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On Taylor Otwell’s “Build Your Saas” Interview


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As a rule I avoid entrepreneuria-media. There’s a sameness to the over confidant young sounding, white sounding voice these men choose to adopt that leaves me squicked out at best, and after a while you realize the way to have a career and life with some level of independence is to leave the media behind and start doing the work.

Strategic caveats deployed, this episode of the Build your SaaS podcast is worth a listen, where host Justin Jackson interviews the creator of the Laravel programming framework, Taylor Otwell.

The first reason to listen? Taylor talks actual numbers from his early successes. Some combination of America’s taboo and shame around discussing economic class plus fears of competitive advantage mean folks rarely discuss actual numbers in public. Because of this it’s hard to know what’s possible or what you should be aiming for.

The other interesting bit is about perception. In 2015 Laravel was blowing up the world. A hugely popular established framework that was dominating the conversation, but (based on the Podcast interview), in 2015 the “only” thing it had done for Taylor was set the stage. He was still working a job, and (it sounds like?) the only other thing of financial significance was a successful (but not sustaining) Leanpub book.

When I looked at Laravel in 2015 my assumption would have been Taylor had already “made it” — which is a comment about me and human nature, and nothing to do with Taylor. There’s a tendency to look at what that other hairless ape is doing, see their success, and immediately begin to make all sort of assumptions about where they are and what else they could (or should) be doing.

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Originally Posted: 24th April 2019