resulting in numerous million-dollar products such as Forge, Envoy, Spark, and Nova. In this episode Taylor and I discuss his strategy for turning his own problems into a source of product ideas; how to have extraordinary impact as a solo founder and self-described "regular guy;"and the almost-unfair benefits of building goodwill, trust, and community around your products and ideas.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Dave Sims (@floifydave) has bootstrapped two tech companies to millions of dollars in annual revenue, and with the help of his wife and co-CEO, he's running them both at the same time. With his latest business, Floify, he's proven that you don't have to know a ton about an industry to discover an opportunity and build a valuable idea… but you do have to learn, and learn rapidly. In this episode, we discuss exactly how Dave came up with his idea by keeping his eyes open to problems and opportunities in everyday life, how he built the right product by learning from his customers and even going so far as to shadow them in their places of work, and why all business is about relationships.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Despite running a successful design agency that caters to big-name clients like FKA Twigs, Stefan Endress (@stefanendress) has known for years that he wanted to build a product of his own and be an indie hacker. In this episode, Stefan and I dig into what it's like running an agency while developing a new product on the side, how to surmount the challenge of finding customers by focusing on people like yourself, and why bringing a unique style and brand to your business may be more important than having a unique product idea.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

The no-code movement is picking up steam, with more people than ever building apps and businesses without knowing how to code themselves. Ben Tossell (@bentossell), the creator of Makerpad, is betting his business that no-code is the future of work. However, Sahil Lavingia (@shl), the founder of Gumroad, isn't so sure that code. In this episode, I hosted a lively discussion between these two thoughtful bootstrappers about code vs no-code. Which approach should a new indie hacker should take? What gaps in the market are opening up due to the changes in tooling landscape? And what does the future hold?

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Anne-Laure Le Cunff (@anthilemoon) is working at the intersection of neuroscience and entrepreneurship to produce content that inspires, educates, and sustains makers like you. In this episode, we talked about how Anne-Laure builds free products that are good for the world while monetizing related products, how she juggles multiple career paths simultaneously by maximizing overlap, and how to combine multiple interests into a single niche topic that's unique and differentiated.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

When Ryan Born (@_RyanBorn) first emailed me about becoming one of Cloud Campaign's early customers, I replied with a long list of reasons why I wasn't going to use it. Two years later, he's generating over $25,000/month in revenue and growing at 32% month-over-month! In this episode, Ryan shares how he found his way to product-market fit by interviewing hundreds of people to find out who is and who isn't his ideal customer. He also discusses the advantages of picking a niche, the ins and outs of running Facebook ads profitably, and how dipping his toe in the water of numerous marketing channels helped him discover which one was worth diving into more deeply.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Tyler Tringas (@tylertringas) may not look like Tarzan, but that hasn't stopped him from expertly swinging from vine to vine. Since we last spoke in episode 10, Tyler transitioned from founder to investor, sold his SaaS business, and is helping to spearhead a whole new approach to funding indie hacker businesses. In this episode, Tyler and I discuss the existing VC model and why it doesn't work for bootstrappers, a new funding model that bootstrappers should all be paying attention to, and why he's betting that "90% of startups fail" should no longer be the accepted wisdom.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Zach Resnick (@TrumpetIsAwesom) began travel hacking as a broke college student looking for a way to see the world without spending thousands of dollars on flights. Today he's used his vast knowledge of the travel industry to create EasyPoint, a concierge service and that's generated almost $60K/month in revenue this year. In this episode, Zach emphasizes the criticality of product-founder fit, weighs in on the benefits of working with friends, and reflects on the winding path he's taken to build a business that customers both love and pay for.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Dominic Monn (@dqmonn) created a marketplace for mentors where none existed, and quickly grew it into a positive revenue stream. What's more, he did it while enduring a 3-hour commute and working a demanding internship. In this episode, we discuss how Dominic leaned heavily on cold outreach to populate his marketplace, the joy of reaching out to (and hearing back from!) satisfied users, and the importance of planning when most of your day is already booked with a full-time job.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

When Tyler King (@tylermking) set out to build Less Annoying CRM, he knew he was entering a crowded market full of well-funded competitors focused on astronomical growth. So instead he took the slower, surer path to success, and bootstrapped his way to 22,000 paying customers and over $2.6MM in annual revenue. In this episode, Tyler and I discuss his insights for making it work in a crowded industry, why he went from avoiding customer service to prioritizing it over everything else, and how he makes the tough choices when facing dilemmas that don't have an obvious answer.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Ghyslain Gaillard (@iamghyslain) of Indie London knew that he wanted to be at the heart of the indie startup scene in Europe, but when he couldn’t find his birds of a feather, he decided to start his own meetup from scratch. In this episode Ghyslain and I discussed the major benefits of getting energized with a group of like-minded indie hackers, why it's so worthwhile to ask others for help, and the practical value of cold outreach in growing your product.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Ketan Anjaria's (@kidbombay) path to success was paved with hardship. He was flying high in the 90s dot-com boom, until he lost his job in the crash. His funded startup won awards at TechCrunch Disrupt and earned him interviews with Time magazine, until it ran out of money and he had to shut it down. But despite the setbacks, Ketan always managed to rediscover his optimism and try a new path forward. In this episode, we discuss the importance of not giving up in accomplishing your goals, why community is an underrated foundation for building a business on top of, and how Ketan has grown his business HireClub 20% month-over-month to reach $30,000 in monthly revenue.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Danielle Johnson (@dinkydani21) is no stranger to the challenge of building an online business. So when she hit on a new idea for a product that could solve a problem better than the competition, she made sure to learn from her past mistakes and do things differently this time around. In this episode, Danielle and I chat about how she went from an idea to an MVP with 50 beta testers in just two weeks, her strategies for successfully launching her product multiple times, and why she and her co-founder are committed to building their business transparently.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Sarah Hum (@SarahHum) got a job working at a big tech company, in part because she wanted to learn how create a startup of her own. But it didn't take her long to realize the truth: the best way to learn is to dive in head first. In this episode, Sarah shares how she went from employee to founder, why she chose to bootstrap her company and travel the world rather than staying in SF and raising money, and how she's steadily grown her revenue to over $50k/month.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Louis Nicholls (@louisnicholls_) never intended to build the audience he server. He just wanted to help people, even if it meant doing it for free. Thousands of email subscribers later, he's been able to build a successful course teaching sales to founders, and he's made over $40,000 in its first three iterations. In this episode, Louis and I talk about SaaS vs info products, the importance on starting small and making incremental improvements, and why "be helpful on the Internet" is possibly the best advice for startup founders.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Josh Wood is living an indie hacker dream: from freelance developer to co-founder of Honeybadger, a monitoring tool for developers that generates over $1M a year in revenue. Even better, he only works 30 hours a week. Josh joined the show to talk about the reward of switching from selling his time to selling a product, how Honeybadger filled a gap left by declining incumbent players, and why building a customer-friendly low-churn business is a solid way to achieve long-term growth, even if sales and marketing aren't your strong suit.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Mubashar Iqbal (@mubashariqbal) has always been a maker first and an indie hacker second. That much is obvious from his track record of building 80+ side projects. But recently, he's taken his "work on things you love" mindset and applied it to a business of his own: Pod Hunt. In this episode, Mubs and I discuss strategies for crafting successful consumer-facing products and he shares his thoughts on why you should always prioritize product-founder fit.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Patrick Campbell (@Patticus) grew up as farm boy from Wisconsin. But after getting tired of working in bureaucratic environments, he cashed out his 401k to bootstrap his own business in 2012. Patrick joined the show to discuss the importance of finding the root cause of problems in your startup, to talk about why pricing and churn are major levers of growth that shouldn't be ignored, and to share how he grew ProfitWell to over $10M/year in revenue.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Steli Efti (@Steli) knows more about sales than anyone else I know. He's also the founder of, a profitable all-in-one CRM tool doing many millions in revenue, so he's the perfect person to answer the question: What should founders know about sales? So in this episode, my goal was to extract as many founder-specific sales tactics as I could from Steli. Whether you're growing a business now, or it's something you hope to do in the future, Steli's advice isn't something you can afford to miss.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Justin Jackson (@mijustin) has spent a lifetime as an entrepreneur, working on products, hosting podcasts, running communities, creating courses, and more. But it wasn't until he created his newest business, Transistor, that he fully realized the power that comes from choosing the right market as a founder. Justin joined me on the podcast to talk about the advantages of solving a straightforward problem, the importance of finding the truth in the early days, and why it might be worth it to wait for the right idea for the right market.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Being an indie hacker is the ultimate responsibility: If you don't get things done, nobody else will. It's up to you consistently execute well, day after day. But how exactly you do that? Nir Eyal (@nireyal) joined me on the podcast to answer that exact question. After years of research into what separates those of us who execute on what we commit to doing vs those of us who get distracted or lose motivation, he's broken down his findings into a process any founder can use to become "indistractable."

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Justin Mares (@jwmares) is the founder of not one but two companies in the health food space, each of which he's simultaneously bootstrapped to over $10,000,000 in annual revenue. In this episode we covered why you should avoid having a scarcity mentality when coming up with an idea to work on, how to alleviate market risk by running a smoke test, and how Justin was able to rapidly grow his businesses by bringing growth know-how from tech to the industry of consumer packaged goods.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Harry Dry (@harrydry) is the founder of Marketing Examples, a fast-growing showcase of successful startup marketing stories. Since launching the site a few months ago, he's grown his email list to 5000 subscribers, won product of the week on Product Hunt, and is approaching $1,000 in monthly recurring revenue. Harry joined the show to talk about reducing the risks of being a founder, how to grow your Twitter following, and the importance of building the product that only you can build.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Jeff Meyerson (@the_prion) is the host of Software Engineering Daily, a popular podcast that averages 20,000 downloads a day. It's also a successful business that generates close to $60,000/month in advertising revenue. Jeff joined the show to talk about the business of podcasting: What goes into producing an episode? How do you ask great questions? What's the best way to grow your listenership and land lucrative advertising deals? And what lessons from podcasting apply more broadly to all indie hackers?

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Ben Orenstein (@r00k) is the founder of Tuple, a remote pair programming app for the Mac that fills the void left by ScreenHero's disappearance. Ben joined the show for a second time to catch us up on Tuple's progress as a profitable pre-launch business. We talked about the benefits of creating a public roadmap that you can share with customers, the importance of learning by selling, Ben's gameplan for Tuple's public launch, and why it's important to focus on growth long before launch day.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

What happens when the money you're making from your side project eclipses your salary from your full-time job? Tommy Griffith (@TommyGriffith) found out in the best way possible when he began generating six figures in revenue just a few years after he started teaching people everything he knew about SEO. Today his business, ClickMinded, generates over $40,000/month. In this episode we discuss the best ways to bootstrap an email list, why it takes 1000 days for a side project to replace your salary, and how a taste of freedom can make you unemployable.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Jessica Chan (@thecodercoder) is the founder of Coder Coder, a collection of resources that help self-taught web developers learn to code the same way that she did. Jessica joined the show to share how she came up with her idea and got her first users, how she grew her Instagram account to 30k followers and her website to over 60k visits per month, and how she plans to make a living from her business as an indie hacker.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

When Chris Savage (@csavage) and his co-founder started their business, they were convinced that they'd be able to sell it within six months. They never would've guessed that 13 years later, not only would they still working on Wistia, but the business would be $17M in debt. In this episode we talk about pivoting from a bad idea to a good one, prioritizing long-term thinking from the very beginning, and how Wistia turned $500k in losses into $6M in profit in a single year.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

In the early days of his business HostiFi, it seemed liked the deck was stacked against founder Reilly Chase (@_rchase_). From encountering frustrating roadblocks while he learned to code, to getting banned from forums where his customers hunt out, everything he tried was an uphill struggle. Today, however, just one year after launching, he's pushed through and reached the milestone of $100,000 in ARR as a one-person startup. Reilly came on the podcast to talk about keeping expectations low in the beginning, making it work when you've chosen a small niche, and how to avoid giving up with nothing you're doing seems to be working.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Sam Parr (@TheSamParr) describes himself as a midwestern small business owner who discovered the Internet, and his journey from running a hot dog stand to building a media empire seems to prove that. His current business, The Hustle, generates 8 figures in annual revenue from newsletter advertising alone, a feat Sam attributes to great copywriting, relentless experimentation, and the massively underrated power of email. In this episode we talk about how founders can build profitable businesses by resisting the urge to make their tech businesses more complex than they need to be, why it's important to borrow lessons from businesses in other industries, and the art of getting help from others by swallowing your pride and making specific requests.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Joe Howard (@josephhhoward) is the founder of WP Buffs, a productized service business in the WordPress space that he bootstrapped from $0 to over $70,000/month in revenue. We had a quick chat about how Joe launched his business and found a paying customer in just a few days, how to make more money by raising your prices, and why it's important to keep things simple as a founder.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

As the community manager for Product Hunt, Ben Tossell (@bentossell) saw over 80,000 new product launches and met hundreds of inspirational makers. So when learned that he could use a new breed of tools to make his own products without learning to code, it felt like unlocking a new superpower. Many dozens of apps and Ben created Makerpad, where he creates tutorials and collect resources to help others like him become no-code makers. In this episode we talk about how Ben grew Makerpad to over $100,000 in revenue in 6 months with almost no expenses, and why he has no plans to go full time on such a successful side project.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Jason Fried (@jasonfried) doesn't intend to be controversial or to change people's minds, but he seems to end up doing both of these regardless. Since launching Basecamp in 2004, he's grown the business to tens of millions of dollars in annual *profit*, and gathered a collection of strong and often counterintuitive beliefs along the way. In this episode we discuss how to take advantage of building an independent company, when to focus on a product and when to let it go, how to learn from the past without fooling telling yourself a false narrative, and the importance of blazing your own path as a founder instead of blindly imitating others.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Dianna Allen (@diannamallen) is the creator of Budget Meal Planner. In just two months, she's gone from having an idea to getting thousands of signups, articles on Lifehacker, and three #1 milestone posts on Indie Hackers. In this episode Dianna shares the story behind how she came up with her idea, validated it, and got her first users, and we break down what's made it so successful so far. 

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Rather than pursue a traditional career, Hiten Shah (@hnshah) decided to follow the choose-your-own-adventure life of being a founder. Since then he's launched more than 30 products, including five multimillion dollar products and a few spectacular failures as well. In this episode we talk about embracing and reflecting on failure, making better business decisions through research, the importance of sharing and teaching what you've learned, and how to make sure you're working on what matters.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Pat Walls (@thepatwalls) joined the podcast to talk about quitting his job and going full-time on his bootstrapped business (Starter Story), how he launched a second business (Pigeon) and found his first 10 paying customers in under a month, and his strategies for juggling multiple projects at the same time.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Eric Zhang dropped out of school to pursue his startup, got accepted to Y Combinator, and found traction in the open source community. But when he found himself no longer excited to show up to the office, he realized something crucial was missing with his business: a workable business model. In this episode Eric and I discuss his decision to quit his startup and how he ended up helping grow a bootstrapped business to over $100MM in revenue in an industry rife with well-funded competitors.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

After leaving his post as employee #2 at Pinterest, a teenage Sahil Lavingia (@shl) raised millions in funding from high-profile Silicon Valley to build a unicorn startup that could change the world — Gumroad. Today he lives in tiny Provo, Utah, spends much of his time learning to write and oil paint, and runs Gumroad as an indie business with the goal of making himself happier. In this episode we talk about what happened in between, and the lessons Sahil learned that can help every indie hacker create better lives for themselves by building more "successful" businesses.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Although Aline Lerner (@alinelernerllc) graduated from MIT and worked as a software engineer for years, some of her most impactful learnings came from the time she spent working as a cook and moonlighting as a recruiter. Putting all of her experiences together, she realized that hiring in tech could be so much better, and so she started, a company that has since grown to millions in revenue. In this episode we talk about finding the activation energy to get started, juggling the 50+ responsibilities of being a founder, how to build a team of people you're lucky to have, and how to win big by starting small.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Although Adam Wathan (@adamwathan) dropped out of college (twice!), he's one of the most voracious learners to ever appear on the podcast, and he's built a wildly successful business for himself by teaching others what he's learned. We cover Adam's journey from college dropout to software engineer, the lessons he learned from his first "failed" business, how he creates free content to build an audience, and the techniques he's used repeatedly to drive millions of dollars worth of demand for his books and courses.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Despite being an introvert, Rosie Sherry (@rosiesherry) knew that she needed to build a community that software testers deserve: the Ministry of Testing. In this episode, we discuss how Rosie created a community so tight-knit that people have its logo tattoo'd on their bodies, how she grew it to $1.2M in revenue without relying on ads, and how she did it all while raising and homeschooling 5 kids.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

When Ben Orenstein (@r00k) decided he wanted to start a company, the biggest risk in his mind was a hurdle he'd already cleared: not deciding to start in the first place. In this episode we talk about the early days: how Ben met his two co-founders, came up with an idea, sold over $8000 in pre-sales, and grew revenue to ramen profitability, all before launching their product.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Through his consultancy, thoughtbot, Chad Pytel (@cpytel) might be the only first-time founder who's turned hundreds of ideas into actual SaaS products that people love. In this episode, Chad shares his thoughts on the advantages (and disadvantages) of consulting vs building scalable SaaS products, how he grew thoughtbot from nothing into a 100-person consultancy on track to generate $20MM in revenue this year, and the lessons he's learned from 15 years as a first-time founder.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

If it isn't fun, Allie LeFevere (@AllieLeFevere) doesn't want anything to do with it. It just so happens that, in a world full of undifferentiated products and fear-based marketing, fun and humor are the missing ingredients that founders need to set their brands apart. In this episode, Allie shares the fundamentals behind solid brand marketing that every early-stage founder should know, how to sell more (and have a good time doing it) by using fun to connect with your customers, and the things she's learned as the founder of both a scalable product business and a digital marketing agency.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Danielle Baskin (@djbaskin) gets really excited about new ideas. So excited, in fact, that she can't resist bringing them to life by making them into products. Then turning those products into businesses. Then never shutting those businesses down. In this episode, Danielle shares the lessons she's learned starting 23 businesses since 2007 and continuing to run all of them in parallel, indefinitely.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Derek Andersen (@DerekjAndersen) and David Spinks (@DavidSpinks) have a lot in common. Each of them felt alone in what they were striving for, brought together like-minded people, and ended up growing communities and building businesses around them. After a string of startup failures and hardships, Derek turned a small support group of entrepreneurs into the global community for founders that is Startup Grind. David turned a small group of community builders into CMX, the premier community for community builders world-wide. In this episode, we talk about why every founder should care about community, and how bringing together like-minded people can be a productive first-step for any new founder.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Mark Fershteyn (@markfersh) always knew he wanted to start a business, but there was just one problem: He didn't know what that business would be. Of course, this wasn't enough to stop a determined founder in his tracks. And so, fueled by raw optimism and a refusal to lose, Mark embarked on a years-long journey to build a promising business, discovering and overcoming dozens obstacles in the process. In this episode, Mark shares the story behind his business, Recapped: recovering from failures and false starts, dealing with the stress caused by a dwindling bank account, finding product-market fit through sheer persistence and faith in what he was building, and learning new things about himself in the process.

Transcript, speaker information, and more:

Unknown error occured.