A couple of good examples from the site:
- park.io (from Mike Carson) makes $125,000/mo taking domain backorders; he essentually wrote tons of scripts that buy expiring domains on behalf of his customers for $100 and that allow customers to bid against each other
- Instapainting.com (from Chris Chen) makes $32,000/mo allow customers to commission artists to turn their photos into hand-made paintings; it took him years to get to this point, but it's almost all automated and he rarely has to step in
Indie Hackers itself is my passive income source, although right now it takes a lot of work on a day-to-day basis. I'm writing a blog post about that that I hope to put up on my timeline (https://IndieHackers.com/timeline) by tomorrow. I'm doing just over $1000/mo right now, mainly from sponsors.
When I applied for my professional engineering license in Canada a few years ago, I blogged about the process because I found a total lack of such content when I looked for it. I haven't touched the blog since I got the license (over a year ago) and traffic and "income" (I profit $5-$10 per month, it's a very niche topic) have increased steadily since then. Almost everyone finds it through organic search.
This probably isn't the answer you're looking for, but in my view the average developer is much better off simply selling their time at the maximum rate and funneling the profits into a well-managed portfolio. The median outcome for this is much better than the story on most passive-income businesses.
Thanks for the reality check. I currently follow exactly this strategy. It's not the perkiest way of living, but it's actually pretty good considering what most people have to do to make ends meet.
Still, passive income strategies make me curious. We devs are in the luxurious position to be able to tweak our income-per-hour situation like mostly no human ever could. I think it's not a sign of gluttony to aim for more but actually a sign of appreciation of the situation luck has handed us. We are one of the few people on earth who can get richer by refusing to work. Not only richer in a metaphysical way but in actual cash.
Some of us would be willing to have a lower standard of living (possibly significantly lower) if a passive income could provide that.
You can live off stock dividends a lot longer if you lower your standard of living. Your comment is totally orthogonal.
That would be this bit here:
> simply selling their time at the maximum rate
Sure it is.
Yours is just a different method. You had to work to get the money, first. Passive income is the same. Some effort had to be put forth.
Passive doesn't mean do nothing and get something. That's idle income. I believe, particularly when we talk about it here on HN, it means to apply a set of already possessed skills, knowledge, resources, etc., and put forth some effort without a great deal of emphasis on making a profit, at least initially. Otherwise, it is a job.
But if successful and money is made, you have a source of income. And it may eventually become idle income.
In contrast, my portfolio requires literally 0 work on a monthly basis.
No doubt using resources you already have, which in your case is money, to generate income would fit the definition of passive income. More accurately, it's investment income, which also is not guaranteed. And you did have to perform work to get that money in the first place. Are planning on injecting more funds into your portfolio? That likely means performing more work to generate those funds.
Likewise, I have sites that generate income that I have not touched in months, maybe a year or more. Like you, I had to do some work to begin generating the income. Now, it's passive income. Not a business.
During alpha get to know people and the problems they face that you can potentially help out with (at this point you haven’t started consulting yet), in beta you drop whatever you were doing before, or cut down your time commitment enough, and getting into consulting (or more likely freelancing, where you’re doing more grunt work than being an advisor or strategic partner), in gold master you’ve demonstrated enough value that you’re at least making more than what you were previously and not hemming and hawing for more work.
Don’t expect to start at gold master.
Yes. If you’ve really understood the problems these potential clients have and they haven’t already asked you if you could be the person to solve it, offer your services.
Depending on your employer and your comfort level you may even be able to hit to beta earlier and do your freelancing on the side. I didn’t have the energy to work on other projects outside of my dayjob when I started. So I had to make a clean break before I started working with clients. You may be different.
AngelList for example.
I've never traded real money,only paper trading freshman year and played a game on MarketWatch where I traded like a monkey and made profits. I also put a prognostic on AAPL when it was in its 52 week's low and on ORCL and the outcome was as I had predicted. Maybe because there was no real money at stake.
I'm just curious and find this interesting.
Trading.. well, you'll probably lose your shirt. Investing however is very doable. Start with the stuff you understand well (i.e. probably tech). Why not just put in $5k and see where you end up? Even small amounts can teach you a lot.
I worry about diversification. Tech is what I know, but I am already heavily invested: by far my biggest asset is my career, skills and experience.
Also, people have different risk levels. My personal opinion is that you need to make sure that, if you make a bet (by picking a stock) and you win, you win big (at least 15-30% annualised).
The S&P has good averaged annual returns and it's a good idea to invest a decent amount into an S&P fund. But if you pick an individual stock to invest in, you need to do your homework and it needs to be able to outperform the index.
Think George Soros vs Warren Buffet. In the early days, Soros would make massive bets on certain events and/or stocks. He bet his entire fund on the decline of the pound and made a killing. Warren Buffet is much more methodical about investing and gets great returns too. Both great investors, but they probably have different risk levels, different focus areas and different ways of approaching things. And that's one of the things that makes investing fun!
Meanwhile, I am most able to put away the most money when tech stocks are doing well, and most likely to have trouble finding work (and possibly need to tap my investments prematurely) in an environment where tech stocks are likely to be at their lowest. "Buy high and sell low" is a poor strategy.
Silly, active managed portfolios never beat their benchmarks over the long run. Anybody in the financial industry knows that... and index fund are only good till that strategy doesn't work anymore.
According to Wikipedia,
"Renaissance's flagship Medallion fund, which is run mostly for fund employees, "is famed for one of the best records in investing history, returning more than 35 percent annualized over a 20-year span." From 1994 through mid-2014 it averaged a 71.8% annual return."
If so, I would have to disagree with you.
> index fund are only good till that strategy doesn't work anymore.
The day that index funds cease to be the optimal investment strategy (for most individuals) is the day that stocks overall have stopped being a viable investment strategy.
Obviously you're just arrogantly trying to make assumptions instead of asking questions.
Don't worry the day will come. ;) It's called a black swan.
I'm not arrogant, I'm just well educated and a student of the market. If you study the market long enough you will learn it's nothing more than just a big casino run by the federal reserve and the big banks.
Yes, Index strategy was great when it was invented in the 70's and 80's and probably the 90's. But if you have everybody rushing into index funds, well that causes an imbalance in the market. Similar to 2008, the tech bubble and even all the way back to tulip bubble. (google it)
I'm really sorry that disturbed your investment strategy.
Index fund over-investment is a red herring which is being promoted by active managers to try to justify their fees. In truth, the market balances itself out: the more passive money there is, the greater the returns to active management become.
In fact, looking through your comment history, you are in fact one of the pariahs of the internet who's trying to push your bogus options strategies on unsuspecting fools. Get lost and go spam somewhere else.
You are only mad at me because you are unwilling accept/understand/comprehend an alternative investment strategy. As I said before I'm really sorry I disturbed your investment strategy, ultimately hurting your fragile feelings.
What it comes boils down to is that you are programmer that thinks he knows how to invest. https://xkcd.com/1570/
Hmm... get your research correct. I don't offer services to individual clients only institutions. I'm also regulated by the SEC.
Yet you think an MBA and a few LAMP scripts qualifies you to dispense investment advice. Meanwhile I have actually run a fund with actual investors, but it's not something I recommend anyone try unless they are willing to do a lot of research and work on it as a full-time job.
You should really stop arrogantly assuming you know better than everyone else. I almost feel sorry for you, as your experience epitomizes the Dunning-Kruger effect.
(I'm guessing you are millennial snowflake?)
Where can I sign up for your fund!
Oh I can end this fun... well because I do have better things to do:
You are right and I am wrong, there you go do you feel better now?
I'm wasting my time arguing with you. Starting a discussion by "laughing" at my portfolio without even knowing what it is is not an adult thing do to.
I really hope you listen to feedback and grow as a person. Right now you're carrying a lot of negativity around with you.
Have great day!
I believe that Index funds are a very good investment strategy. But before you make condescending remarks about the previous poster, you should read up a little bit. Index funds HAVE problems, especially if too many people use them to invest.
Savings accounts are a terrible place to put your savings.
If you have anything more than a couple thousand dollars, you can put it in a mutual fund and see several percent return on average, versus the fraction of the percent you can get from a savings account.
In certain situations savings accounts can be advantageous—They are very low-risk and the money is immediately available. But for a long-term investment, almost anything is better than a savings account.
Ally savings account is 1%. It's where I keep my emergency fund now. Once I built up my emergency fund I stopped putting money into it, however, but it's nice to see some noticeable interest gains every month vs. the pennies I would see with my Chase savings acct.
I'm currently getting ~3% on my savings account which is pulling in about $200 AUD a month.
That said, I am in the process of putting some of that in to a index fund (Vanguard).
But I hope to double it with a better investment strategy.
-- edit --
I just looked at my depot and it seems like I made about 4€ last month. Well, guess retirement is near :)
I consider it a high success because for the amount of marketing I've done in the last 2 years (exactly zero), it still has paying users. If I did a few months of code improvements and marketing pushes I could probably increase that income a few times.
I'm asking because I did some side-gigs in the past and I always end up having a product ( aff.links ) that pays the server and some pennies above, but if I count the time lost on developing it, I will be on severe loss for decades.
Every couple of weeks I ship product to an Amazon warehouse and do a bit of advertising on Facebook. It brings in around $40k/mo and 3-4x during the holiday season.
Would you be willing to email me and talk at me about how this came about?
On the not-quite-as-passive side, I have an iPad game that I had basically left out in the Apple App Store for several years, where it sold with no involvement or investment on my end. Only recently, Apple required all app developers to resubmit their older apps or face delisting - in my case, it involved updating cocos-2d to support the latest ARM architectures, and making a whole lot of changes for everything that had happened in iOS in the past couple of years.
I also run a small API-as-a-service, which runs on reliable infrastructure, and doesn't take much real work to monitor and/or run.
I've wrote a book that teaches people how to code in swift from the ground up. https://www.weheartswift.com/swift-programming-scratch-100-e...
I've also made an exercise platform similar to codeschool/codecademy/etc that is available as a mac app using playgrounds or online by using our swift sandbox https://www.weheartswift.com/swift-sandbox/
The site generates about 30k/year in revenue growing at a steady pace. Operating costs are around 10k / year for servers/software/subscriptions/marketing.
I need to spend about 2 weeks yearly updating the book/app to the last version of swift. I also spend about 5 minutes per day replying to customer emails. It's not that passive, but really close. (ignoring time spent developing products/book)
gitbook is awesome and free. https://github.com/GitbookIO/gitbook
blog a lot and start making a list of subscribers yesterday.
25% TSX (Canadian market)
25% S&P500 (US market)
25% MSCI EAFE (Developed market excluding Canada/US)
25% Fixed Income - cash,bonds,'high' interest savings account, etc.
Works for me...also planning to get a rental property at some point.
It takes more than 4-5 hours a year for me though. I invest a part of my income every month. It makes sense since I don't pay any commission on purchases, so YMMV.
More info: http://www.pesfandiar.com/blog/2015/05/01/how-i-invest-my-sa...
1. It's leveraged. I.e. a bank will usually give you a 4:1 loan (mortgage) to buy property. Interest will usually be close to the central bank rate, so it's about as cheap as a loan gets, especially right now. If you then rent the property you are receiving a monthly return on the leveraged sum having only invested the deposit...
2. Property is an appreciating asset (US,UK,China,FR,etc). It's a systemic matter in many countries because it ties in a large part of an individuals net worth and retirement expectations.
Your 200k leveraged with a mortgage will net you more than most stock portfolios unless either you're Renaissance Capital or you just like a gamble.
Isn't this the cause of the housing bubble? If everyone thinks this? Why wouldn't profits be driven out if everyone thinks like this? Simply curious.
I've tried a couple affiliate projects, but have not found a great fit yet.
It is completely free to use and my only source of income are Adsense ads on the homepage and some sparse donations. Since May, when the site was featured on the front page of Reddit, my audience has increased with a steady rate, along with my ad revenue (almost $500 last month).
I don't really do anything maintenance-wise, except for answering questions from my users. I work on it from time to time, mainly adding new features or new country/regions maps, and I still enjoy it, as it was my first real programming project (I actually submitted it as a final project for EdX's CS50x course!).
I already had some success on Reddit, where I created interesting map charts with it (like religiosity by US state, most popular browser by country,etc.) and shared the link to the site in the comment. This got me many users that would either come directly from the Reddit post or see another map somewhere and google my site.
The big spike came last May, when I shared it on /r/InternetIsBeautiful (https://www.reddit.com/r/InternetIsBeautiful/comments/4jcadt...) , which is a specific subreddit for internet tools and single-purpose website, and it propelled to the front page.
The competition in this niche is either stale (old sites that don't have a modern interface and/or many options) or premium services (whole suites of applications that cover a range of options), so it is currently the #1 Google Search result for queries like 'create my own map', 'make a world map', 'custom USA map' etc.
It's odd. Most people who see it think it's clever and neat, and a few will buy, but when advertised, people bounce right off.
Also, the actual paid-for message being in such tiny text is pretty odd given that's the (user-side) purpose of the site. And that part is somehow the hardest to read part of the page for me, perhaps because of the double background (image + black background) interaction.
IMO, it's a lot of such small nudges that's reducing the effectiveness of the site.
Promoting the book has been the major issue for me, which is probably why it hasn't sold as much as I would have wanted.
You can even drive traffic right to it, ie from FB ads to the amazon link... and if you have positive reviews then it should sell if you target the right people.
And drop the price also in line with the rest.
- $3500 deposited, run since Jun 3 (~5 months), current balance is $5200 (48% total profit, 8%/mo).
- $5000 deposited, run since Jun 28 (~4 months), current balance is $4590 (8% total loss, ~-2%/mo).
- $3000 deposited, run since Sep 2 (~2 months), current balance is $3218 (7% total profit, ~3.5%/mo).
It's certainly not for everyone but it's an amusing hobby. I've made a net profit so far so I'm happy.
I came to this after stocks as the research I'd found seemed to show that foreign currency fluctuations were significantly easier to predict (and profit from).
Most of the good ideas I think I have end up being fairly saturated, which is discouraging!
Well done. I now have your html tag remover on the reformattext.com bookmarked for a current project. Thank you.
BitPixels currently makes ~$1k/month which is enough to cover the App Engine and DigitalOcean bills plus a bit extra. I'm working to find 1-2 more marketing channels that can drive sustainable growth.
BitPixels solves this challenge by providing a simple img tag HTML code that HN would use to automatically generate and cache a png thumbnail of any URL.
Behind the scenes, BitPixels uses a server farm of real Google Chrome browsers to load URLs and take screenshots so the thumbnails look exactly like the real website. Most competitors use open source libraries like phantomjs or cutycapt that produce inaccurate thumbnails on modern websites.
I lose about 25 bucks per months on website for artists that I built over the course of a few years in my spare time
Other then that: rental property, p2p loans portfolio (~ 6% pa) and small stock portfolio (around 5% pa).
By all their powers combined here comes 70$ a year.
If anyone wants to start paying me for the JsFormat sublime plugin, let me know, I'll gladly take your money.
i know a gentleman that owns storage units up and down the north east, never steps foot in the states for years at a time.
AirBNB & rentals can be hands free too, as another example,
If you've ever owned real estate or a business you'd know it can't be 100% passive. Even with a property manager, there are always things to fix, change, or update, and the associated decisions to make about it. One bad tenant or a property manager with bad judgement, and you're 100% back in full-time landlord mode to clean up the mess (literally or figuratively).