Indie Hacking 101: How to Build Your Own Startup on the Side

Indie Hacking 101: How to Build Your Own Startup on the Side

Have you always dreamed of starting your own business but don't know where to start? Indie hacking might be the answer you've been looking for.

Indie hacking is a term used to describe the process of building, launching, and bootstrapping a startup on the side without quitting your day job or burning through all your savings. It's an exciting and growing field that allows you to turn your ideas into reality and potentially even replace your 9-5 income with a successful side hustle.

In this article, we'll delve into the world of indie hacking and explore how you can join this movement and start building your own startup on the side. From finding inspiration and identifying a profitable idea to launching and growing your business, we'll cover all the essential steps to becoming an indie hacker. So, if you're ready to take control of your career and financial future, keep reading!

What is indie hacking?

Indie hacking is a term used to describe the process of building and launching small, profitable businesses or products on your own, often referred to as "side hustles." It can be as simple as creating a small app or tool and selling it online or building and growing a full-fledged e-commerce business.

It is different from traditional entrepreneurship because it tends to be more flexible and lean. Indie hackers often operate with a "minimum viable product" mindset, meaning they focus on quickly validating their ideas and getting them to market with a minimal investment of time and resources.

Indie hacking can encompass a wide range of products and services, from software applications and mobile games to e-commerce stores and subscription services. The common thread is that these innovators are building something on their own without the support of a large team or external funding.

It is an exciting field for many people because it allows them to follow their passions and turn their ideas into reality. It's also an excellent way to gain valuable experience and build a strong portfolio, which can open up new opportunities down the road.

Benefits of indie hacking

There are many benefits to indie hacking, including the opportunity to:

  • Build a business or product that aligns with your personal interests and passions
  • Have complete control over your work and schedule
  • Learn new skills and develop expertise in your chosen field
  • Build a passive income stream
  • Have the potential to earn more money than a traditional 9-5 job

How to become an indie hacker

Becoming an indie hacker can seem intimidating, but it's actually a fairly straightforward process. Here are some steps you can take to get started:

  1. Identify a problem or opportunity. The first step in any successful business is identifying a need or problem that you can solve. This can be something you personally experienced or something you've noticed in the market.
  2. Validate your idea. Once you have an idea, it's important to ensure there is demand for it. You can do this by talking to potential customers, creating a landing page to gauge interest, or running a small paid ad campaign.
  3. Build a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is a simplified version of your product that allows you to test and validate your idea without investing too much time or money. This can be as simple as a landing page with a sign-up form or a basic version of your product.
  4. Launch and iterate. Once you have an MVP, it's time to launch and start gathering feedback. You can do this through social media, online communities, or paid advertising. As you gather feedback, use it to iterate and improve your product.
  5. Monetize and scale. Once you have a product that is generating traction and revenue, it's time to start thinking about how you can monetize and scale your business. This can involve things like building a sales team, creating partnerships, or raising funding.

Some helpful resources for becoming an indie hacker include:

Inspiring Examples of Indie Hacking Success

One of the most inspiring aspects of the indie hacking community is the countless success stories of individuals who have built successful businesses on the side. Here are a few examples:

  • Pieter Levels is a well-known indie hacker who has built multiple successful businesses, including Nomad List and Remote OK. His recent product AvatarAI, which generates AI avatars using stable diffusion, managed to make over $250k in its first 3 months. Pieter is a great example of how it is possible to build a profitable business while also traveling the world and working remotely.
  • Ryan Hoover, founder of Product Hunt. Ryan was working as a product manager at PlayHaven when he started Product Hunt as a side project. The platform quickly gained traction and was eventually acquired by AngelList. Today, Product Hunt is a go-to destination for finding new and innovative products in the tech industry.
  • Joel Gascoigne co-founded Buffer, a social media management tool while working as a freelance web developer. Buffer managed to raise funding through bootstrapping and venture capital and has since grown into a successful company with thousands of users and over $1.5 million MRR.

These are just a few examples of the many successful indie hackers out there. Their stories are a testament to the potential of indie hacking as a way to build a successful business on the side.


Indie hacking can be a rewarding and exciting way to build and grow a business on your own terms. While it requires hard work and dedication, the potential financial and personal rewards can be significant. If you have an idea for a product or service you are passionate about, consider giving indie hacking a try!