Redefining Indie for Myself

For the last four years, I have been exclusively creating and selling my own apps. To me this was the definition of being indie. It wasn’t until I attended Release Notes that this definition started to evolve.

At the conference, I met so many indies, who did not fit my preconception. I met freelancers, book writers, podcasters, bloggers, and people who made their living doing combinations of all of the above. I had been so deep in my own business, I could not see the other possibilities.

In a talk he gave at 360|iDev last year, Charles Perry put it this way:

“If you can take a nap without asking permission, you’re indie in my book.”

I like that.


When you boil it down, the most important thing to me is freedom. I have been using the freedom of the indie lifestyle to benefit myself and my family.

My wife was pregnant with our son when I left my job at IBM to go indie full time.

The freedom allows me to be at home as necessary. I drop off and pick up our son from day care. I stay at home with him when he’s sick. I can go grocery shopping and run other errands to keep the household running smoothly. I try to buy fresh flowers for the house once a week. And I often cook dinner for my wife after she’s had a long day at the office.

I’m kind of like a stay-at-home dad, who also works whenever he has a spare minute.

This freedom has been extremely important to us.

Although growing each year, revenue from Gus is not enough to live off, yet. I’m in an extremely lucky position that my wife believes in Gus on the Go and is willing to financially support our family until it gets there. I really married up.

The Times They Are a-Changin’

My wife is now pregnant with kid number 2. She will go on maternity leave in October and likely stay at home until mid 2017[1]. While she gets paid during this time, it will be a fraction[2] of what she currently earns.

I want my wife to have a relaxed pregnancy and enjoy her time at home after the birth. I don’t want her to feel pressured to go back to work before she is ready.

Venture into the unknown

As of immediately, I will begin looking for freelance work. I will continue growing Gus into a sustainable business, but until that time comes, freelancing should add some stability to my income.

I have been thinking about this for several months now and first started talking to other developers about it at UIKonf last week.

Thanks to the people I met at Release Notes, my definition of indie has changed. As long as I still have time for my family when they need me, I will be happy. If I can take a nap without asking permission, I will still be indie.

This new chapter of my indie career also brings about other benefits. I will get to try new things. I hope to play with new technologies that do not make sense to use in a children’s language learning app. I will learn a ton from the experience.

Not that working on Gus has been boring, but a change of scenery can be inspiring.

Know anyone looking for an experienced developer for freelance work?

Help me out! I’m @yonomitt

Have a nice day,

  1. Germany has fantastic maternity/paternity leave laws! She gets 6 weeks before the birth and up to 12 months after. Wake up America!  ↩

  2. Before you ask, yes, the denominator will be larger than the numerator.  ↩