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I'd love to hear about Laravel's growth. Laravel has a great community but how did it get to the point it's at today?

Who were the first users? How did you convince them to try a new framework? Who used it in production first? How did you generate interest/traction?

Thanks

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I still remember some of the first users by name and always enjoy if I see they are still around. My first promotion of Laravel was on Forrst and Reddit.

I think Laravel continued to gain traction because I was very involved in its development, responding to feedback, etc. It also generally just came at the "right time" for PHP. Older frameworks built before PHP 5.3 were dying out or suffering from lack of documentation and Laravel was written exclusively for PHP 5.3 and has really, really thorough documentation even from the 1.0 release.