Solopreneurship for Software Developers

How Solo Developers Make Profitable and Successful Apps

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I have studied a number of indie software developers who have launched successful applications over and over. There are some things that they do better than everyone else.

Here are 3 things that I have found in most solo software developers:

make successful apps in 3 steps


It’s a common misconception that a game-changing, innovative idea is the cornerstone of success.

Contrary to this belief, successful solo developers often excel by addressing real, albeit sometimes mundane, ordinary problems. These solutions are targeted, actionable, and provide real value to users.

Successful solo devs are like the superheroes of everyday problems. They’re the ones who solve the “oh, man, this is so annoying!” moments that we all face.

Whether the idea is groundbreaking or a smart twist on an existing concept, what truly matters is its efficacy in solving a problem people are willing to pay for.

Consider Marc Lou, for instance. He hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but he capitalized on a prevalent pain point among developers.

By creating Shipfast, a Next JS boilerplate aimed at helping developers quickly ship SaaS products, Lou has raked in thousands of dollars.

The secret? He identified a clear need and provided a practical solution for it.

A Next JS boilerplate doesn’t set the tech world on fire with innovation. But it solves a tangible pain point for developers looking to quickly ship SaaS apps, which made it a runaway hit.

Sometimes, being profoundly practical trumps being fantastically futuristic.


In today’s subscription-saturated world, solo developers must tread carefully when choosing a monetization strategy.

The allure of monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is undeniable, but users are increasingly weary of the endless subscription parade cluttering their budgets.

Successful solo developers are pragmatic and flexible with their monetization tactics. They recognize that slapping a subscription model onto every app is not always the path to profitability.

Instead, they explore diverse monetization avenues—be it one-time purchase, pay-per-usage, or ad-supported frameworks—ensuring they balance user attraction with financial sustainability.

The takeaway? Monetize in a way that’s not only profitable but also considerate of your users. They’ll thank you, and more importantly, they’ll pay you.


Even the most exquisite app is doomed to obscurity without effective distribution. Many developers are extremely good at coding but are pitifully bad when it comes to marketing their creations.

The “build it and they will come” mentality is a myth; successful solo developers are acutely aware that marketing is as crucial as development.

These savvy developers are active on platforms that matter—Product Hunt, Indie Hackers, Hacker News, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and more.

They know the importance of being seen and heard. By actively and helpfully promoting their apps across these channels, they ensure their products reach the right audience, amplifying their chances of success.

From well-executed Product Hunt launch to building an audience on Twitter or YouTube, or becoming a fixture on dev forums and communities, successful solo founders live and breathe product distribution.

They know marketing is an integral part of the job, not an afterthought.

If you are venturing into solopreneurship within the software development realm, the pathway to success hinges on three fundamental principles: finding the right problem to solve, selecting an effective monetization strategy, and mastering the art of distribution.

These may not be easy to pull off, which is why I created a newsletter (The Snippets) to share the stories of solo software developers who have cracked this code so that others can learn from their success.