Self Development February 13, 2020

What are the most important skills for indie hackers?

Team Indie Hackers @TeamIH

A person walks into a bar and states they want to be an indie hacker.

What things would you recommend they go learn?

  1. 16

    Learn to finish stuff.

    1. 2

      And don't start new project without finishing the old one.

    2. 1

      How I improve this? haha

      1. 1

        I wonder the same :(

    3. 1

      how do i do that???

      1. 1

        I wonder the same :(

  2. 9

    Persistence, grit, self awareness, patience and great listening skills!

  3. 2

    The ability to learn from failure; maybe even repeatedly...

    An openness and acknowledgement that 'sheer dumb luck' plays a role in success.

  4. 2

    Saw that most of the traits listed have been character traits whereas I sensed that by "things" you meant hard-skills.

    So, I am listing 3 hard-skills that have helped me -

    1. Sales: Knowing who you should talk to at the right time and say the right things.

    2. Writing: Conveying your thoughts so the reader can skim through and still get your point.

    3. No-code tools: Build and iterate as much as you can and only look to code when the no-code system is failing.

  5. 2


  6. 2

    Skills? Probably code. Marketing, sales, etc are hard, sure, but you can learn those on the job faster than you can learn to code imo. Coding opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

    For traits, I'd say optimism. I don't meet many successful founders who aren't optimistic. It becomes its own self-fulfilling prophecy, too.

    If you already have both of these, it doesn't mean that's enough. There are hundreds of other skills and traits that are useful, e.g. a bias toward action, strong intrinsic motivation, self-discipline, writing and communication in general, a willingness to ask for help, planning, penchant for learning and reading, etc.

  7. 2

    Sales would be a big one.
    Perseverance and hard work

  8. 1

    The ability to have a vision without getting overly delusional. If we are building something new or something really new, people we talk to will say, 'can't work' or 'won't work'. How do they know unless a domain expert themselves? Listen to your own voice more...

  9. 1


    ...which is unfortunately ironic, because most people become indie hackers for building their own things on their own terms.

  10. 1

    PERSISTENCE. One needs persistence to think about a problem, to come up with a solution, to develop a solution, to market the solution, to earn money (or whatever one expects) from a solution, and above all to keep going forward. If you don't persist, you don't get stuff done.💪

  11. 1


    In my old language school, I literally wrote the text books and the curriculum. I also had a popular, relevant blog that made a great deal of difference in recruiting. The same blog lead to friendships which later encouraged me to get into online business and learn how to program.

    For my current screencasting site, writing articles has been a major marketing channel and writing emails has been my strongest sales channel. Emails to prospective gusts have also been how my podcast has grown to include interviews. In literally every business I've done since the first (which was manual labor), writing has been a primary lever.

    In person sales was very important to my first two businesses and coding will be crucial to the next few, but if I could only keep one comparative advantage going forward, it would be writing.

  12. 1

    More character traits than skills, but I'd say tenacity and resilience.

  13. 1

    Defining one's own work.

    In school or in employement, the tasks get handed to you.
    But when you're making things on your own, you are the one who needs to set deadlines, define what to ship and on what schedule, at which level of complexity and quality.

  14. 1

    Interesting how you worded this one... I glanced replies before I actually read the body, and the replies are all predominately character traits, and not necessarily "things" that you go and learn IMHO.

    That said, I'm in the "learn to code" camp for anybody that can't do that. Even if all you learn how to do is write a couple of scripts to automate your day to day and how to setup a Wordpress site, you're ahead of a lot of people out there that want to try hacking it running their own things.

    To side step that a bit, if I had to list something that I'd consider more of a character trait than something teachable / that can be learned, it would be "focusing on the right things". All the grit and perseverance in the world isn't going to help you be successful if you're off in left field building the wrong things / doing the things that just don't matter.

    That's not to say that you can't learn to focus on the right things, but I do feel like that's something that's earned through experience and not something you're going to crack a book or read a few blog posts and come out ahead on.

  15. 1

    I may be biased but I'd say marketing 😀

  16. 1


    Measure Twice. Cut Once.

  17. 1

    Pragmatism! Gotta keep the show going, spice flowing, there's never a dull moment in the startup life cycle.

  18. 1

    Patience, Persistence and learn from your mistake...

  19. 1

    Openness. Being aware of the world around you, being able to take feedback ...
    It makes you save a huge amount of time and money.

  20. 1


  21. 1

    I would say perseverance, without perseverance all other skills aren't suddenly so useful when starting a business.

  22. 1

    Persistence, and learning when it's okay to let go (some people get way too attached to their ideas)

  23. 1

    Continuous self-improvement, learning, and facing challenges.
    Also resilience.

  24. 1

    persistence :)

  25. -1

    This comment has been voted down. Click to show.

    1. 2

      Definitely an important trait of any decent human being, but how does that apply to to solo indie hackers, as most of us are?

      1. 1

        We have to quickly build a team and then be a team player :)

  26. 1

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