Indie Hackers
Indie Hackers
Dec 2, 2020
#183 – How a Solo Founder Got to $1M in Revenue with Chris Oliver of GoRails
Play • 1 hr 1 min
Chris Oliver (@excid3) is a solo founder who recently passed $1M in revenue from his suite of projects targeted at Rails developers. He's had a wild journey, from being so broke he had to get a job, to getting to the point where he was literally living the 4-hour workweek while making a full-time salary. In this episode, Chris and I discuss the tradeoffs of different indie hacker business models, the right path for building and selling to an audience, and how to use combinations to come up with unique ideas.
Recession-Proof Startups - Mixergy
Recession-Proof Startups - Mixergy
Andrew Warner
#2032 Going public through SPAC
Joining me is someone who’s become essentially famous for being one of the first Silicon Valley companies that went public through a SPAC. George Arison is the co-founder of Shift which makes it easy to buy and sell cars online. I want to find out how he built his company and about his experience going public without an IPO. George Arison is the co-founder of Shift which makes it easy to buy and sell cars online. Sponsored by Gusto – Gusto’s people platform helps businesses like yours onboard, pay, insure, and support your hardworking team. Payroll, benefits, and more. Their customizable onboarding checklists were built to keep you organized. Gusto offers employee benefits made to fit your budget. If you’re not sure where to start, Gusto’s licensed advisors can help you choose the right health benefits for your team. HostGator – Ready to take your website to the next level? Whether you’re a first-time blogger or an experienced web pro, HostGator has all the tools you need to create a great-looking website or online store. A wide range of options includes cloud-based web hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated servers. Founded in 2002, HostGator is the perfect web partner for business owners and individuals seeking hands-on support. Visit to see what HostGator can do for your website. More interviews -> Rate this interview ->
Creator Lab - interviews with entrepreneurs and startup founders
Creator Lab - interviews with entrepreneurs and startup founders
Bilal Zaidi
Andrew Wilkinson, Tiny // Building The Internet's Berkshire Hathaway, Going Public & Munger's Mental Models
Andrew Wilkinson is the co-founder of Tiny. He owns 30+ companies, including Dribbble, Metalab, Girlboss & Castro. Collectively, these businesses bring in $100mil+ in annual revenue. Andrew took WeCommerce public the week of this interview, with the most recent market cap hitting $800mil Canadian dollars (Jan 2021) He's a leading expert in buying, starting & growing online businesses. Let us know what you think on Twitter: @bzaidi & @awilkinson Watch on YouTube: In this conversation, you'll learn: * why Warren Buffet + Charlie Munger's approach inspired Andrew to create the Berkshire Hathaway of the internet * how mental models like "inversion" can help you think more effectively * the 4 types of entrepreneurs + understanding which type you are * how to hire key employees + a CEO to replace you * the importance of incentives + how to align employees around a shared vision Timestamps: * 00:00:00 Snippet * 00:03:32 Who is Andrew? Buying, Building + Growing Companies * 00:07:41 Mental Models: Studying Warren Buffett + Charlie Munger * 00:10:22 Inversion * 00:12:12 Make A Few Good Decisions A Year * 00:13:54 The New Zealand Approach * 00:15:30 Fishing Where The Fish Are * 00:22:11 Controlling Emotions * 00:24:50 When Deals Don't Go To Plan * 00:26:07 How 2020 Changed Andrew's Strategy * 00:27:40 The Value Of Service Businesses * 00:32:08 Incentives * 00:34:09 4 Types of Entrepreneurs * 00:37:13 How to Hire a CEO * 00:40:21 Working With Recruiters * 00:41:42 Lessons on Firing * 00:43:35 Incentivizing CEOs * 00:46:20 Creating A Shared Vision * 00:50:39 The Art of Delegation * 00:53:33 "Twitter should be milking money" * 00:56:38 Lessons From Shareholder Letters * 00:58:49 The Future of Local News * 01:00:39 Wrap-Up
1 hr 2 min
Today in Digital Marketing
Today in Digital Marketing
Tod Maffin
The Social Platform That Finally Toppled Facebook
You knew it was big — but now, it’s bigger than Facebook. So why can’t you run ads there? Plus: YouTube moves even closer toward e-commerce integration, browser plugins are not always your friend, and meet the guy who is two password attempts away from the worst year of his life. *➡ Review the show:* ** ( ) ➡ Join our free Slack community: ( ) *HELP SPREAD THE WORD:* ----------------------- * Tweet It: ( ) to preview a tweet you can publish * Review Us: ( ) *ABOUT THE PODCAST:* -------------------- * Ads and Classifieds: ( ) * Leave a voicemail at ( ) * Sources and Transcripts: See episode notes at ( ) * Theme music: Mark Blevis ( ) (all other music licensed by Source Audio) *TOD’S SOCIAL MEDIA:* --------------------- * Twitter: ( ) * LinkedIn: ( ) * Tod’s agency: ( ) * TikTok: / ( ) * Twitch: ( ) (game livestreaming) *Today in Digital Marketing is hosted by Tod Maffin (* ** ( ) *) and produced by engageQ digital (* ** ( ) *). Subscribe at* ** ( ) *or wherever you get your podcasts.* Privacy & Opt-Out:
9 min
Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
Special: Acquired x Indie Hackers
As regular listeners know, we typically cover some of the biggest companies who often receive the most media attention (see Airbnb and DoorDash). But today's episode is a little different. In our conversation with Courtland Allen of Indie Hackers, the largest community of startup founders, we dive into the stories of underdogs. What happens when there are millions of people doing small business entrepreneurship? How does anyone having access to the globally addressable market of 3 billion internet users open the door for the niche-est of products? We tell the story of Courtland’s own “Indie Hacker” journey, how he came to found Indie Hackers itself, and the lessons learned along the way. If you want more more Acquired and the tools + resources to become the best founder, operator or investor you can be, join our LP Program for access to our LP Show, the LP community on Slack and Zoom, and our live Book Club discussions with top authors. Join here at: Sponsors: * This episode is supported by Teamistry, a great new podcast from Atlassian that tells the stories of teams who work together in new and unexpected ways to achieve remarkable things. It's one of our best new podcast discoveries in 2020 and we think Acquired listeners are going to love it. Our thanks to Teamistry for their support, and you can listen here: * Thank you as well to Kevel and to Capchase. You can learn more about them at: * * Playbook Themes from this Episode: (also available on our website at ) 1. As long as you don't quit your journey, you're still in the act of succeeding. * Indie Hackers was Courtland's seventh company. Before it, Courtland had started six other companies, each with a few thousand dollars in revenue but never as big as he wanted it to be. Looking back, Courtland has realized that everyone has a certain number of companies they need to start before they succeed: for some, that number may be one, for others, 36. For him, that number was 7. So his advice? All you have to do is not quit before you get to that number. 2. The journey is as important as the destination. * While Courtland was working on some of his earlier companies, he was miserable. A few of those working years felt like a complete blur. But sometime before he started Indie Hackers, he realized that in order to keep going until you succeed (see playbook #1), you must structure your life so that it's easy for you to not quit. In other words, you have to make the journey fun — almost like the emotional counterpart to Paul Graham’s famous “default alive” concept. With this reframe, Courtland began to enjoy the journey — enjoying the new people he met and the new things he learned. This mindset helped him level up as a person. Instead of worrying and asking "am I there yet?" he was able to enjoy the building journey. 3. Stories are always paramount. * As we discuss so often on Acquired, stories can be an incredibly powerful force, and their value is one of the core theses/value propositions of Indie Hackers. One insight Courtland came to from Hacker News was that people didn't want to just read comments about people who didn't succeed. They wanted high quality, verified stories that were trustable in some way. * Indie Hackers sends a survey out to users 6 months after they join the community. One of the questions the survey asks is, "would you have started your company if not for Indie Hackers?" 15-20% say they would not have started without some story or interaction on Indie Hackers! 4. Don't try to create budgets — sell to people that already have them. * Courtland originally tried to monetize Indie Hackers via advertising, and shared advertisement opportunities with the Indie Hacker community. But he soon realized that these smaller businesses weren't exactly the best customers to sell to. Eventually, he transitioned to selling to enterprises, and was pleasantly surprised by how much easier it was to sell. * The sales process simplified is: educate, then win. If you're selling to someone with a budget, you essentially bypass the education step. 5. Utilizing platforms, like everything in business, has tradeoffs. * There are no hard or fast rules in business. Everything has tradeoffs. Platforms may help with distribution but make it harder to build a brand and also create risks and dependencies. For Courtland, it was important for Indie Hackers to have its own brand. Additionally, he already had a distribution strategy (Hacker News). Hence, it made sense for Indie Hackers to be its own site, as there were many risks but few benefits to using some other platform like Medium. 6. Trust and mission alignment are critical in acquisitions. * Acquisition terms are about much more than just the purchase price. Sometimes, other considerations are more advantageous than cash (e.g. equity), and there are creative ways to align their incentives. * For Courtland, it was crucial that he retain freedom over his time and control over the direction of Indie Hackers. Hence, it was — and still remains — key that Patrick and Courtland's relationship have a high degree of trust. 7. Acquisitions can enable established brands to take bigger risks. * “Intra-preneurship” can be difficult because the initiative is constrained by internal processes and standards as well as external expectations. Hence, you can often take bigger risks through an acquisition. Google video versus YouTube is a great example of this. 8. There is an infinite number of "indie hacker" opportunities. * There is no end to the number of niche problems that can be identified and served. Big businesses and platforms create massive opportunities to go for the long tail. New businesses can build on top of these platforms or build for these platforms, creating tools to help people use them. For example, there are thriving tools business ecosystems today for Stripe, Shopify, WordPress, and still many more use cases yet to be addressed. Links: * Indie Hackers:
1 hr 49 min
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