Starting and Growing a Conference for Internet Entrepreneurs

Hello! What's your background, and what are you working on?

My name is Mike Taber, and I'm the co-founder of MicroConf. I have a background in designing both hardware and software via BS and MS desgrees in Computer Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate New York.

I worked for Clearwire Technologies from '99-'01 and Wegmans from '01-'03 before I moved to the Boston area. I was hired as the 4th full-time engineer at a security startup called Pedestal Software in 2003. When it was sold for $75 million in 2005, my stock options were worth a grand total of $8,000. Please don't calculate the percentage because it's pretty depressing.

I struck out on my own after leaving Pedestal Software in 2005 and have been self-employed ever since. Including things I shipped before I left college, I've launched roughly a dozen products through multiple businesses over the course of my career.

For context, the Micropreneur Academy, LLC is the company that hosts MicroConf. It's also the umbrella company for the Startups for the Rest of Us podcast and FounderCafe, which is our private community for online entrepreneurs. I'll be primarily talking about MicroConf today.

MicroConf is a conference for self-funded, internet-based entrepreneurs who want to connect with and learn from other like-minded people. It attracts entrepreneurs from around the world who want to build a stable business and be master of their own destiny.

Meeting other entrepreneurs, whether online or face-to-face, is worth much more to your business than you realize.

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Our attendees avoid a "swing for the fences" approach to entrepreneurship for two main reasons.

  1. First, it's really risky. You either win big or go home, and it's absolutely not a 50/50 shot at one or the other.
  2. Second, you only get so many opportunities over the course of your lifetime to build a viable business. There's no sense in gambling them away, and swinging for the fences is basically gambling.

The business behind MicroConf has a dramatic revenue spike when we host each of our conferences, so measuring short-term revenue would probably be a little misleading, at best. However it's important to provide a sense of scale. The following numbers represent the business activity solely for 2017:

  • Total revenues of more than $420,000 (~$35,000/month)
  • Three conferences (Starter Edition, Growth Edition, and Europe)
  • Approximately 550 total attendees across all three conferences
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What motivated you to get started with MicroConf?

It sure as heck wasn't because we wanted to run a conference business! :)

In 2009, I teamed up with Rob Walling to build out an online course called the "Micropreneur Academy". It was a collection of course modules on various topics that we would package up and release to the members on a monthly basis. In retrospect, the name of the course was confusing because it was also the name of the company itself. Eventually the community was rebranded to FounderCafe, and the content was abandoned.

In 2010, we started the Startups for the Rest of Us podcast so we could share what we were learning in real time and offer actionable advice for entrepreneurs. We also knew that it would double as a marketing channel for the online course much better than blogging. It didn't hurt that podcasting was substantially easier than blogging.

One of the biggest reasons we decided to create MicroConf was that we'd attended several other conferences which seemed like they should cater to people like us, and we felt out of place. Sitting down next to someone, it was easy to find people who were successful at what they did, but very few of them were software entrepreneurs working from home. It was early 2011 when one of us came up with the idea of getting our Academy members and podcast listeners together for an in-person event.

"Wouldn't it be great to have a conference that catered to self-funded software entrepreneurs like us who worked from home? How hard could it be to put one together?"

The earliest email I could find which mentioned MicroConf was from February 8, 2011 which is the same day we registered the domain name. The conference was planned for June 6-7th at the Riviera in Las Vegas, mainly because that was the cheapest venue we could find on short notice which had availability.

We had no experience planning a conference so we learned everything as we went along. I had gone to college with people who majored in Food and Hotel Management, so I leveraged those contacts for advice and connections. Ultimately, it was those people who connected us with a hotel in Las Vegas which was going to be the most cost effective venue for us.

You only get so many opportunities over the course of your lifetime to build a viable business. There's no sense in gambling them away, and swinging for the fences is basically gambling.

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To validate the idea, we had a few informal conversations with people from inside the Academy and our personal networks to gauge whether they would attend a conference. We also put together a spreadsheet that outlined our expected budget based on the idea of 200 attendees our first year, because in our entrepreneurial bubble, it seemed like the number of self-employed software entrepreneurs was blowing up around us. We did very little validation beyond that.

We were confident but risk-averse at the same time. We looked at ways to mitigate the risks in case MicroConf fell flat on its face. We knew what our break even number was before we announced anything, and we were very careful in negotiating with the hotel. We didn't have any signed paperwork that put us on the hook if we had to cancel at the last minute due to a lack of numbers.

Both of us were growing our separate businesses on the side, in addition to marketing the Academy courses. We were doing what we loved and making ends meet, but it wasn't as if we were making a ton of money. Neither of us were in a position to afford a loss of more than $2k-$3k each, and at the time we had the crazy idea that we were actually going to be able to make money from it.

What went into building the initial product?

From public announcement to conference, we only had about 12 weeks to pull everything together. I look back at it as insanity now, but we had the drive and the healthy dose of ignorance that really helped. Generally, we divided the responsibilities such that Rob worked to find speakers and I worked on landing sponsors.

We split the rest of the responsibilities, such as dealing with the hotel and on-site logistics, but most decisions took longer than they should have. We didn't know what was and wasn't important, and many times decisions were made more difficult because the budget was a constantly moving target. With a conference, there are some fixed costs along with numerous variable costs that change based on the number of attendees or contractual minimums. We knew how many attendees we wanted, but until you have the actual number of attendees it's almost impossible to know exactly how much something is going to cost.

Since we had attended other conferences, we felt like we had a decent sense of what we'd like to see at our own conference. We decided to have a two day conference instead because one day felt too short and more than two felt too long. The initial plan was to have 12 speakers, with six per day, similar to what we'd seen elsewhere. Copying other conference formats meant we didn't need to invent everything from scratch.

One thing we thought was going to help a lot more than it did was asking our speakers to invite their audiences. This included people like Noah Kagan, Hiten Shah, Patrick McKenzie, Ramit Sethi, Andrew Warner, Sean Ellis, and a bunch of other people who we felt were relatively well known. We had a handful of new attendees sign up as a result of their efforts, but it wasn't as much as we'd hoped.

It turns out that an individual speaker at MicroConf is probably not going to be a big draw. Our audience is mostly introverted software developers so convincing them to go out of their way to get on a plane to go see someone they admire or follow is highly unlikely. If they're already on the fence about attending, then seeing a fantastic roster of speakers might push them over the edge, but no single speaker was going to do that.

How did you attract attendees to the first MicroConf?

We had no idea how to fill seats at a conference when we initially launched MicroConf, so we did the only thing we really knew how to do. We treated it as if it were any other software product launch. The first several weeks were spent telling people about the conference and driving traffic to our website. We had a mailing list they could sign up for and made it very clear that if they were on the list, we'd give them access to discounted tickets to the conference when we "launched".

The back-end system was nothing more than an EventBrite account and a PayPal subscription. There really weren't any other options at the time. It worked well enough, and we knew that driving sales was going to be more important than the payment system.

We announced MicroConf on Hacker News on March 10, 2011, and it was met with a pretty lukewarm reception. We also posted announcements to our blogs and personal email lists. A couple weeks later, we recorded a special Episode 39.5 of our podcast, announcing MicroConf as "The Conference for Self-Funded Startups and Single Founders".

Tickets were made available on April 5, 2011 for $499 each, and we let everyone know that the price would go up to $599 one week later on April 13th. We sold 31 tickets the first day, but only 9 more tickets over the next six days. As of April 12, we'd sold just 40 pre-launch tickets. Our standard monthly launch campaign for the Academy had often brought in more sales the last day by sending additional emails so we did that. We managed to sell 9 more tickets, bringing us to 49 tickets sold in the first week.

Unfortunately, our goal had been 200 attendees, so when we didn't even hit 25% of that number, we felt like maybe we were in trouble. Beyond the obvious disappointment, we worried a lot about whether or not we were going to attract enough attendees to at least break even. We hit up our personal mailing lists, our podcast attendees, our Academy members, did the rounds on a few podcasts and individually invited people we knew who we thought would be willing to spend the money to attend.

At one point, we went so far as to email our attendees and offered them a "Bring a Friend" ticket for $99. As with everything else we tried, it added a few attendees but didn't really move the needle. We didn't realize it at the time, but this was a huge mistake. We ended up in a position where we were selling tickets at a loss and trying to make it up on volume. Fortunately, not many people took us up on that offer so it didn't hurt as bad as it could have.

Over the next 11 weeks, we scraped and clawed our way to reach 105 registered attendees, including speakers, sponsors, and us. We were only two weeks away from the conference, but still on the fence about whether or not we were going to go through with it.

We were extremely fortunate that we didn't need to put down a deposit of any kind with the hotel or make pre-payments. When you are selling tickets for an on-site event, you need to be sure the venue is locked in, and we didn't have the money to make a financial commitment. We were still going back and forth on the final version of the contract until 11 days before the conference was supposed to happen. In other words, we were stalling for time.

In retrospect, we were very lucky that they didn't force the issue before then. By June, it can reach 100℉ in Las Vegas so it's not exactly peak conference season. I think they were just happy to have anyone asking for a venue at all in June on a Monday and Tuesday.

Ultimately, what saved the first MicroConf from being a complete disaster was a pair of sponsorships I landed from Microsoft and Red Gate Software. These sponsorships moved us from badly in the red to just barely in the black. Those two sponsorships are quite literally are the reason MicroConf exists today. Nobody took me up on the $1M sponsorship option, which would have made things a lot easier.

The most obvious mistake we made was that we didn't give ourselves enough time and didn't start marketing early enough. Had we made an announcement several months earlier, we could have established a lot more trust or done podcast episodes with some of our speakers to help establish credibility and sold people a bit more on the value of attending. Our timeline was so short that people barely had enough time to plan. We only appealed to people who could take off on a whim to Las Vegas for a few days for a Monday and Tuesday conference.

It also didn't give me very much time to land sponsorships. Larger companies tend to have annual budgets, and it's easier to land a sponsorship if they know you exist more than a couple of months in advance so they can allocate part of their budget for it.

The biggest challenge that a new conference faces is the very fact that they're new. Nobody knows quite what to expect. You're asking people to spend a substantial amount of money between travel, hotel, and the conference ticket in the hope that you will deliver what you've promised. They're trusting you to deliver. And if you don't get that right the first year, you may have a really hard time succeeding, because returning attendees and word of mouth referrals are extremely important for a conference. People talk to each other when making those decisions.

If someone had a bad experience and you don't find out immediately, there's a massive delay in the feedback loop. You won't see that negative experience reflected in the current year. It will be reflected in the following year when people are making their decisions about whether to return or to attend for the first time. Then someone on Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media outlet tells them it wasn't worth it, which kills that potential sale. It's easier than ever to search for those conversations, so the delayed feedback can really hurt if you aren't paying attention.

Starter Edition

What have been the biggest drivers of growth since the first year?

Our podcast has served as a platform for self-funded entrepreneurs since 2010, and the majority of our attendees for the first several years heard about MicroConf as a direct result of the podcast. I'm sure it was the biggest driver of growth for the first two years.

After that, word of mouth from attendees took hold. Successful entrepreneurs talk to each other a lot within their circles. MicroConf quickly became known as the best conference where they could meet other software entrepreneurs who were building successful software businesses.

It doesn't hurt that we're also collecting email addresses year round or that we were the first conference focused solely on self-funded software entrepreneurs. There are a lot of little things we've done right, but at this point I think word of mouth is the biggest driver of growth for the conference.

What's your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

There are basically two sources of revenue for a conference like MicroConf: selling tickets to attendees and getting corporate sponsors. You need to make money from both to make ends meet in the budget. To make more money on the attendee side of the business, your only options are to either charge more for each ticket or sell more tickets. For MicroConf, there are some inherent problems with either of these options.

The biggest challenge with charging attendees more is that our attendees are self-funded, which means they're paying for the conference out of their own pockets. Not every conference faces that problem, but ours does. The "boss" they need to ask for permission to attend is typically their checkbook or spouse. That means that although you can raise the price from one year to the next, you have to be sensitive to the total cost for the attendee. This includes the cost of the flight, the hotel room, and the conference ticket. Their ability to pay also varies greatly based on how well their business is doing. An early-stage business has far less expendable revenue than a late-stage business with thousands of customers.

Year Revenue
2011 52395
2012 98835
2013 119529
2014 176579
2015 184569
2016 210936
2017 351071

Note: Figures do not include MicroConf Europe.

In 2011, tickets were $499, which in retrospect is too low. First, it attracts the wrong kind of people. We ended up with some attendees who enjoyed the conference, but weren't really committed to building a product business. They just wanted to attend a conference in Vegas and had the disposable income to do it. Second, there's a minimum cost associated with hosting an event, and much of that goes to the hotel in the form of a Food and Beverage Minimum that the conference host needs to commit to for the event.

If that cost is $450/attendee, then you only have $50 to work with beyond what it costs to host the event. Raising the price from $499 to $599 doesn't simply increase revenue by 20%. The primary side effect of this increase is that the discretionary spending you have in the conference budget rises from $50 to $150, which is a 300% increase. Charging more gives us the flexibility to do a LOT more for our attendees from day one of the conference. If you're running any kind of business that has fixed or variable costs associated with it, figure out what those are and base your prices on a specific margin, not on what it costs you. Otherwise, you'll find it difficult to grow the business and do a better job of serving your customers.

My advice to anyone starting an in-person event is to focus all of your efforts into making it a fantastic experience that people will want to come back to. Returning attendees should make up a large proportion of your audience each year, which makes growth easier. Convincing a new person to attend is much more difficult than convincing a previous attendee to return, especially if they found the experience to be valuable.

It's not obvious, but a conference effectively has an annual recurring revenue model. If you make any money at all in the first year, you're doing better than most. After that, focus on what people want and make sure to deliver that value to them every single year. If you think of it like a retention problem where you're trying to prevent churn from one year to the next, it suddenly makes a lot of sense.

Growth Edition

What are your goals for the future?

Our primary goal is to improve the conference at least a little bit year over year. This includes experimenting with different things each year, any of which may have a lifecycle of its own within the conference. Website teardowns were a thing for a while, and now they're not. We tried workshops for several years, but they weren't broadly appealing. On the other hand, attendee talks have been fantastic and are still going strong.

We're interested in ways to reach more people without making the conference bigger. That's probably a mix of smaller in-person meetups and online-only events. Unfortunately, resources will always be the constraining factor.

There are two main challenges we face right now.

The first challenge is with Starter Edition. By definition, the goal of this conference is to churn our attendees out by getting them to a point where they are successful enough to attend Growth Edition rather than Starter Edition. Not everyone who attends Starter is going to have the drive, commitment, or success that puts them in a position to come to Growth the following year. They may not return at all or may return to Starter several times before they make it to Growth.

In any case, churn for Starter is going to be much higher than Growth from one year to the next. This is easily explained, but the solutions aren't obvious, and I don't think it's going to be just one thing that solves the issue. It's going to take a combination of several solutions to predictably reach at least 150 attendees every year at Starter. Educating attendees that it takes time to be successful is one aspect of that. Involving corporate sponsors for scholarships is a second. A third might be an online conference to introduce people to the idea of MicroConf before they make a big commitment to attend, which would help fill the sales funnel.

I don't have all the answers for what else we can or should be doing, but I expect we'll need at least one or two other approaches. Otherwise we won't reach our goal of 150 attendees year after year at Starter.

The second challenge has been MicroConf Europe (MCE). Initially, we introduced MCE as a way to help mitigate capacity problems in Las Vegas. We knew capacity was going to be a problem before it was, based on how quickly we sold out the conference. The idea with Europe was to offer the exact same conference on the other side of the world with the same general experience for the attendees. If someone couldn't get tickets to Las Vegas, they could get a ticket to MCE and have the same experience, but in a location they were less familiar with like Prague, Barcelona, or Lisbon.

This backfired a bit, because there's a subset of people who decided to attend both rather than making a choice between them. It also wasn't quite the draw for the US-based audience. Additionally, there are cultural differences when it comes to the approach to entrepreneurship between the European and US markets. The MicroConf ethos generally fits well with Europeans, but there are still a lot of differences in the specifics of how they're applied. Trying to treat it as the same conference has generally failed, and we need to do something different.

It's been difficult to find a good venue in Europe where we aren't making a lot of trade-offs based on what we've learned about how to run a good conference. Finding sponsors and speakers has always been harder in Europe. I'd like to find a way to make MicroConf Europe work as well as it has in Vegas, but so far, I don't think we've been successful. Making ends meet is still difficult from one year to the next and attendance has bounced around from year to year in ways that are difficult to fully explain. We still don't have the answers or know what to do.

MicroConf Europe

What are the biggest challenges you've faced and obstacles you've overcome?

Sheesh, what hasn't gone wrong along the way?

At 1am on the first day of the first MicroConf, Rob and I received an email from a speaker who had arrived in Vegas, but there was an emergency and he had to fly back that morning at 5am. Less than 7 hours before the start of the conference we now had an open speaking slot. We moved my talk from Tuesday to Monday, which bought us some time to figure out what to do. Our speakers generously offered to help fill time in various ways. Eventually, it was decided that Ramit Sethi bring peoples' websites up on the projector and give people immediate feedback which the entire audience would hear. This resulted in a popular segment known as Website Teardowns, which was then copied by several other conferences.

I know that this is absolutely a first-world problem, but another big problem we faced was that demand for the conference grew too quickly in a short amount of time and we struggled to deal with it effectively. Our mantra has always been to do whatever is best for the attendees, and to that end it has meant we've needed to limit ticket sales for a few years.

Here's a look at our attendee numbers from the very beginning. Keep in mind that numbers include speakers, sponsors, special guests and 'Better Half' tickets, which are our officially sanctioned way of having attendees bring their fiancée or spouse to attend evening events but not the conference itself.

Year Attendees
2011 105
2012 165
2013 171
2014 221
2015 231
2016 264
2017 429

Note: in 2017, there were 173 attendees for Starter Edition and 256 attendees for Growth Edition. Figures do not include MicroConf Europe.

In 2014, we started encountering serious capacity problems. We'd only planned on having about 175 attendees, but the wait list for the conference was out of control and the conference sold out within about two hours. We added almost 50 additional tickets and sold all of those as well. The following two years, the problem got worse, reaching a point where the wait list was 200 people deep within 48 hours of releasing tickets.

We could have raised prices and added tickets, but we recognized that it would very likely destroy what we'd created. If you add too many attendees too quickly, you lose the intimate feeling, and people won't know as many people from one year to the next, which changes the dynamic of the audience. Raising prices too much would have made MicroConf too expensive for people just starting out.

After over a year of internal discussions and bouncing ideas off members of our audience, we decided to split the conference into Growth and Starter Editions, offering separate price points for different audiences. This has allowed us to effectively double the number of attendees, while simultaneously giving speakers and sponsors a more focused, targeted audience to talk to. Since our costs to run the two conferences are similar, we've made ends meet by raising the prices on Growth attendees and lowering them on Starter attendees. Effectively, we're subsidizing the Starter Edition with revenue from the Growth Edition. Entrepreneurs we spoke with from Growth indicated they were perfectly comfortable paying more, and in some cases didn't care if we doubled the price.

Splitting the conference to deal with the capacity issues is something we could have and should have done earlier. However, we knew that making a big change like this had a lot of risks associated with it. We generally know what does and doesn't work so at least 80% of the conference is the same from one year to the next. We experiment with the other 20% from year to year, which gives us some flexibility to try new things without breaking the core elements that make MicroConf successful. But this was a big change, so it took us longer to gather enough input that we were comfortable enough to do it.

If you had to start over, what would you do differently?

If I had to do everything over again, I think that finding a conference coordinator who has the expertise to deal with the venues would be much higher on the list. We hired Xander as a contractor to help us with MicroConf 2014 and he was worth his weight in gold. The first year we hired him, the WiFi went down for a few hours in the middle of the conference. We paid a lot for WiFi because of our audience and it was probably $4k-$5k that year. It sucks that the WiFi failed, but it's a technical glitch. What can you do about it, right?

Xander runs events for a living so he knew that it was essentially a contract breach. He went back to them after the conference and complained that they didn't deliver what they promised. We received a refund of $800 because the WiFi went down for a couple of hours. That's not something we would have known you could even ask for.

In 2015, the hotel AV team placed one of their lights too close to one of the sprinklers. Shortly before lunch on the first day, the heat completely melted the plastic plug, dumping several thousand gallons of water into our conference. Some attendees were splattered and the water destroyed a few laptops and phones. We broke for lunch early and Xander worked with the hotel to get us back on track after a 90-minute delay. That was another close call, and it's hard to know what the fallout could have been. Hiring a conference coordinator has helped us dramatically improve the conference.

The list of things that have gone wrong over the years would take days to list. These are probably the biggest or most dramatic things we've run into, but there's a heck of a lot more.

Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

One of the biggest advantages of running a conference like MicroConf is that we consider ourselves members of the community. It's a conference I would want to attend even if I didn't run it. That helps us make decisions that are always in the best interests of the attendees. It's very easy to take a step back and think about the ramifications of a decision and say, "If I were an attendee, would I be comfortable with or want this?" If the answer is "No," then we simply don't do it.

I think we've been extremely lucky in some regards. For example, the first MicroConf was held on a Monday and Tuesday because it was too expensive to hold a conference in Las Vegas over the weekend. It turns out that holding the conference during the week also helps filter out people who might attend solely because it's a chance to expense a "business trip" to Vegas over the weekend. Those types of people aren't as serious about building a business and aren't our target market. We didn't realize this until several years later after the first couple of conferences we held in Europe.

Everyone seems to be looking for a magic bullet in the form of a growth hack or an introduction to someone of influence. The secret of the magic bullet is that there isn't one.

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When we held a conference over the weekend, we attracted a lot of "wannapreneurs". These are people who are interested in entrepreneurship solely because they desired the outcomes but weren't willing to put in the effort it takes to make it work. They weren't a good fit for MicroConf, and we weren't doing them any favors. Had we not already been hosting a conference during the week, we wouldn't have had a basis for comparison that made us realize that the days of the week you hold a conference will make a difference in the type of attendee you attract.

Another way we got lucky was that MicroConf was positioned as the conference for self-funded entrepreneurs and single founders. By its very nature, this messaging attracts founders who want to build sustainable businesses. It turns away people who are more interested in creating pitch decks and talking about building a business rather than actually doing it. Since the audience is homogeneous in that regard, new attendees have a tendency to immediately say to themselves: "I have found my people." That's a really strong affinity which is hard to duplicate unless you get the right people into the same room.

A side effect of having an audience made up almost exclusively of founders who are building real businesses indirectly helps us land sponsors because the attendees are almost exclusively the decision-makers at their companies. It's a lot easier to sell a sponsorship when the sponsor knows that the decision-maker is present and they won't need to make further inroads into the companies they're connecting with..

This isn't so much a lesson as it is a warning:

If you're going to run an event, things are going to go wrong. No amount of planning or risk mitigation is going to prevent everything. You need to be comfortable with making changes on the fly, doing the best you can, and moving on. Take comfort in the fact that whatever goes wrong, most people probably won't notice unless you tell them about it.

What's your advice for indie hackers who are just starting out?

First, if you run a moderately large conference or event, you're probably going to have to pay for things that you wouldn't even think were necessary, as well as absurd prices that shouldn't even be possible, except that the hotels generally operate as a monopoly within their walls.

  • $5 for Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2015. Last year it was only $1!!!
  • $75 for a gallon of coffee
  • $3,500 to rent power strips... Yes, I said "rent".
  • $8k for two days of WiFi (we've been quoted as much as $15k)
  • …etc, etc.

I'm not joking. Those are actual prices we've paid or been quoted. It's absurd, but you really have no choice. In Las Vegas, you could be contractually barred from plugging a power strip in because it would be a violation of the agreement the hotel has with the labor union, and it can be written into your contract. Good luck doing things yourself to save money because they take breach of contract very seriously.

"I want either less corruption or more opportunities to participate."

A corollary to this is that revenue and profit are NOT the same thing. I can almost guarantee that the cost of running a high-quality event is dramatically higher than you would think, as illustrated by some of the example prices above. If you ask almost any conference organizer why they do it, chances are really good it's not for the money. Most conferences break even without a lot of profit left over and many times, spare profit is put back into the conference to make it better year over year.

Second, and unrelated to conferences, but building a legitimate business on your own is going to take more time than you want it to take. Everyone seems to be looking for a magic bullet in the form of a growth hack or an introduction to someone of influence who can help move the needle for their business overnight. The secret of the magic bullet is that there isn't one.

Building a business is hard work and even if you're a single founder, you're going to need help in the form of advice or mentors. That might come from the Indie Hackers forums or someone you met at a conference a few years ago. It's impossible to predict in advance of meeting someone whether or not they will help you later on in life. The more entrepreneurs you interact with, the higher the chances of making a connection which may evolve into a relationship that moves the needle for your business.

That probably won't happen tomorrow, next week, or even next month. But someday, those connections are going to make a big difference. Even in retrospect, it's hard to find markers that would predict which ones were going to make a difference and which ones weren't. So go meet people, whether at a local meetup, a coworking space, or a conference.

Meeting other entrepreneurs, whether online or face-to-face, is worth much more to your business than you realize.

Where can we go to learn more?

You can learn more about MicroConf by visiting us at https://www.microconf.com and signing up for the MicroConf mailing list. We send out occasional emails to our audience to announce upcoming events and other information directly relevant to the self-funded software developer.

The website has a Videos section where you'll find every main stage MicroConf talk from 2012-2015. These are publicly available for free and come from super-smart people like Joanna Wiebe, Patrick McKenzie, Jason Cohen, and dozens more.

Last, you can find us easily on Twitter at:

Still have questions? Feel free to ask them in the comment section below.

Mike Taber , Co-founder of MicroConf

Want to build your own business like MicroConf?

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