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

How Taylor earns a living from a free, open-source PHP framework called Laravel
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 Envoyer.io 
  • 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.

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