3 things I learned hosting an Indie Hacker meetup

Being part of the Indie Hackers community has been one of the most transformative activities in my entrepreneurial journey, to date.

Actually, I haven’t been part of any online communities in the past.  And I was a fool not to be.

Since stumbling upon Courtland’s community I’ve been inspired to start my own SaaS application, take more risks, launch multiple MVPs and not lose my 💩 while doing it all.

How is that for a testimonial?

Recently I was selected to be an Ambassador for the Indie Hacker community here in Los Angeles and I’m thrilled out about it.

I’m a Gemini and a growth hacker which naturally makes me outgoing so this was right up my alley.

Here are 3 things I learned hosting our first Indie hacker meetup.

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Los Angeles Indie Hacker meetup

1: We are all Zebras 🦓 of our own stripe, galloping to the same goal

I couldn’t believe how diverse the attendees were when we hosted our first night.  We had a smaller crowd then expected but the differences in skills, scope and determination made up for it.

I met a UI/UX designer who already had killer mockups for a great idea and was looking to find his developer to make his vision a reality.

A senior engineer for a major women’s online publication who didn’t give a damn about your stack and really wanted to get to know you as a person.  Currently building his side project, a BI dashboard.

An ambitious project manager who is ready to take on the world with her startup, and Breather.

Any many more.

As I listened to the light conversation around the tables I couldn’t help but wonder who was going to ultimatley be successful but then it dawnd on me.

They are already successful.

They took the first step and that’s what counts.

They are a Zebra just like me, just different stripes.  And we’re galloping.

2: Relating is half the battle ⚔️ when you’re trying to get to know someone

Being outgoing comes natural to me.

To others not so much.

However, if you can find just one thing that you and the other person can relate to then that’s the spark ⚡️ for a better and more relaxed conversation.

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I wish we talked more “shop” the night of our meetup but just relating and sharing experiences won the eveing.

And that’s ok.  Shop can always come later.  And it will.

Don’t be in such a rush to interview someone about their success or lack thereof.  

Get to know them.  Be relatable. 

3: Pick the right venue 🍻

If your not an event planner than talk to one before you host an event or an Indie Hacker meetup.

Getting the environment right is 🔑.

For our first event I wanted to be sure the venue had food, liquor/beer and enough excitement or visual stimuli to keep everyone engaged during those lulls in conversation.

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Trophy Wife | Los Angeles, CA | Silverlake Neighborhood

I chose a new spot in the ultra hipster neighborhood of Silverlake called Trophy Wife.

They were super great hosts but you can tell from the photo above that this place has it all.

It’s a smaller bar relative to the other mega bars but it was the perfect mix of indoor/outdoor space with a fun and light atmosphere.

Trophy Wife as a venue sent the exact message I was looking for.

“Hey let’s have fun and get to know each other, shall we?

Go to a meetup, damn it!

Group think and relating is powerful for the brain 🧠.

It helps you focus where you weren’t focused.  It helps you relate where you thought you were unrelatable.  It helps you get out of your shell and sell yourself.

So we’d like to know in the comments below…are you planning on going to a meetup soon or have you experienced some great meetups and have a story to tell us.  Sound off below!

Travis R.
growth hacker | founder | husband | father
A devout Chicagoan living in Los Angeles and growth hacking his way to freedom. Pizza 🍕 is life. Know and grow, reach for the ✨ stars. Cubs win the ⚾️ World Series. Let's connect 💻 anytime.

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