Build Your SaaS

How Taylor earns a living from a free, open-source PHP framework called Laravel

Show Notes

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.

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Creators & Guests

Justin Jackson
Co-founder of
Chris Enns
Owner of Lemon Productions
Taylor Otwell
Creator of Laravel

What is Build Your SaaS?

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