Abandoning the indie hacking dream for now
I’m taking a break from indie-hacking
Will I never write a line of indie code again? Obviously not. I love building, sharing and learning.
But I am going to stop trying to make profitable indie-businesses for the next couple months or a year.
Building things is fun, but marketing a business that has no traction is a grind and a roller coaster. Something that right now I am tired of.
No need for a profitable business
Right now I don’t need to make money with indie businesses. It’s totally viable for me to just enjoy the ride working full time (or maybe later part time) to achieve financial independence. I have saved enough already for a secure retirement at a typical retirement age and if I was willing to downscale my lifestyle, I would probably never have to work again. But I’m in no rush.
I am excited about my full time work, I get paid very well and the environment is very healthy. I feel like in the next year (or more) I have lots of opportunities for personal and professional growth without a need to grind.
And if anything changes, e.g. I get a awful boss - guess what, I can change teams or jobs and be alright.
I know that “would people pay money for this?” is a great test for a business, but it’s not the game I want to be playing now. I might later.
Wanting it all
I like to do a lot of things and “I want it all”.
I want to have an amazing career, be super skilled in my main job, develop my hobbies, know a lot about unrelated but interesting disciplines (e.g. biology, math, physics, psychology), learn foreign languages, and be very fit and healthy (running, climbing, gym, yoga, meditation), creative and have a thriving social life (amazing friendship, marriage and great family bonds). Also I have a thirst for adventure and traveling.
You see where the problem is.
Just having a demanding full time job and a part time side hustle could take most of your physical and mental energy, but I want so much more in life and don’t want to make sacrifices in other areas.
I am expecting my job to become more demanding in the next couple of months and I want to explore more of my hobbies and focus on relationships. So something has to give.
Letting go vs limping along
Leaving things behind can be very freeing. I could maintain things with some effort, but I think that I would always feel behind and guilty of not doing more.
So I am going to cease all marketing efforts that I wouldn’t find enjoyable just on their own and get rid of expectations. I will let watchlimits grow on autopilot and not invest in any new premium features, unless I personally want them :) (I’m a user after all!).
I will also not start working on another indie product straight away.
Did I waste my time?
I put a lot of time and energy into building my side projects like redeal.app (live but unmaintained), invertimo.com (live but unmaintained), watchlimits.com (live and growing slowly, but not profitable).
With each of this projects I learned a lot and the last one watchlimits even earned me some subscription revenue!
I refreshed my grasp on some tech I already knew and learned new one that I didn’t know before. It was very useful as I am working in big tech that generally doesn’t use much open source, but mostly in house stuff. It also enabled me to keep my Dev skills sharp when I was working as a manager or when I just didn’t have many coding projects at my main job.
It generally helped with my future job prospects and overall technical competence and confidence.
Before I started on this journey, ‘can I build a complete product from scratch e2e’ was an open question. There is a lot that goes into it, there are different platforms, UI, backend, billing, etc. I can confidently say now that this is an easy part. I can build everything needed, it won’t be the best ever quality, but it will be complete, solid and quick.
Indie hacking taught me a lot about product and business.
All the products that I built, even though not very successful were completely functional and were used by real people and they were rather complex.
It gave me a lot of food for thought in terms of ’time to market’, prioritizing features, target audience and personas, user journeys, etc.
Do I know everything now? Obviously not, but it gave me some reps and lots of practical experience that is complementary to my professional experience.
I think that safely failing at some businesses taught me a lot on what to avoid in the future. So I will be in much better position later on.
Relationship and audience
This journey for sure wasn’t lonely. Okay, at first it kinda was. But then I discovered an amazing community of indie hackers and #buildinpublic.
I also need to give a honorable mention to the Wannabe Entrepreneur community! Tiago is a great community organizer and an indie hacker and made something very special.
Meeting fellow builders made me very happy and excited. So many talented, hard working and kind people out there! Thank you for making my journey much more enjoyable!
I will be prioritizing health, relationships, adventures, learning and creative endeavors. I will follow what excites me and energizes me at a given moment.
You might hear less from me on twitter or maybe the topics will just shift. Time will tell, but I’m excited about the new chapter!