Meta March 28, 2019

Where is IH headed?

Anonymous Lurker @indiehacker012311

I am curious what direction you are taking IH, @csallen.

Now that you have additional hands on the IH team helping you out, I'm really curious what you work on and how you want IH to evolve. I was sad when, after the acquisition by Stripe, IH became more closed off. I liked it better when we knew how you were doing (both IH and you personally), how IH was growing, and what you were working on.

I love lurking in this community, but comment engagement seems to have more or less disappeared. It's rare to see a post with more than a handful of comments. It makes me sad, to be honest. Lurking is no longer that interesting. I find myself going to other communities to get my fix. So many posts here are self-promotion, bad advice, no substance, no discussions, boring.

I was originally excited about the acquisition, because I took it to mean that IH would be filled with more engaged, experienced business owners. But it seems like the opposite to me, and it is unfortunate.

Is the decrease in comment engagement in my head, or have the recent changes not worked out as well as you thought they would?

Do you still have a passion for IH?

What do you work on day to day?

I think I'm concerned and confused. I'm a solo founder that has "made it" and works on my business full-time, and I don't feel like I belong here anymore.

I don't understand why IH is changing so much.

Indie Hacker's recent Twitter posts are filled with emojis and memes and shallow advice and it makes me think of Product Hunt and the young Maker community there. I feel isolated because I don't fit in at PH. I used to fit in here at IH, but recently, I don't feel that way anymore.

Maybe I am the one who changed. Maybe I'm too old. I'm not sure. But I'm not the only one who feels this way. I have other friends who are Indie Hackers and they share my thoughts. We're all confused about what IH is trying to be.

This got ranty, I'm sorry. I'll go back to lurking now.


  1. 1

    Thanks for the post, doesn't feel like a rant to me but like genuine concern.

    I also miss being as transparent as I was back in the pre-Stripe days. That's my fault, not Stripe's. I'm trying to slowly get back in the swing of that with #meta and with IH's product page. Still lots of work to go here, but I'm better in recent months than I was last year, so that's a start.

    The comment differences you see are the result of a deliberate choice to change the homepage's sorting algorithm. Specifically, instead of keeping the best posts stuck to the top where they'd accrue all the comments (like HN), we now show posts in reverse chronological order, which means older posts get pushed down regardless of how popular they are. The result is a smaller amount of comments-per-post get spread around to larger number of posts. My rationale is that I'd rather lots of people get a few comments than a handful of people get tons of comments. But yeah, the downside is the site feels a bit less lively.

    The Twitter account is a work in progress. You should see it improve over time. The goal is to have it serve as a place for substantive discussion about being a founder. For example, I'd like to start interviewing founders over Twitter the same way we do on the website, where they share their revenue numbers, etc. Lots of other ideas like that. As far as I'm aware the account isn't posting memes, although maybe it did in the past. Maybe give it another look and let me know what you think?

    I spend most of my time doing a huge variety of things. Improving the website is my primary area of focus. It's not easy, as the surface area is pretty huge nowadays, and a lot of it involves seemingly "invisible" changes, e.g. fighting spammers, improving the onboarding, performance fixes, etc. But I'm also working with @rosiesherry on more productive things, like getting AMAs going again and bringing on more experienced founders to hold office hours.

    It's sad to hear that you feel as if you don't fit in here anymore as an experienced indie hacker. That's definitely not my goal. The "community" part of IH was actually quite tiny before I joined Stripe and grew a ton last year. It'd be really helpful for me to know: At what point was IH the best for you? And what made it great? Are there any specific threads/discussions you remember?