📈 Indie to Acquisition

• 3 min read

In July of 2015 I was burnt out, tired, and in desperate need of a change. My job of three years was no longer fulfilling and I couldn’t fathom continuing to give up a 40-hour work week to achieve someone else’s dream.

Ever since discovering programming in 2008, I’ve been interested in the indie developer lifestyle. People like Marco Arment showcase that it’s possible to achieve indie success and programs like 30x500 give a proven method for getting there. But, even though I knew it was what I wanted, I’m not a risk taker, so I waited.

I needed time to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence to ensure the best odds possible and, in seven years, I was finally ready. With $30,000 in the bank, a growing side-project, and a solid monetization plan, I quit.

While I wish I could share the entire story here, that’s a topic for another post. This post is about the end of the journey, one of the most challenging parts – agreeing to sell the company and everything I’d built.

$0 to $20k MRR

In just three years, I was able to grow my small side-project Insomnia to $20k 🇨🇦 monthly recurring revenue, rocketing past my initial goal of $3k. I feel an extreme sense of luck and privilege whenever I take the time to reflect.

So why sell? Why give up the success, money, and growth? The full truth is quite complicated and involves many variables, but I want to experience a radical change and launch into the next stage of my life. I want to grow.

Don’t get me wrong, Insomnia was a great company to run and it was doing extremely well, but even though I was living the dream as an indie, I somehow ended up back where I was at my last job – burnt out, tired, and in need of a change. It wasn’t easy, but I decided that selling would be better for both myself and Insomnia.

Insomnia and Kong Logos

The acquiring company Kong is a great fit for the project. Aghi, one of the co-founders, sponsored Insomnia in its infancy so I knew his intentions were good. Kong’s goal is to keep Insomnia moving forward, dedicate more resources to it, and relieve me from day-to-day stresses of running the company.

The acquisition closed a few months ago and I’m happy to report that Insomnia is now enjoyable to work on again, my co-workers are amazing, and I have more personal time to get back to the things I’m passionate about. It’s such a relief to know I made the right choice.

I feel like it’s inevitable that I’ll return to indie life one day, but first I need a couple years to recover, have to come up with a new plan, and want to figure out how to do it in a healthier, more sustainable way.

Until then, I’m looking forward to using my free time to launch some new side projects, write more posts like this, and give back to the indie community. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I’m always around to chat 🤗

P.S. I recently shared more of the Insomnia story on the The Entrepreneurial Coder Podcast and also have an Indie Hackers Interview from 2017

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