Bootstrapping Preparedness

Many funding options are available for an entrepreneur, but which you choose depends on your lifestyle, your aspirations, your experience, and your desire for control, among other things. We chose Bootstrapping for many reasons. We like to have complete control over our business, and we had been both already been working as engineers for over a dozen years, so we had savings and had established ourselves. Our goals are modest—we merely want to create an income to support our family, be able to spend more time with them, and enjoy the flexibility of working for yourself. Bootstrapping may not for everyone, but if you're considering it as an option, this post will cover some ways to prepare and some pitfalls to avoid.

Designing the Right Icons and Graphics for your Apps

What's in an icon? App icons are one of the first things a potential customer sees. A good icon will catch an eye, stand out from the rest. It will make your customer take notice, will entice them to click for more info. Your app's icon is one of the most important graphics for your app and can make a big difference in attracting more customers.

When developing many apps, you might also want to opt for branding, either for your company, or for a series of related apps. A key element of branding is to determine a design element that you want to use throughout each icon. This element could be a style, an border, or something more specific. This post will walk through examples of how we've tackled branding for our apps, including our Trip Boss suite, and briefly discuss the difference an icon can make in sales.

Tips for New iPhone Developers #3 - Setting Release Dates

Here's another tip for newbie iPhone developers, concerning how setting the release date for a new app works.

Setting release dates properly has been a frustrating process for me. The release date can greatly affect where your app appears in the New Releases list on the AppStore, which is the only guaranteed list exposure your app will get. However, if you do not set the release date properly, you will lose that opportunity as well.

Pricing Experimentation, a Game We All Must Play

Maximizing revenue on the AppStore is the goal of every developer. Setting the right price and changing it at the right time (increase or sale) is truly an art. Many variables are at play, but if you experiment carefully, you can find the sweet spot for revenue. This sweet spot may surprise you, so it's important to experiment, or you'll miss out on your revenue potential. Of course, when a competitor comes into the mix, you may have to adjust. It's very important to monitor things regularly, so you are not caught unawares. This post will reiterate a few things from a previous post of mine on pricing, and share some of our experiences with iOS price experimentation.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race: the Optimistic Numbers Post

So many sensational articles about iOS development dominate the scene, from the get-rich-quick-we-sold-a-million-copies to the “median paid app earns $682 per year.” However, neither of these two situations are realistic for business planning. While doing taxes and accounting this week, plus monitoring our newly released in-app purchase in Trip Boss travel manager, I was reminded that I've been meaning to write about how it really IS possible to make a living writing iOS apps. Ask yourself: can your business support you? If so, how can you plan for this? I'm not one to “hope,” I want to “make” it happen. All serious businesses should have a plan, rather than “just writing apps and hoping for the best.” This post shares our experiences in sales, in promotions, and lastly our business plan.

IAP: Selling Apps-Within-an-App, a new business model

Our travel manager, Trip Boss, is a comprehensive travel app which posed a unique structure that required an unorthodox solution when bringing it to the iOS mobile market. In order to move Trip Boss to iOS in a way that solves both our customer's needs and makes it feasible, economically, we came up with a new method of selling—Apps-Within-an-App. The app was originally available on the PalmOS platform, which is much different than the iOS platorm. To 'port this software to the new AppStore, we had to consider many things: customers needs, data sharing, development time, and pricing. Otherwise, the app would never have come to fruition on the iOS platform. This post will take you through the history, the thought process, the choices, and the final decision and product.

Trip Boss IAP store screenshot

Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards for iPad Named Finalist in 2010 Best App Ever Awards

UPDATE: We took 3rd place! Thanks to all who voted for us!!

We're ecstatic that Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards on the iPad made Finalist in the 2010 Best App Ever awards. Thank you to all who nominated us! Our app is in the Parenting category for iPad. We've got some tough competition, so please take the time to enter your vote for us. Voting ends Tuesday, January 25. Thank you for your support.

Trip Boss Evolution – from Palm to iPhone, a behind-the-scenes look at the design process

Recently we released phase 1 of Trip Boss travel manager for iPhone. We've been working towards its release since the AppStore opened 2-1/2 years ago in 2008. Although we released other iOS apps prior to Trip Boss, with each app we learned something new that we could use in Trip Boss. Full time focus on Trip Boss took about 7 months and we expect another 3-4 months to release the remaining phases, or “modules”. In comparison, Trip Boss for the PalmOS, the initial release, took over a year to write. Some of the subsequent additions and enhancements (such as itinerary) took another year each to release. This post will show you some of the history behind Trip Boss' design and some of the insight behind the design decisions for the iOS release.

Trip Boss main screenshot

Building libCURL for iOS 4.2

I recently had to rebuild libCURL for iOS4.2 because I was getting crashes in the simulator related to libCURL which were not present in iOS4.1:

Detected an attempt to call a symbol in system libraries that is not present on the iPhone:
close$UNIX2003 called from function Curl_getaddrinfo in image TripBoss.
If you are encountering this problem running a simulator binary within gdb, make sure you 'set start-with-shell off' first.
Program received signal: “SIGABRT”.

Serving Sizer Pro for iPad updated - new name, new icon, new features

Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards for iPad--your recipes, organized for cooking, update is now live in the iPad AppStore.
Serving Sizer Pro Recipe Cards for iPadAvailable on the AppStore

We've added several new features:

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