Lessons learned as an Indie Maker in 2019

by Ilias Haddad

2019, it was my best year ever because I learned how to code and I can build anything I want with code and I make my first dollar from the thing I built with my coding skills

As a junior developer and an indie maker, I learned so many things and I want to share it with the world.

Building in public isn’t very dangerous

I had a misunderstanding of how to build in public because I thought people will steal my ideas but after I read success stories of indie hackers who build their projects in public (Live streaming or share their progress daily), I learned that building in public is an advantage for your product because you’ll get some interest and build your audience while building products and it will help you in the launch in Product Hunt

We all have the same ideas but what matters is the execution

Spend your coding time on things that aren’t available to use on Github

When I built habitScript, I designed and coded the dashboard from scratch but after I finished I wasn’t proud of it and I stop working it.

After 3 weeks, I read an interview on IH with the founder of Creative tim , which they’re selling pre-made dashboards.

I checked their website, I found a dashboard that fit my vision for HabitScript and it was free to use and I integrate it with my back end and it was perfect.

For my second side project, I used a screen recorder example on Github and I built on top of it Makerlapse and it saved me a lot of time and I end up with a good MVP in 5 days

Stop Comparing Yourself with other

Before I started my indie making journey, I read a lot of interviews, articles about other developers who built profitable product with their coding skills and I was very impressed how easy it to build your own SaaS

After I started my adventure as indie maker, I figured out that anyone has different background, experience, skills and many more and I can’t built profitable business with just my coding skills(I wasn’t an expert developer and still not) and I need to learn other skills like copywriting, landing page design, communication, content marketing and many more

When you’re working on your business you’ll learn more than what you earn

Don’t compare yourself with others because everyone has a different background, work environment, skills, and mindset

Focus on customer onboarding

When I was building my first side project (HabitScript) I had zero experience in building projects and it was my first big project as a developer and I was very excited to work it and I launch it on ProductHunt

I got some interest and feedback about the idea and I got about 14 signups for beta launch but after 3 days I checked the web app but I didn’t notice any activity from the beta users and after some investigation and trying my product as a new user, I didn’t know what to do next

Customer onboarding is the process used to onboard new clients and explains how your products work and how they can use it

Building side projects are the best way to improve your coding skills

I learned how to code from a Udemy course and Youtube tutorials and after I wasn’t proud of my coding skills but after I discovered Indie Hackers community

I was inspired by Pieter Level and other IH members and I was very excited to build side projects

After I built my first side project I faced a lot of challenge and bugs, I learnt how to google to get the right question

As you can see in the video, I spent a good amount of time on StackOverflow to find the right answer


  • Marketing Examples: Marketing Cas Studies
  • IndieHackers: The best community of technical and non-technical founders share their challenges, mistakes, and milestones
  • ProductHunt: Website to launch your tech product to get users and feedback
  • StarterStory: Stories about how to build a successful business
  • SideProjects: SubReddit to launch your side project to get early adopters and feedback
  • Paul Graham: Developer and Entrepreneur and the co-founder of YC

If you want to know what I’m currently working on, you can follow me on Twitter

Be sure to send a message on Twitter with any questions you have, I’m always happy to help

  • Year in review

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