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README.md

awesome-indie

Resources to help independent developers make money.

Awesome

Making money from your own code has never been easier, but it's still hard. Here, I try to curate a list of resources to help everyone interested in making money from their digital products get inspired and give it a try. Be it monetizing sideprojects, bootstrapping business ideas, etc.

Projects don't need to be big, actually, it's better if they are not, they just need to be profitable. They might provide a passive income after the initial bulk of work, and who knows, maybe even help you reach financial independence.

Going indie does have lots of lifestyle perks :)

All these resources might help inspire you and put you on the right track but in the end what matters is to MAKE and TRY stuff. So devour this content responsibly :)

Contributions are more than welcome.

by @mezod

Notes:

  • If [$], it means it's not free and probably means I haven't tried it but still decided to add it because of the several references.
  • This repo was once #1 on Github Trending! :_)

Table of Contents

Communities

  • IndieHackers

    Learn from profitable businesses and side projects. IndieHackers is probably the catalyst for this new wave of interest on making an independent income. It is a collection of interviews to successful developers about their products. IndieHackers has been especially interesting to follow since it's been an indie project itself. Courtland Allen has been very transparent about how he built it. The last news make one think that the forum/community will grow.

  • Barnacl.es

    News for bootstrappers, not VC hackers. Hacker-News like forum. Peter Bhat Harkins started it in early 2016 and I've found it of great value ever since. Also, it runs on great software, which is always a thing to appreciate!

  • bootstrapped.fm Forum

    A forum for bootstrappers. Started in 2013 by Ian Landsman and Andrey Butov as a continuation to the now defunct The Business of Software.

  • ##passiveincome on freenode

    Matthew Mallard created this channel on the freenode IRC network in early 2017 and it has been pretty active and growing ever since.

  • HackerNews

    News for hackers, mostly technology and entrepreneurship. Not specific to indie devs but a must for everyone interested in computer science, creating products and making money. A lot of indie devs lurking around. Started by Paul Graham.

  • ProductPeople.club [$]

    Exclusive community for indie makers run by Justin Jackson. Currently there's a waitlist. Cost is $249 for lifetime access. I'm not a member so I can't personally endorse it. Generally, I'm skeptic on products targetting indie makers but I still found it relevant to add this specific product because of cross references. Some people might find it interesting. Feel free to reference to reviews!

  • FounderCafe [$]

    FounderCafe is an invite-only, online community of entrepreneurs helping each other succeed run by Rob Walling and Mike Taber. $99 every 3 months. I'm not a member so I can't personally endorse it.

  • Nugget.one [$]

    Nugget.one focuses on helping software developers launch successful side projects. Being part of the community gives access to case studios, bi-weekly webinars and live mentoring. Run by Justin Vincent. $19.99 per month.

Other

Newsletters

Podcasts

Talks

Other

Posts

Others

There's obviously a million posts on the topic. I'm sure this is not a good selection but it'll get you started. Here you can find some more:

Blogs

  • Patrick Mackenzie

    Over 500 posts that show how Patrick went from being a software engineer to running successful software businesses.

  • Rob Walling

    Lessons Learned by a Solo Entrepreneur.

  • Pieter Levels

    Lots of advice on bootstrapping businesses if you dig between Pieter's multiple interests.

  • Tyler Tringas

    On SaaS and his journey with Storemapper.

  • Joel Spolsky

    Software and business have always been topics Joel has covered. StackOverflow and Trello prove he knows what he's talking about.

  • Signal v. Noise

    The blog of the basecamp people, mostly David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried, on business and how to run bootstrapped companies.

  • Pinboard

    Maciej Cegłowski's blog for his bookmarking tool, pinboard, useful in showing the growth of a successful solo business.

Others
  • The Foundation - Turning the process of creating a B2B SaaS business into a formula.
  • Price Intelligently - Blog focused on the economics of the SaaS business model and SaaS pricing.
  • Moz Blog - For anything related to SEO.
  • Paul Graham - A lot of content for big funded startups, but still relevant to bootstrappers.
  • John O'Nolan - Especially the older posts on how he started ghost.

Case Studies

  • IndieHackers

    From capturing a trend to getting acquired in less than one year.

  • NomadList

    Solving your own pain, representing a movement, moving fast and working hard by a serial bootstrapper.

  • Bugmuncher

    Transparent growth and financial reports by a solo saas founder.

  • 37signals

    A collection of bootstrapped companies by the people at 37 signals.

  • Baremetrics

    An example of riding the wave.

  • Transparent Startups

    Discover startups with transparent revenue numbers.

Events

Not specific to indie founders:
  • Business of Software [$]

    "Business of Software is not based in Silicon Valley for good reason. It is about building long term, sustainable software businesses. ...a thoughtful conference, where people come to listen and learn, not self promote and shout". Boston. Team behind BoS.

  • Business of Software Europe [$]

    BoS european edition. London. Team behind BoS.

  • B2B Rocks [$]

    "Leading conferences for B2B and SaaS startups". Popular business model for indie devs. Paris. Sydney.

  • PeersConf [$]

    "A conference for those who make the web, and make it their business". Seattle (changes every year). By Jessica D'Amico.

Books

Other

Tools

  • The SaaS Bootstrapper Startup Resources

    A collection of resources for bootstrappers put together by Mac Martine.

  • free-for-dev

    A list of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS offerings that have free tiers of interest to devops and infradev. Very useful for bootstrappers to keep initial costs low ;) By R. I. Pienaar.

  • Stack-on-a-budget

    Another list of SaaS, PaaS, and Iaas offerings that have free tiers for developers on a budget. Very useful for exploring ideas and building out proof of concept. By Guillaume (256kb).

  • Tools Of The Trade

    Spectacular list of categorized tools for developers resulting from HackerNews threads. By Chris Barber and Craig Davison.

  • awesome-selfhosted

    "This is a list of Free Software network services and web applications which can be hosted locally. Selfhosting is the process of locally hosting and managing applications instead of renting from SaaS providers." Lots of salvageable software :P by Edward D.

Courses

Again, I'm not quite fond of listing [$] products made by indie developers targetting indie developers, especially because I haven't tried them myself, but due to several references I assume they are probably worth it and some people might find value in learning about them.

Specific topics

In the future, I'd like to have a list of resources for more specific topics or FAQs such as:

  • 'how to get ideas'
  • 'how to find betatesters'
  • 'how to find my first 100 users'
  • 'how to validate my idea'
  • 'where to advertise my project'
  • 'what paid ads work better'
  • 'i've got 100 users, how to grow'
  • 'how do i deal with support'
  • 'types of digital products'
  • 'legal aspects'
  • 'typical mistakes'

Help me make a proper list of specific topics!