Hello, I'm Courtland Allen.
I'm behind Indie Hackers.
Indie Hackers is a place where the founders of profitable businesses and side projects can share their stories transparently, and where entrepreneurs can come to read and learn from those examples. It's also a community where individual "indie hackers" can come together to share their experiences, give and receive feedback, and rely on one another for support.
You're an indie hacker if you've set out to make money independently (hence "indie"). That means the money is coming directly to you from your customers, not from an employer. Other than that, there are no requirements! Indie hackers are often solo founders, software engineers, and bootstrapped, but it's totally okay if you have cofounders, can't code, and have raised money.
Indie Hackers is an Ember.js app on the front-end. On the back-end, I'm using Ember FastBoot for server-side rendering. The app runs on a Node.js server managed by AWS Elastic Beanstalk. Most pages are cached via CloudFront.
I did all the design myself. I built the blog from scratch. I built the forum from scratch, too, and I use Firebase to store the data and accounts. All of the blog and interview content is stored in JSON and Markdown files that I host on S3.
I'm still figuring that out, so it changes every month! I recommend checking out the most recent "Month in Review" post on the Indie Hackers blog. I generally reveal the exact breakdown of the previous month's revenue and expenses, so you can find out everything you need to know.
This is also a good place to mention that Indie Hackers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Some of the links you see on the site, especially books recommend in blog posts and interviews, may be Amazon affiliate links.
Financially, I want Indie Hackers to be my full-time job! I'd like to make enough money to pay for my rent, groceries, bills, travel expenses, etc. I'll reevaluate after that, but it's likely I'll continue growing the site however I can. I'm most inspired by what Pieter Levels has done with Nomad List.
Philosophically, indie hacking is where my heart lies. I've never worked a full-time job for anyone else, and I want to do whatever I can to help others achieve their dreams of financial independence. It's hard as hell, but it's so fulfilling to work on your own terms: how you want, when you want, from wherever you want, however long you want, on whatever product or service you want. I get all wiggly just writing that! 🤗
I don't. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt, or do your own research if you're planning to make a big decision based on an Indie Hackers Q&A. These are interviews, not encyclopedia entries or investigative journalism!
I don't interview everyone, but I do say yes to people who have an inspiring and educational story to share. Just head to the submission page and read the guidelines. Feel free to point others there as well.
If you're looking for help, feedback, or guidance with something personal, I encourage you to post on the forum instead of contacting me. You'll probably get some great replies from experienced entrepreneurs, including me. If you email me directly, I'll just end up pointing you to the forum, anyway. 😁