Being a mobile developer is not all it's cracked up to be, but it's manageable, and possible to be successful. Despite all the thoughts of millions of downloads, not everyone gets those. Probably relatively few. But we do survive, but only if we spread out our risk. It's somewhat like how people invest. If you spread out your investments over various types of items, if one area tanks, another will thrive. In the end, you have an even amount of return on your investment and a good balance. In this post, I'll explore some of the Catch22's of running a successful mobile software development company. I hope you will find some thoughts that will help with yours, or give you a better understanding of what you are getting into if you are just starting, or to help you better insight of our company, Creative Algorithms.
I have been very bad at writing on my blog; it's been a very long time. I think over the past year a shift has happened in my life, where I've focused less on starting our business and more on maintaining it and focusing on life balance. I've been through the iterations of what works, and what doesn't, in marketing and applied these where I could. We have evolved into a very steady flow of app income and also contract work income. We've found a good balance of work and family/personal time as well. I've become immersed in the martial arts and focusing on the feeling of well-being. Our whole family (all five of us) are doing karate and we feel good, having a family-focused activity, having developed important friendships, having become healthier, plus the endorphins are bar none. The schedule also helps us keep us in a routine. This blog post is rather disjointed, but I wanted to share with you how reviews have increased our sales, and how we've achieved a new, comfortable phase of our business.
I've been frustrated for the last week or so, which I'll get to the details on, but it all boils down to this: Too many ideas, too little time and resources. Story of our lives as indie devs, right? It's one thing when it's personal time, but quite another when it's your livelihood. Independent developers have to do all the tasks to run a company. Not only do we have to code, but we also have to test, design the app and user interface, create graphics, create websites, market the app, answer customer service, plan and strategize the apps and updates to tackle, do the accounting, manage social networking, prepare taxes, and more.
A few days ago I had a discussion on twitter with a few developer friends about links to the review section on the AppStores from within apps. Since people are prompted to "review on delete," the number of reviews can be slanted towards one-star, especially for 99c "throwaway" apps. No mechanism currently exists to prompt users who use and find value with their apps to rate and write reviews. So, many developers have added "Review this app" links inside their apps.
We're thrilled that the The iPhone Mom recently reviewed Serving Sizer and she loves it: "...I must say that it is a TERRRIFIC tool for moms." She cites that she found it "extremely easy to use" and it eliminates the need to worry about frustrating fractions. "For me converting recipes usually involves fractions and counting on my fingers and lots of frustration. I am thrilled to have an app that’s smarter than me and is going to eliminate that frustration."
Full review is here.
Thanks iPhone Mom!