Business (9)


The Human Connection

From Brent Simmons’ post: Why I Love Indies and You Do Too:

I’ve noticed something obvious about popular music — it’s almost never instrumental. There’s always a human voice singing a melody. We humans love human voices.

That’s what we get from indies that we don’t get from corporations. We get that human voice and the emotional connection that goes with it.

Knowing that I’m using software by individual developers or small teams, creates a special connection to real people that doesn’t come from the likes of Photoshop, Office, or any other Large Corp application. Indies, and those who wish they were, care about things like craftsmanship, creativity, human connection, dedication to the process, and the ritual. We are feeling the collective pang of defeat little-by-little as it all seems to slip through our fingers. Holding onto the “Indie” hope is becoming more like grasping the sand – we don’t quite know what to do as it slips through our fingers. If nothing is done, we’ll be left holding nothing.

I don’t mean to be doom and gloom. I think there is plenty of work out there – some of it rewarding. It’s just that doing your own thing, on your own product, on your own schedule is a dimmer possibility than it seemed in the past. I don’t think it has to be over.

So by all means – get a job or consult, if that’s what keeps the lights on. Spend your free time doing what you love to do. Create. Craft. Build & Run. Nobody is saying you have to do it  full-time to be a success. Success is paying your bills, savings, taking care of family, and may more things. Icing on the cake is making great things for people so their lives can be just a little bit better – because you stepped up to the plate and made it happen.




July 2014: We Noticed Indie Died

It seems July 2014 may go down as the month when we realized being an indie (iOS) developer is no longer feasible. It’s not that something suddenly happened, rather, we collectively realized the same thing: there’s no way to make a living doing this.  Rather than making a living off of developing one or two apps, we need to find another source of income and do this on the side. It’s the only way.

Here are some recent posts by notable developers in the community. They hit on a few different woes, and points. Some implore we approach this whole thing from another direction.

 

A Candid Look at Unread’s First Year

More on iOS Indies

Shopster 2013

iOS Indie Game Numbers

App Rot

Organization

The iOS Indie That Could

Trials and Updates are Still Dead

On Pricing More

App Store Realities

Why I Left Indie Development

Where are the Indie iOS Developers You Ask?

The Mobile Software Disaster

Another Non-Indie Developer App Story

The New Indie

 

I fall right in line with many of the experiences expressed in the aforementioned links. In the early days of Pivotal Action, we were starry-eyed at the possibility of creating something great that people liked, with the “reasonable” hopes of being successful. We started off with Completion, and later went on to work on a new project, Pixd, that never shipped (though it was close-ish). By the time we more or less gave up on Pixd, I think we had realized the return on our time investment was unlikely to pay off. Even as the dust was still settling with Completion, we knew we couldn’t quit the consulting side of the business – it was paying the bills.

[UPDATE] I’ve added additional links showing more experiences and perspective on the indie situation




Samsung co-CEO: We want Tizen to be on everything | Mobile – CNET News

Samsung co-CEO: We want Tizen to be on everything | Mobile – CNET News.

No surprise. Samsung, with the lion’s share of Android marketshare, is positioning itself to usurp power and control from Google. Considering their ambitions, this is their only hope.




Apples Answer on Upgrade Pricing

From David Smith

Logic Pro X is a Major with a capital M update to their professional audio editing suite. It appears to represent a significant investment in both time and resources. So how is it being sold, especially to people who already paid $200 for the previous version Logic Pro 9? It is a separate app download with a full cost purchase. No upgrades, no introductory pricing, just straight forward sale.

I’d say that this is the best indication of Apple’s intentions and expectations for the App Stores going forward.

via Apples Answer on Upgrade Pricing – David Smith.

I know people are offended by the pricing, but the reasonable side of me wonders how they can be so offended. Perhaps the “race to the bottom” on the mobile side has poisoned us into believing software should be very cheap (or free).




Apples Answer on Upgrade Pricing

From David Smith

Logic Pro X is a Major with a capital M update to their professional audio editing suite. It appears to represent a significant investment in both time and resources. So how is it being sold, especially to people who already paid $200 for the previous version Logic Pro 9? It is a separate app download with a full cost purchase. No upgrades, no introductory pricing, just straight forward sale.

I’d say that this is the best indication of Apple’s intentions and expectations for the App Stores going forward.

via Apples Answer on Upgrade Pricing – David Smith.

I know people are offended by the pricing, but the reasonable side of me wonders how they can be so offended. Perhaps the “race to the bottom” on the mobile side has poisoned us into believing software should be very cheap (or free).




Samsung Dangling the Carrot for Tizen Devs

Samsung offers $4 million bounty to populate Tizen app store.

So, Samsung is offering $4M to developers to write apps for the Tizen platform. The kicker – Tizen isn’t Android. It’s a linux-based mobile OS that focuses on hybrid web technologies, much like WebOS.

Let’s put the news into some perspective:

  • Samsung is undisputedly the largest Android mobile vendor
  • They’re reliant on Google for Android development
  • Tizen can run Android apps
  • Samsung hardly mentions “Android” on their consumer-facing websites

This is a great opportunity for them to build an independent platform and be in control of their  own destiny. From the business standpoint, this makes strategic sense to become a new market leader, though it’s hard to say whether or not this will end up being a good idea.




Topping the charts and racing to the bottom

Topping the charts and racing to the bottom

It’s no surprise that “FREE” will get you more downloads and better rankings. The problem is that free isn’t a sustainable business model.

EDIT : Here’s a little follow-up from Marco on June 17th.




Your App Idea

This is first part in the series, How to Develop an App. The series will discuss various aspects of taking an idea for an app and turning it into an actual product. I’ve had the pleasure of working on many great projects with a variety of clients over the years. As each client and project is unique, you tend to learn new things and see your profession in new lights as you gain experience. I hope to share some of those morsels with you.

But it’s not just for programmers and technical people. After all, there are a lot of you out there who have no desire to learn a single line of code, yet might be in charge of your company’s app development project. Or maybe you have an idea and are interested in hiring somebody else to do the technical work. I think even developers will walk away from this series with some new tools under their belts.

The App Idea

For the sake of the discussion, let’s assume you already have a rough idea. It could be for a game, a utility app, entertainment, or anything else.




Amberjack Media, RevealCMS

It’s official – I’m now Amberjack Media (amberjackmedia.com). The papers from the city just arrived, but the process with officially registering the DBA with the county is not yet complete.

I have the domain, but it’s not yet set-up with any hosting space just yet.

On another note, I’ve named the CMS i’m working on: RevealCMS. Development has been really slow as of late due to long work hours (contract developer) and trying to balance a social life with web dev and learning how to trade the stock market. It’s a full plate… I know!

I hope to have a demo of the CMS running a live site within the next couple months. The one I have in mind doesn’t have a huge amount of traffic, but it does get roughly 30k hits/month. I’ve spent a lot of time making sure the code is pretty optimized so we don’t have to worry about a lot of overhead spent going back and forth with the database or file I/O. Reveal will also have a caching system built-in, though it won’t be very mature in the initial release. I think one of the best features for developers is simple add-on development: plugins, page modules, and site-wide templates.