My favourite thing about indiehackers

I've been in and around the IndieHackers community for a while now. I came across the community during my first digital nomad trip to Tenerife in 2019, in the Canary Islands.

More on that in a moment. First, it feels necessary to go back a little further to 2014. It was around this time that I first started to come across the world of indies and makers, even though I didn't know that's what it was at the time.

I would hear the stories of folks doing unconventional things, building businesses around blogs and online communities. Never having fit in, or known what I wanted to do with my life, my interest was well and truly piqued. For the first time in my life, there was a “career path” I stumbled across which… felt right.

I started attending events at this place tucked away a couple of minutes from where I work, called Escape the City, where other disillusioned corporate workers would gather.

And then a year later, after I had quit my job, was studying a Masters and was having a “year off” of sorts, I went to the most incredible conference I've been to in my life.

It was called World Domination Summit, and it was eye-opening. Keynote speakers featured some of these inspiring folks I'd been following, and the smaller workshops and more casual mingling were even more powerful. There were folks there doing unconventional things, all kinds of quirky businesses, showing up as themselves and building businesses where they could do the same. I remember meeting a ‘play coach’, someone who offered ‘cuddle therapy’, and others who were still working 9-to-5s but were drawn to, or had already started, doing their own thing.

I attended a LiveYourLegend meetup, where I met someone I consider a friend today called Elizabeth Miner (I think she was the first nomad I ever met), a wonderful person.

For a few days I was around a group of people like me, at different stages of the journey, but connecting around a common cause. Unconventional living.

I would go on to seek out communities and surround myself with other unconventional, creative types who were building businesses.

I joined Fizzle, run by someone else I bumped into at World Domination Summit called Corbett Barr, and then, towards the end of my month-long stay at a coliving space in Tenerife, I stumbled across another world that was there waiting for me to discover it at just the right time.

It was called IndieHackers.

How it happened was as follows. Somehow I came across Tyler Tringas and his concept of “micro saas”.

Even though I wasn't a developer, something lit inside of me and excited me when I landed on that guide. In the same as when I had come across Scott Dinsmore and Corbett Barr's guides.

As I read the chapters of Tyler's free ebook, I found myself wanting to hear more from him. I looked up podcast interviews, and landed on his interview on the IndieHackers podcast.

And suddenly, I had found this whole community of passionate creatives I resonated with.

At the time I felt a little... different. I wasn't a developer (I’m still not), and yet this place felt like me. It was a supportive community of fellow unconventionals drawn to living life on their own terms, through creating products of different kinds.

In the last 5 years, the creator and maker space has evolved and gained steam.  In the IndieHackers community today there are all sorts of developers and non-techies building online businesses, some subscription-based, some community-based, product-based or service-based.

For a good while, like I do when I join any community, I gently dabbled, trading threads and perhaps starting to comment here and there.

Things changed when an indiehacker posted a thread about connecting over video to discuss something he was building. I liked the sentiment behind the post, so I jumped on a call.

Sasa would become my first 'IRL' indie friend.

I was also fortunate to stumbled across IndieLdn, which has given me the opportunity to meet fellow indies in real life at their casual and coworking events. In fact, I think it was something like a couple of years after I came across IndieLondon that I went to my first event… I sometimes ask myself, why not sooner.

All of these conversations made me feel like I was back at World Domination Summit all over again, that memorable conference where it feels I really found my first indie “tribe”.

And so without a doubt the best thing about indiehackers is the video and IRL conversations, made possible by this platform which has let me continue to find and meet “my people”.

It's so easy to do so, and I've found fellow indies – like me and perhaps like you, wherever you are on this journey – to be warm, open and curious.

If you're currently lurking in indiehackers, I'd invited you to step in and start replying to some threads. If you've had some interactions, I'd invite you to start connecting with folks on Twitter, and reaching out.

“Hey, what you're up to looks really cool, and I've been enjoying our interactions / I’m working on something quite similar. Do you fancy catching up over a call sometime? Let me know if you might be open to that, and we can work something out if so :) Cheers. Jas”

Literally, that’s all it takes.

Of course, there's always a chance there will be a “no”, a non-response, or more likely a polite decline. But the video and IRL chats I've had with fellow indiehackers has been the most rewarding part of being in this community.

If you don’t reach out, if you don’t step in, you’re missing out on something significant.

And so if you're an indiehacker already, I'd invite you to reach out to fellow indies, keep an eye on the meetups going on (online and IRL), let yourself show up and be around fellow side-hustlers and solopreneurs.

Surrounding myself and having conversations with others on this journey has been one of the most significant things that has carried me through – and continues to.

From Escape The City, to World Domination Summit, to IndieHackers, you bet I'll be making more time to reach out, be curious, and have meaningful interactions with fellow indies, over video and in real life.

The best thing about indiehackers is the opportunity to spend time with them.

So go ahead and create those opportunities.  The connections you'll make, the things you'll learn, the energy you'll absorb, is one of those golden, immeasurable, priceless things.

In fact, I’m likely off to London tomorrow for a day of weekend co-working with RamenClub (part of IndieLdn), an IRL community I discovered through the IndieHackers forum.

If you’re an indie hacker/maker/solopreneur reading this, I hope you’ll step into conversations, video calls and meetups, too.