March 14, 2018

Who's coming to MicroConf this year?

I'll be at MicroConf Starter Edition this year. I think @patio11 and @mijustin will be there as well. Who else is coming?

If you've never been, I highly recommend buying a ticket, btw. It's in Vegas and starts on May 1st. I met a ton of interesting people last year and came back with some really great ideas for Indie Hackers. There's something about talking in person that's hard to replicate online.

(Also, I'm planning to get @robwalling and @MikeTaber on to do an interview so we can learn what it's like to run a big conference like this!)

  1. 14

    If you're new to MicroConf, check out this interview with @MikeTaber.

    Folks have also found this MicroConf tips guide helpful. 👍

    1. 2

      Holy [bleep]! I didn't know you had a second podcast! I love MegaMaker. Can't wait to dive into this one.

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        I do! I actually just started a third podcast called Build Your SaaS that you might like as well. 😉

  2. 11

    So real question: how is MicroConf for introverts? Sort of a weird thing to ask, I know—but I've never been to a business conference, so I'm curious how the experience is, and how many conversations you get to have if you're not the one who is actively initiating all of them.

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      I thought similarly, that I'd travel all that way and not really end up talking to many people. I went to the Euopean one in Nov and it was really friendly, there were lots of open invitations to talk to people over lunch or dinner. It's not a businessy / networking style conference. More just talking about ideas and projects and the kind of stuff you don't get to talk about anywhere else.

      It's worth it.

    2. 6

      I totally feel you on this question. I went 3 years ago by myself, and I was one of only a handful of ladies (which was incredibly intimidating at first).

      I have to say that it was a super positive experience. I consider myself introverted, but love chatting 1:1 with people. I basically just said hello to anyone else who was standing alone, or said hi while grabbing breakfast and coffee (and this is not something I would normally do). There are many people there who are coming on their own and probably feel just like you.

      I would say the vibe definitely feels a bit more introverted than other conferences, but everyone was so friendly and willing to engage in conversation.

      I got just as much from the "hallway track" as I did from the speakers!

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        Are you planning on attending this year, Marie? I'll be at Starter and would love to chat membership sites :)

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          Hey Travis— I'm actually speaking at Starter (WHAT??) so I will definitely be there and would so love to connect!

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            Right on! That's awesome. Looking forward to it.

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      Like almost any other conference with a good percentage of introverts, I would say? Not sure how to answer that one...but there's plenty of occasions to just go and introduce yourself (happy hours every evening, morning coffee & muffin, breaks, lunch).

      As an introvert myself, I kinda have to kick myself in the butt to go speak with one of my first conf, I gave myself a couple of rules: meet at least X people per day (i.e., have meaningful conversations) and never stay alone more than 5 minutes.

      It works for me...but it's definitely exhausting hehe

    4. 3

      I dread normal conferences. MicroConf is one of the few that, because everyone is working on something and using the same vernacular, I'm more comfortable having deep biz conversations with random attendees I've never met, then I could have with my family or friends back home. It's amazing how "at home" you feel. It's like finding "your people."

    5. 2

      This is an interesting question to me, as I'm going to my first conference next week. One thing I'm trying to do is get to as many informal meetups as possible (including putting one together for IH) so I can meet people in a laid back context.

      For example, if you're on IH you already know of some people who are going to Microconf, so I'd try posting on here to see if anyone wants to meet up beforehand.

      Overall, my main goal is to meet as many people as possible even though I'm an introvert and loosening up around strangers is difficult for me. If I just wanted to learn I think there are better ways than going to a conference.

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    I'll being there! Went 3 years in a row, took a couple of years off, but looking forward to seeing folks again!

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    I'm attending Growth and speaking at Starter. Attended Starter last year which was my first MicroConf and it was awesome, can't wait for the conference again this year.

  5. 6

    I'll be at Growth Edition! This will be my first MicroConf (and basically my first conference). I'm really looking forward to it.

    Justin Jackson put together a helpful Google sheet of attendees.

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      First conference? Woah, setting the bar high! :D

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        Yup - it's time to get out of my shell :) Hello fellow Vancouve'ite!

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          And fellow foodie! Hello!

          Awesome SaaS, too! Maybe see you at MC - i'll be at starter though. Excited for you- you're going to have an amazing time!

          (Also I'm on the Sunshine Coast, but IH doesn't recognized and defaults to Vancouver, where I was for 7 years previously!)

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            The conference sounds like it will be a great time - best of luck with your talk!

            Ah, very nice. The Sunshine Coast is beautiful. I'm on my 7th year in Vancouver and considering moving to Kelowna. Hopefully, IH will recognize the interior as not-Vancouver ;)

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      Thanks for sharing this spreadsheet! I hadn't come across it before and its a great resource. I was wondering when people tend to arrive/depart to help me figure out the same since its my first year attending.

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        You're welcome! Good on @mijustin for creating it - I've found it useful as well.

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    I'm coming! So excited to see everyone again.

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    My husband Thomas and I will be there for Growth but we're staying extra time!

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      Yes! I'll be at Growth as well as Starter.

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      "extra time" - any opportunities for you to mock my business while I feed you both? ("maybe" is a valid answer, just in case you decide I'm not worth mocking). I'm (re)building a business case to my CFO (better-half) - it's a big one because I'm in Sydney, Australia.

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        It's not at all about "worth"! But I have very limited energy oftentimes and simply don't commit to any kind of social engagement in advance, typically. But if we run into each other and I'm feeling good, absolutely.

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          Totally understand (long-time fanboi) and thanks.

    3. 1

      Awesome to hear that! I'll be in town through both but only attending Starter.

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    @csallen I'll be at Starter as well. We met briefly last year, but this will be my third year.

    For those that are curious, I've written on IH previously to answer the question "Is MicroConf worth it?" >>

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    Last year, I've attended the Starter Edition, it was great!

    This year I'm coming back from Growth Edition.

    The most valuable things I've learned was in the time between the talks, going out to dinner with attendees & speakers, that's when they really spill the beans on whats working for everyone.

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    I'll be at Starter this year. First time going to a MicroConf! I'm excited to meet a bunch of like-minded folks.

  11. 2

    Just saw this now! I went all in and decided to attend both Growth and Starter and flying all the way from New Zealand! I'm very keen to connect with fellow indie hackers :)

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    Hi! Would MicroConf record & release video on Youtube?

    I am in China, I can't go to LAS VEGAS just for this event,

    cost is too high :(

    1. 2

      Hey there! They've got some videos from the past conferences here:

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        wow! Thank you very much!

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    I'm going, @csallen, thanks to this post. Recommendations for first timers looking to integrate quickly and maximize networking?

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    My this year's goal is to earn enough revenue from my SaaS project so I can attend next year's MicroConf. How about that? This will keep me going! :)

  15. 2

    I <3 MicroConf. I decided not to go this year for a variety of reason, and I'm kinda sad. Will miss seeing people there again! I might go to MicroConf Europe to compensate, who knows.

    Highly recommend.

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      Did you go to Growth, Starter, or both?

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        I went to both.

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    Looks awesome! Vegas is a bit of a stretch to travel though. Is there anything similar in the Midwest?

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      I have a list of "Bootstrapper conferences" here on GitHub:

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        Nice list! I dig it! :)

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      For such a potentially life-changing event as MicroConf, Vegas from the midwest isn't that far. I'm traveling from Michigan. I would go to MicroConf if they held it on the fucking moon!

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        Hmmm... Maybe I'll have to try for next year. :)

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          I’m traveling from Sydney, Australia. No offence intended at all but perhaps you don’t want it enough just yet? I have wanted to go for a long time and now the time is right. You will know when your time is right.

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            Sweet! You're from Sydney! That's cool :)

            So... Have you ever been to Vegas before? If not I have a tip for you...

            Whatever your food budget is? Double it. Especially since I doubt you'll be able to bring much food with you since you're coming in from so far away.

            I was in Vegas back in 2012. I had always been told that food was cheap. I'd always been told stories of $2 dinners.

            That was NOT the case. To get affordable food you either have to leave the strip (which means paying for a rental car) or gamble (which is its own expense and not what I was there for).

            I was there for a week and ended up paying almost $800 for food. It ended up being $100 - $125 /day.

            To put that price in perspective, I'm used to paying $10 - $12 /meal when eating out in Ohio. $20 - $30 in a tourist area. I only eat 2 meals a day.

            Trust me... I looked HARD to find affordable dining. One day I walked 45 minutes to a Subway which charged $15 for a sub that (at the time) was $5 everywhere else.

            I'm not trying to be negative. I'm sure MicroCon is truly life-changing and worth every penny. Someday I will definitely attend when my finances have been stabilized more. I just know from experience how much Vegas costs.

            To be fair, you're right. I probably could find a way to get there. It would involve debt. I'm prioritizing my personal financial stability above the MicroCon experience. I'm betting it will be the better investment in the long run. Especially because, if I just wait a year or two, I can probably afford to go without spending money I don't have.

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              Even when I've been to Vegas on business I rarely hit $100 for food. There are plenty of places to eat well cheaply, the $5 buffers are all long gone but can be done. Happiest memories oddly enough is the German "BierKeller" off the strip. Don't do hangovers well these days!

            2. 1

              Thanks for the heads-up, I was last there in 1998. Geez, and I thought Sydney was expensive but it's easy to to eat out and eat well here for well under USD50 /day.

              Your reasoning is totally sound and sensible and is much the same as mine for not going previously. I am now at a point (very close to launch) now where it will make the Big Difference to justify the Big Cost. My youngest child starts school in 2020, as a family we need stabilise our routine, and even where we live, by then so I need to get my software products launched and established and balance my freelance work with that. I have a deadline.

              OMG the cost. My costs will be more than USD $5k (+ meals) and also USD $6k in missed revenue. Ouch. I know am fortunate that I can find the cash for this nowadays but that was not always the case.

              I will be away for 10 days or so which is actually a bigger stressor than the cash outlay because we have 2 rugrats and my wife works too. Something I never thought about before I had kids, there is more than one "cost". With kids to wrangle, everything becomes an order of magnitude harder, time shrinks and sleep is a luxury. This is a little off-topic but not a lot. You can pay off a cash debt but not a time debt. I'm not questioning your decision, just making it harder ;). I also have a few clients that will "wtf" about be taking a few weeks out for MicroConf + launch. That should be fun.

              I'm prioritizing my personal financial stability above the MicroConf experience. I'm betting it will be the better investment in the long run.

              Good that you see these things as an investment rather than a cost and also good that you are focusing on ROI. Sensible.

              Sensible is hard, eh?

    3. 2

      AFAIK, there's not a ton of conferences for the world! hehe If you're in the US, it's a no-brainer IMHO.

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        That good eh? Hmmm... Maybe when 2019 rolls around. ;)

  17. 1

    See you there, Courtland! Just booked my conference ticket, plane tickets and hotel yesterday :)

  18. 1

    I just booked my ticket for the Starter edition, flight, and hotel. This will be my first MicroConf. I'm excited! (And, as an introvert, a little nervous.)


    TIP - Book your travel (Flight + Hotel) through Expedia AS A BUNDLE. That saved me almost $300 over booking them separately. (And, yes, I tried to book the hotel through the link that was provided by the organizers; but a $300 savings is hard to pass up.)

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      watch out for the standard $35/night resort fee, MicroConf has negotiated a $15/night resort fee.

  19. 1

    YEs, I'll be at the starter edition. I was hoping to go last couple of years but other travel plans and the lack of vacation time to US employee's was always a factor!!!

    This year I've made time and looking forward to it. I'm a seasoned Vegas conference attendee (>20 times) but really looking forward to the fact I'll be not walking 25,000 steps every day and keeping it simple.

  20. 1

    I will be at MicroConf Starter this year, as well. Look forward to seeing others!

  21. 1

    Background: I have launched and shipped in the past. I've recently jumped into a new role but I have the itch with all of the symptoms that come with it. I haven't built or launched my recent project yet. Would MicroConf be a good fit for someone like myself?

  22. 1

    I'll be attending for the first time this year. I'll be at Starter, but plan to arrive early to have more time to hang out and meet folks for dinner, drink, hike, chat, coffee, whatever.

    My background is in security software, I write a lot on All Things Auth, and I am trying to start a two factor authentication (2FA) SaaS product. Get in touch if any of that sounds interesting (or for any other reason) and we'll meet up in Vegas!

  23. 1

    YES! Booked it. <3 my CFO (it's ok, she wears my ring).

    Next year for sure. I seriously considered coming this year but, ironically, I'm presently flat-out with & - both have been in the works for more than TEN years and I'm launching both next month on May 13th. Wait, next month May! Oh, sh...

    Meanwhile (in my day job) I'm also working on the design of a world-first remote IP broadcast facility, and I wrangle 2 kids, 6 & 3. Oh, and I have 3 other freelance broadcast client projects. So, to anyone who says "I don't have time" or "I'm too busy" ==> pfffft !

    As for "it's too far" I'm travelling from Sydney, AUS. See you there next year month.

    1. 1

      Aw, maaaaaaaaan. I look at this & @mijustin's list of attendees and now I'm rebuilding my business case to present to the CFO (she who must be obeyed). You people are a bad good influence. /Edit: see above. related: see you soon.

  24. 1

    Woohoo, can't wait

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    No unfortunately I'm stuck here in Florida. Maybe if they held an event near me in Tampa Bay.

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    Starter edition seems like it's for super early stages (not making enough to support you full-time). If I'm full-time should I go to Growth instead? Are they really any different?

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      If you're making a full-time income from a digital product (SaaS, software, other) you should go to Growth.

      If you're still consulting (or working a day job) and building something on the side, go to Starter.

  27. 1

    Did they pause for a while? It looks like they haven't posted a video since 2015!

    I heard your podcast with Mike when you had that cold, though... what's the story with MicroConf?

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      The conference hasn't taken a break. In fact, it's doubled in size since 2015. Last year, we split it into Growth Edition (for people who are full-time) and Starter Edition (for people who aren't) with 250 attendees and 175 attendees, respectively.

      Previously, the videos were made available after the conference for free to everyone. To help offset the production costs (which are non-trivial for 4 full days plus various interviews), if you attend the conference, you still get the videos for free. If not, they're available for purchase.

      I've made a note to update the website, since I see how that may be confusing.

    2. 2

      They didn't pause. I just think videos are for attendees now maybe? I definitely have access to videos from last year as I was there.

      It's great!

  28. 1

    I've always wanted to go, wan't sure if it would be a good fit for us. Do you think a company that has raised some angel funding and is profitable would find it useful?

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      There's a handful of attendees that have raised money. Regardless of whether you've done so, you're likely to learn a lot from the conference. The main thing to keep in mind is that the vibe is different than you'll find at conference where funding is the norm and is the main way businesses get off the ground.

      The focus is on acquiring customers and maintaining profitability. You'll find almost nobody at MicroConf who is hyper-focused on growth without a care in the world about revenue. Profitability is a key part of building the business because the there's no expectation of looking for round of funding.

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        Thanks Mike, good to know. That's what I was hoping to hear!

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      @Nelson, knowing you (and a bit about your company), you would definitely fit in at Growth edition.

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        Thanks Justin! I'll check out the Growth Edition.

    3. 3

      There are definitely people who raised money attending. Mostly from angels like you AFAIK, though. I don't think I've seen businesses there that have raised millions of dollars. That said, I only went once (last year) and it's quite possible I just didn't talk with those people.

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        Thanks, very helpful.

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    This comment was deleted 9 months ago.

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      Worth every penny!

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      That would be great! I feel like they probably don' it usually sells out pretty quickly (at least, it did before they split it into two conferences).

      I would be happy to be wrong here! ;)