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Tech insights: Taylor Otwell Tells the Story behind Laravel Forge
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Taylor Otwell Tells the Story behind Laravel Forge

13 September 2022, by Anne Gonschorek

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Here, Laravel creator Taylor Otwell shares the story behind Laravel Forge.


So the beginning of my first commercial project, or a Laravel, which is Laravel Forge, has similar beginnings to Laravel itself, where I was just trying to solve a problem I was having, which was I was constantly, manually configuring web servers by hand.

So I had like this really good development experience for building your product, but I wanted a really good way to actually ship it out to the world.

And then I eventually assembled like some scripts that would do it for me. And then it was like, “Hey, I could just turn this… I could put a UI in front of this and just turn this into a little tool that like provisioned servers and configures them to Laravel. And I could just use it myself to build things quicker.”

And again, it’s like at the very beginning, it wasn’t necessarily this thing I planned on launching to the world. It was just like I had this problem. I fixed it.

Pretty much as soon as I launched Laravel Forge, which I launched that at the 2014 LaraCon in New York City, I launched it like in person pretty much, and I think I announced it on like I was there Thursday and it was going to come out the next Monday, like it was coming up very soon.

Taylor Otwell on Laravel Forge

And within a few weeks, I was like, “Wow, this is seriously going to work like, I’m pretty much already replaced my salary. Like, What am I going to do? Now I’ve got this full time business as well as a day job” And like, it was so crazy to me because I was first building for years and I was talking to my wife about it. I was like, maybe to make like 500 bucks a month, you know, and it will, like, pay some of our bills. And it wasn’t. I wasn’t at all thinking, this is going to be like my career forever from now on.

So it was just very I had no idea of how many people were actually going to use this product I built. And then when I put it out there, I was like, “Holy cow, like, this is turned into a serious business. Like, I have to do customer support like I have hundreds of customers.” And then I was like, I’ve gotta like, “This is going to be my full time thing now eventually.” And it became obvious pretty quick.

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