Hello, I'm Courtland Allen.

I created Indie Hackers.

What is 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" come together to share their experiences, give and receive feedback, and rely on each other for support.

I created Indie Hackers in August of 2016. Today it's owned by Stripe, where I work on it alongside my brother, Channing.

What makes someone an "indie hacker"?

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.

How was Indie Hackers built?

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, and I built the forum from scratch. The forum uses Firebase to store the data and accounts. The interview and article content is stored in Firebase as well.

How does Indie Hackers make money?

Historically, I've experimented with advertising and affiliate links. In March of 2017, however, Indie Hackers was acquired by Stripe! As a result, Stripe supports the site and I'm no longer accepting new inquiries for advertisement.

What's the plan for Indie Hackers?

Before joining Stripe, I'd never worked a single full-time job. Entrepreneurship is where my heart lies, and I want to do whatever I can to help others achieve their dreams of financial independence.

My goal is for Indie Hackers to be a source of inspiration, education, and community for early founders and aspiring entrepreneurs on a global scale.

Taking the plunge and starting your own business is hard as hell, but it's also tremendously fulfilling to work on your own terms! 🤗

Can I write for Indie Hackers or take part in an interview?

Yes! If you have an inspiring story to tell or helpful lessons to teach, we'd be happy to have you. Head to the submission page to learn more, and feel free to point others there as well.

How do you verify the monthly revenue figures of the companies you interview?

I don't — revenue figures are self-reported. Remember that these are interviews, not encyclopedia entries. If you plan on making any big decisions based on things you've read here, definitely do your own research first.

What's the best way to contact you?

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. 😁

For anything else, tweet @csallen or email courtland@indiehackers.com.