Indie Open Source

What’s “indie open source”?

Indie Open Source is about spreading ideas and tools to help indie developers make a living making software, not defining “indie” or “open source”, not putting people, companies, or projects “in” or “out”.

“Indie Open Source” is a rallying cry and an invitation, not a line in the sand.

That being said, it’s completely fair to ask where Indie Open Source is coming from, and who its resources have a in mind. Here are a few very general hints.

A Stereotype

The stereotypical indie open source developer works alone, funding their work from money paid by customers. Solo. Bootstrapping. Unbeholden.


Indies tend to be small. A single developer. A development shop with a handful of coders. A company where everybody knows your name.

Indies tend to control their own work. They decide what software to build, how to build it, how to license it, and how to make money from it.


Indies don’t tend to take venture capital or other outside investment that affects control of their business. Of course, there are exceptions. Some companies take early-stage seed funding that doesn’t affect control. Some companies take later-stage money, but their investors are more interested in building a sustainable business or strategic effect than run-away financial success.

Indies don’t tend to be large companies. Of course, there are exceptions. Some development teams or subsidiaries within large companies operate more or less like indie shops.