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Build Your SaaS

144 EpisodesProduced by Transistor.fmWebsite

Interested in building your own SaaS company? Follow the journey of as they bootstrap a podcast hosting startup.


Taylor Otwell: "PHP (and a cheap laptop) changed my life"

Jon is away so Justin called up Taylor Otwell, the creator of Laravel. In this episode we covered:

  • How Laravel become the most popular backend framework on GitHub.
  • Surprise! Taylor wasn't really into computers before he created Laravel.
  • What was Taylor's motivation? Why did he create this, even though there were other alternatives?
  • What's Laravel's secret? Why did it succeed?
  • How is Laravel a business? How does it earn revenue?
"Before Laravel, there were a lot of programmers that were burnt out on PHP. These folks hated their job. But after Laravel, they enjoyed their job more. It helped them in a personal way."

Here's the timeline we discussed:

  • 2010: Taylor starts working on Laravel.
  • 2011: Taylor launched version 1.0 of Laravel.
  • 2013: Taylor launches an ebook
  • 2013: Start working on Forge
  • 2013: First Laracon conference (90 people)
  • 2014: Launches Forge at Laracon (240 people)
  • 2014: after a month he had 1000 customers, $90k / ARR almost right from launch. (He thought it would maybe make $2-$3k / month). Plans started at $10 / month.
  • End of 2014: decided to go full-time on Laravel.
  • 2015: Full-time on Laravel, developed a competitive nature, really driven to see Laravel 
  • 2015: Launched 
  • 2016: Launched Spark, as a “SaaS starter kit.”
  • 2016: First full-time employee, Mohamed Said.
  • 2017: Launched Laravel Echo, Passport, Notifications. 
  • 2017: Second hire, 
  • 2018: Laravel Nova.

★ Thanks to our sponsors:

  • Balsamiq: They make a low-fidelity wireframing tool, specifically geared for non-designers. Get in the zone, and I feel creative right away. Try out their free trial:
  • Clubhouse is the first project management platform for software development that brings everyone together. It's designed for developers, but product folks, marketing, support folks love using it. Get two months free:

Show notes:

You can reply to this podcast here:

Thanks to our monthly supporters:

  • Simon Bennett - SnapShooter
  • Corey Haines
  • Michael Sitver
  • Paul Jarvis and Jack Ellis
  • Dan Buda
  • Darby Frey
  • Samori Augusto
  • Dave Young
  • Brad from Canada
  • Kevin Markham
  • Sammy Schuckert
  • Dan Ericson
  • Mike Walker
  • Adam DuVander
  • Dave Giunta (JOOnta)

Want to start a programming podcast on Transistor? Justin has a special coupon for you: get 15% off your first year of hosting:

★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
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