Before I became a full-time indie hacker with Keepthescore.co I was a product manager (aka product owner). I had always had a strong technical affinity and was often working on small side-projects. Until 12 months ago, it was never my intention to become an Indie Hacker.
In 2016, when I started working on Keepthescore.co as another side-project it was my most ambitious project to date -- I finally wanted to tackle … drum-roll 🥁 … a database-driven app. Up till then I had made static sites and simple Android apps.
I decided to use Python Flask for my project and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. (To be honest, I still have very little idea what I am doing). Through sheer luck I avoided making any catastrophic technical decisions and I was able to create a solid foundation upon which I could continue to build. This was in October 2016. I am absolutely a fully-paid up member of the “Boring Technology Club” and continue to reap the benefits of that. Back then my app was a server-side-rendered CRUD app. Now I have a few sprinkles of Vue.js and some client-side rendering, but all still very boring and CRUDdy.
I posted my app on Reddit and was thrilled when my usage numbers went up and to the right from day 1. This continued -- very slowly -- for the next 4 years. All growth has been organic.
Last year the double whammy of covid and the death of my mother pushed me to reconsider my future. I realised that I was trying to love a job that didn’t love me back. I realised that no job will love you back unless you are working for yourself.
The first thing I did was take 2 months off from work and focus on doing what I loved: hacking on my own projects. Amongst other things I added a Stripe integration to Keepthescore.
Almost immediately revenue was at $500 /month, which was mind-blowing to me. It told me that people were prepared to pay for my product, which was still very rudimentary and didn’t even have a login.
“Screw this”, I thought to myself. “I’m quitting my job. If I don’t pursue this opportunity I’m going to regret it for the rest of my life #yolo 🥳”. So I quit. I had become an Indie Hacker.
In the 6 months that have passed since I quit I have managed to increase revenue to $1.5k / month. My goal for the next 6 months is to reach $2k / month. My revenue jumps around a lot because I also make custom scoreboards for B2B customers. Here’s an example. This is obviously not scalable, but a good way of earning more money. Also, it’s a great way of learning what customers want and are prepared to pay for.
In the next few months I aim to double down on marketing, which I have completely neglected so far. I did say I have no idea what I’m doing.