Community Building October 17, 2020

What motivated you to become an indie hacker or founder?

Minh-Phuc Tran @phuctm97

Hey friends, while I'm reflecting on myself to narrow down what I should work on, I asked myself this question. I'm curious about yours.

What motivated you to become an indie hacker or founder?

My very honest answer: (ordered by priority)

  • Achieve FIRE (financial independence/early retirement): self-make $100,000+ at 23, then $1,000,000+ at 24.
  • Create value globally, and have authority over it.
  • Develop a personal brand & status.
  • Self-develop, learn new skills & experience: become an expert in SaaS, running & scaling a business, creating content & growing followers.
  • Create a positive impact on the world.
  1. 7

    Great question, for me it was:

    • Excelling fast career-wise but feeling like I was stunting my personal development.
    • Looking at senior mgmt and thinking, I don't want their roles.
    • A dislike for corporate culture.
    • A love for the challenge of start ups and a desire to work on my own terms.
    • A hope to dent the world one product at a time.
    1. 2

      Share the same dislike for corporate culture and excel fast career-wise. But it’s interesting that you started indie biz because you don’t want a senior mgmt role. Don’t you ever think you will have to scale and manage people eventually in the future?

      1. 2

        I don't have an issues with mgmt, just that specific one lol.

        1. 1

          Gotcha lol. I feel you.

  2. 4

    Here is mine:

    • a product that creates global transformative change (my focus is brain optimization)
    • scaling a productized service to 8 figures and meanwhile delivering lots of positive impact
    • autonomy in living my own life and running my career on my own terms
    1. 1

      Hey, great reasons! Just a coincidence, I love brain optimization and am obsessed with productivity, too, but I'm nowhere near an expert in it. My hunch is there're still a lot of gaps to be fixed and improved, and the solution is a mental approach + a tech product to accelerate it. If you're interested, please drop me a message on https://twitter.com/phuctm97 or through phuctm97 at Gmail dot com.

  3. 4

    Control over what I work on, who I work with, and how I spend my time.

    1. 1

      Simple and short. Love it!

  4. 4

    Imagine you have your own child instead of working in a kindergarten!
    Being an indie hacker is like being a parent! you are all the time with your child! with all pains and pleasures! You learn how to do it from all aspects! Development, Design, Content, Marketing, Financial and many more.
    And after all, YOU made it, YOU! even if it fails!

    1. 1

      Dig the way you map it to being a parent and working in a kindergarten. Can't agree more!

      1. 1

        maybe Orphanage is better for this comparison.
        when you are an employee of another company, you are adopting a product, from after born, or maybe when it is a child or teenager. You love this product, but it's not your own child. You spend days and nights to grow it! but it doesn't belong to you. It depends on company rules on how to grow it! not you as a parent.

  5. 3

    My first purpose for starting my own business and being founder was to own my time myself.

    Before when I was an employee, I was fully occupied with work and didn't have control of my time. It was more like living for the sake of doing job.

    My own business did helps me to do the following

    1. Own my time
    2. Do work on whatever I am interested in
    3. Learn more about business
    1. 1

      I thought the same about owning my time. But interestingly enough, in my reality, running my own biz is occupying me a lot more than a salaried job.

      1. 1

        It depends on the Industry you operate it and weather you sell a product or service.

        If you sell service then essentially at core you are selling time. So more time you sell , more money you make.

        So time you end up selling, less time you have for yourself.

        1. 1

          Hmm, I think about it quite differently. Either we're selling a product or services, it's always taking our time and there're always ways to scale it. For a product, we'll need to keep developing new features to serve more customers, for a service, we can subcontract to scale ourselves. What I mean is to run our own business, we're taking more on our chest, and it's all consuming.

          1. 1

            True. If you run service business then you have to outsource to scales.

            But If you run a product business then at some point of time you can stop yourself from adding more features and constraints your customer segment.

            End of the day if one is behind money then will get into same trap, whatever the way they run the business.

            Trick is to define how much revenue is enough and be happy with it.

            All the extra money in their bank account after one die is the extra work they did for nothing.

  6. 2

    Work for me.
    Time control.
    Do what and how i want.

    1. 1

      Like it! But do you ever try to elaborate on "Work for me"? What doesn't work for you before?

  7. 2

    I am not a founder as yet but I will answer anyway. My reasons:

    • Corporate culture - I have a great job with a large tech company for which I am grateful, but I too find my self not liking corporate culture and the career ladder rat race.

    • Freedom to choose - I would like the ability to have more control over what I am working on. The projects at work really do not excite me and I do not have much say in the the type of tools we use and what I may have to work on.

    • A changed definition of security - I used to think of entrepreneurship as something that just wasn't for me. I would have much preferred the "security" of having a steady job. Now, I feel no one's job is secure. The thought of my salary and career progress being tied up and determined by someone else just doesn't give me a secure feeling anymore.

    • Problem solving & creativity - I now view entrepreneurship as a very creative and full-filling process that I would love to take a shot at. Indie hackers has really helped to open my eyes to the realm of possibilities. I am really excited to try something new, add value to the world and grow from it.

    • Time - I would love to just control my time. I know I could spend more time on my own business than I would on work but, I would control the timeline. Why should I spend 35+ hours a week on someone else's project when Indie hackers are out here doing their own thing and making what I make a year in a much shorter amount of time.

    The thought of being a Indie hacker has made me more excited again and really gives me hope :)

    1. 2

      Hey, love the way you put details in your reasons, which means that you're really excited and thoughtful about it! Share pretty the same thoughts. Would love to chat to get to know each other and discover some opportunities if you're up for it! :)

      1. 1

        Hey :), I am always down to meet another indie hacker. What is the best medium for you to connect?

  8. 2

    A bit about me to set the context for my motivation: I'm a full-stack dev, turning 23 late this month, my full-time job gave me $50k this year, but I felt it was slowing down my self-development, so I quit to pursue bigger goals.

    https://twitter.com/phuctm97 😉

  9. 1

    Great question, for me: "Create something value, and have authority over it". That's it.

  10. 1

    Hi, I am curious to know more about your goal to develop personal brand and status, what are your reasons for that? Is it just for the sake of becoming "famous"? or do you want to teach and inspire others? or even sell other products/services to your audience? Thanks

    1. 1

      Hey, thanks for asking the question! Great question! It is definitely not for the sake of being "famous", although if you look at it from certain angles, it may look like so. For me, there're 2 big reasons:

      • The ultimate identity (like 10+ years) that I want to become is to create globally-impactful value and have a big positive impact on the world. "Status" is a strict requirement to achieve that in current society no matter how talented and hard-working you are. As much as I hate to admit it, "status" is the most unfair advantage to have.
      • I love helping people to develop and innovate as much as possible. To me, teaching and inspiring is the most underrated way to create an impact on the world without consuming yourself too much.
    1. 1

      Like your YouTube channel! It's interesting that a lot of people are becoming an indie hacker because they want freedom. Do you ever try to elaborate on it? Because to me, when you do your own business, there's still a lot of "freedom" that you'll lose, e.g. freedom to just do the work, get money, and don't care who will pay for it, freedom of having a stable income, etc.

  11. 1

    For now, my reason is to help others and myself at the same time.
    I've been confronted to a roadblock my entire life. I figured out a way to overcoming it. Which is discussing with people who are doing it.

    If anyone wants to discuss with me about their project, feel free to reach out !

    1. 1

      It's interesting that a lot of people are becoming an indie hacker because they want freedom. Do you ever try to elaborate on it? Because to me, when you do your own business, there's still a lot of "freedom" that you'll lose, e.g. freedom to just do the work, get money, and don't care who will pay for it, freedom of having a stable income, etc.

    1. 1

      It's interesting that a lot of people are becoming an indie hacker because they want freedom. Do you ever try to elaborate on it? Because to me, when you do your own business, there's still a lot of "freedom" that you'll lose, e.g. freedom to just do the work, get money, and don't care who will pay for it, freedom of having a stable income, etc.

      1. 1

        Indiehackers usually have a certain amount of money saved up. Do you like waking up and taking shower in a fine winter morning to go to a job or be accountable for petty stuff?

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