Under the Radar

Under the Radar 107: Free with Benefits


00:00:00   welcome to under the radar a show but

00:00:02   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:04   Marco Arment and I'm David Smith under

00:00:06   the radar is never longer than 30

00:00:07   minutes so let's get started so today I

00:00:11   wanted to talk about something that I'm

00:00:14   sort of having to navigate with workouts

00:00:16   plus plus that seemed like an

00:00:17   interesting discussion to have here and

00:00:19   a topic that is kind of a perennial one

00:00:22   one that we've talked about many time

00:00:23   around business and pricing and that

00:00:26   sort of thing and so for a little bit of

00:00:29   background so workouts plus plus is an

00:00:31   app that I released right around this

00:00:33   time last year whose primary purpose is

00:00:37   to create a fully customizable workout

00:00:41   experience on the Apple watch and then

00:00:44   on the iPhone to provide a much more

00:00:47   detailed analysis and display view of

00:00:50   all of the workout data you've ever

00:00:52   collected with an Apple watch where ever

00:00:54   that came from whether it's in work

00:00:55   aspis plus or somewhere else and it's an

00:00:59   app that I made because of a few

00:01:03   shortcomings or things that I didn't

00:01:05   like about the system app which is

00:01:07   typically where a lot of my ideas come

00:01:08   from where like there's an existing

00:01:10   thing that I doesn't quite work the way

00:01:13   I like so I wanted to make it better I

00:01:15   wanted to improve it I had some ideas

00:01:17   for how I liked it and so that's why I

00:01:18   started it and it is an app that I I use

00:01:23   on a very regular basis you know five or

00:01:25   six times a week at least I used this

00:01:28   app and so it's very tailored to to what

00:01:31   I you know true the way that I think in

00:01:33   the way that I work and I'm in the

00:01:34   process now I'm finishing a pretty

00:01:36   substantial update to it which will be

00:01:39   launching hopefully in about three weeks

00:01:41   as you're listening to this which is

00:01:44   kind of bearing down on me and like now

00:01:46   that I have like but two weeks left of

00:01:48   coding too you can get all the last bugs

00:01:49   out but in about two weeks I'm going to

00:01:51   launch a big update for it and so

00:01:54   naturally you start to think about you

00:01:56   know what do you need to do with this

00:01:57   new update are you gonna make any

00:01:58   changes it's a good opportunity to kind

00:02:01   of reflect on how the app has done and

00:02:04   where might you know Murr might go in

00:02:05   the future

00:02:06   so in the initial version the version

00:02:09   that I last I launched last December

00:02:13   the app was paid it was a five dollar

00:02:15   app and my reasoning for that initially

00:02:19   was coming from a place that it is a

00:02:21   very focused sort of power user niche

00:02:25   kind of a thing like the bill a you have

00:02:27   to have an Apple watch for it to be

00:02:29   useful period

00:02:30   so that's reducing my potential audience

00:02:33   to you know down quite dramatically

00:02:36   I think am i for my analytics for

00:02:38   health-conscious people right around

00:02:40   maybe ten percent of them have an Apple

00:02:42   watch so of iPhone users I mean so

00:02:46   that's pretty small and then you need to

00:02:49   want more than you get out of the

00:02:51   built-in app so it seems like well

00:02:52   there's not that many people who might

00:02:54   use this so like maybe I'll make it paid

00:02:55   like maybe I'll take that approach and

00:02:58   also it seemed like it was a fairly it's

00:02:59   fairly premium in the sense of it was a

00:03:01   it's it's trying to do more it's

00:03:03   allowing you if you really care about

00:03:05   this kind of stuff you can tweak and

00:03:07   adjust and to do a lot of things and so

00:03:09   I was like let's try that and the short

00:03:12   version is that it didn't do very well

00:03:15   at all I was I'm about to get into

00:03:18   exactly how poorly it did before I do

00:03:21   that I always want to just sort of

00:03:22   disclaimer things that anytime you hear

00:03:23   people talk about like sales numbers or

00:03:26   things like that

00:03:28   it's always good to take with a grain of

00:03:29   salt that the the two types of numbers

00:03:31   you tend to hear are when things go very

00:03:33   poorly or when things go unusually an

00:03:36   exceptionally good so just something to

00:03:39   keep em behind that results not typical

00:03:42   like it's just instructive insofar as

00:03:45   helping sort of couch where I'm gonna go

00:03:47   with this next but in the first year of

00:03:50   the app's life the app made $16,000

00:03:53   which is not you know nothing to sneeze

00:03:56   that is a good is a good run for an iOS

00:03:59   app in many ways but as you know you

00:04:02   would if you would as you would expect

00:04:04   if I had made fifty percent of that in

00:04:06   the first month and has settled down

00:04:08   dramatically since since then - at this

00:04:11   point it's not uncommon to have a day

00:04:13   where it's like zero or one sales is

00:04:16   starting to become pretty common and I

00:04:19   think that's a pattern that is very

00:04:21   common with a paid app and just with

00:04:23   apps in general in the App Store that

00:04:25   there's this pattern where

00:04:26   you might get a little bit of interest

00:04:27   upfront and then it just falls off and

00:04:29   this happen particular like it's

00:04:31   competing against such a wide variety of

00:04:34   things that in retrospect is probably

00:04:37   not uncommon not unexpected that it's

00:04:39   very hard to justify that someone would

00:04:41   you know pay a substantial are they so

00:04:44   substantial in the AppStore sense amount

00:04:46   of money for it and so from that

00:04:49   perspective I kind of view it

00:04:51   financially as a bit of a flop now it's

00:04:54   not something that I think is

00:04:55   financially very very viable at that

00:04:58   point and if anything it's kind of silly

00:05:00   that I continue to work on it except for

00:05:02   the fact that I use it every single day

00:05:05   and I really like it and I have the

00:05:08   benefit I suppose of you know my virtue

00:05:10   of being self-employed and be able to

00:05:12   make these kind of choices that don't

00:05:13   necessarily make sense financially I can

00:05:16   just keep working on it because I like

00:05:17   it because I enjoy it and I can you know

00:05:19   support myself with my other apps but

00:05:23   that brings me to version 2 where I

00:05:26   think is and I'm been I've been toying

00:05:29   with a variety of things it seemed

00:05:31   obvious that I should definitely make

00:05:32   the app free inside in some ways because

00:05:34   I think that's just the app store where

00:05:37   we find ourselves now that like the paid

00:05:39   apps are become theirs you have to be

00:05:42   doing something else I think for that to

00:05:44   be a viable situation like very almost

00:05:47   all of the you know the app store is

00:05:49   free with something else but when I when

00:05:53   I decide maybe that decision then it's

00:05:54   like you start to get into okay should I

00:05:55   have ads it should have some kind of you

00:05:57   know purchase or subscription situation

00:05:59   and the more I thought about it for this

00:06:01   app the more I kind of decided that

00:06:03   maybe this would be an interesting

00:06:04   opportunity to rather then go down the

00:06:08   road of trying to work out some method

00:06:11   to extract you know money from these

00:06:15   customers who are put these potential

00:06:18   customers even like the user base is

00:06:19   incredibly small now and any amount I

00:06:22   get from them is I still couldn't be

00:06:24   somewhat in material unless I was able

00:06:26   to grow the audience so and anytime any

00:06:30   of those scenarios that I came up with

00:06:31   by putting ads into it it don't really

00:06:33   work because ads tend to work well in

00:06:34   apps that she will go to on a regular

00:06:36   basis like several times a day that

00:06:38   become a more habitual app whereas an

00:06:40   app like this is the thing that you

00:06:42   might open maybe once a day at best

00:06:44   probably more likely once a week on the

00:06:48   iPhone side just because that's the

00:06:50   nature of how often do you really need

00:06:52   to do like deep dives into your past

00:06:54   workout history and I also just kind of

00:06:58   thought like you know that's it's if I

00:07:00   don't really like the feeling of ads in

00:07:03   general like I know they're an

00:07:04   absolutely necessary situation but the

00:07:06   one that fit my favorite and then so

00:07:08   it's like okay so I do some some kind of

00:07:09   subscription some kind of a net purchase

00:07:10   some kind of situation where like well

00:07:12   you get the first X you know you some

00:07:15   you can see the last week's worth of

00:07:16   data but you can't see more unless you

00:07:17   pay and you're putting up a lot of

00:07:19   barriers and pain points in my app and I

00:07:22   just I decided that I think what I'm

00:07:24   gonna try instead it's kind of you the

00:07:28   situation I have that by virtue of

00:07:30   having diversified extensively in the

00:07:32   past that I am now in a position where I

00:07:37   can view my my existing business that

00:07:43   all my other apps as a venture

00:07:45   capitalist who is able to finance the

00:07:47   development of apps that can just go out

00:07:50   and see how big of an audience they can

00:07:52   get they can garner and worry less about

00:07:55   the immediate return and outcome and

00:07:58   squeezing every penny out of the app in

00:08:00   the near term I can as I can and so I

00:08:02   think I'm just gonna make the app

00:08:03   totally free no in-app purchases no ads

00:08:05   no barriers or pain points no nothing to

00:08:08   try and create like a point of

00:08:09   hesitation that if someone is

00:08:10   potentially interested in this they can

00:08:12   go and get it and try it you try the

00:08:14   full experience and like the only kind

00:08:16   of vague monetization II kind of thing

00:08:18   I'm gonna do is have links to my other

00:08:20   apps which are related and potentially

00:08:23   interesting to that person in the app

00:08:24   just as a that seems like a reasonable

00:08:27   best practice kind of a thing but not

00:08:29   even really expecting to make much from

00:08:31   that but anyway like it's kind of this

00:08:33   interesting model because I've never

00:08:34   launched an app that had no or like it's

00:08:37   just an app like this where I have no

00:08:39   immediate like financial benefit it's

00:08:42   entirely a a goal or a play of seeing

00:08:46   how big of an interest I could get in

00:08:47   this app when if I take away all of the

00:08:50   potential limiters all the potential

00:08:52   things that might get in to get in the

00:08:54   way of its growth and then just see and

00:08:56   like in a weird way there's a very small

00:08:59   chance that it goes anywhere there's

00:09:00   still a very most the most likely

00:09:02   scenario is that even completely free no

00:09:04   barriers no one no one downloads it or

00:09:06   uses it and though in the long term but

00:09:09   I can potentially rather than having a

00:09:11   very high chance of having having like a

00:09:14   very good chance of having a very small

00:09:16   audience I have a very small chance of

00:09:17   having a potentially big audience so I

00:09:19   don't know is that crazy I'm probably

00:09:23   not it's just it's hard to think about

00:09:25   like it's hard for people like us who

00:09:28   don't usually do future bets on growth

00:09:33   and figure in and thinking like me we'll

00:09:36   make money on this someday in the future

00:09:37   like that's not something that we as

00:09:39   indie iOS developers usually do and that

00:09:44   is how a large part of the industry

00:09:45   works it's probably worth considering

00:09:48   that you know as you kind of mentioned

00:09:49   you kind of said it was like analogous

00:09:51   to a like a VC kind of model with the

00:09:55   disclaimer that neither of us were

00:09:56   venture capitalists I think that's not a

00:09:58   bad idea it's not about metaphor you

00:10:00   know in the VC world they know if you

00:10:03   just have a big audience and more

00:10:05   important if you have growth that seems

00:10:07   to be consistent or accelerating there

00:10:10   will be a way for that to be valuable

00:10:12   like you know even if it isn't

00:10:14   immediately apparent even if you defer

00:10:16   that value until later and sometimes you

00:10:20   know in many cases getting that growth

00:10:21   is so important and so valuable that

00:10:24   they intentionally defer any kind of

00:10:26   modernization just to leave the doors as

00:10:29   wide open as possible for people to come

00:10:30   in and then they figure you know later

00:10:33   down the road this can be worth

00:10:34   something to somebody whether it's

00:10:36   direct or whether it's then being sold

00:10:38   to someone else and then they figure out

00:10:39   how to monetize it or if it's if it

00:10:42   never needs to be directly monetize at

00:10:43   all you know there's lots of situations

00:10:44   where where something has value to the

00:10:48   people whom who make it or who fund it

00:10:50   even if it never collects direct revenue

00:10:53   you know there's all sorts of you know

00:10:55   side benefits things can have or

00:10:57   strategic benefits to some to some

00:10:59   bigger picture that's not a bad idea and

00:11:02   it's also not a bad idea to say I don't

00:11:05   even know what

00:11:06   the outcome could be but you know since

00:11:09   it's already you know you've already

00:11:11   made some money off of it

00:11:12   the and that money has already dried up

00:11:14   basically so it's like it on some level

00:11:17   it's like well you know what are your

00:11:19   options here you know like like you know

00:11:22   you ran through the challenges of you

00:11:25   know this particular app workouts plus

00:11:26   plus like it's not there's not a lot of

00:11:29   places it can be easily monetized in a

00:11:32   way that are like in ways are likely to

00:11:33   succeed because it is you know mostly

00:11:36   used on the watch it's hardly ever

00:11:38   launched on the phone you know that

00:11:40   there's that's just gonna be really

00:11:42   really hard to monetize it in a

00:11:44   meaningful way

00:11:45   so I think you you're kind of in a

00:11:48   corner here that I don't really think

00:11:50   you have a lot of other options but

00:11:52   that's not necessarily a bad thing

00:11:53   because it's it would be kind of freeing

00:11:56   to just let go of the idea of direct

00:11:59   monetization with this app and just see

00:12:01   what happens I mean you have enough apps

00:12:04   and enough experience out there that you

00:12:07   know the kinds of user numbers that you

00:12:10   can get when something has no boundaries

00:12:11   like whether it's one it's totally free

00:12:13   or when it's free with in-app purchase

00:12:15   like you've seen those numbers and

00:12:17   you've seen what it gets when it's paid

00:12:19   up front too and I think you have enough

00:12:22   experience and data to be able to make

00:12:25   that kind of decision and I think

00:12:26   something that it it's a weird thing to

00:12:28   say but I feel like the thing that makes

00:12:31   me want to do this most is that I've

00:12:34   never done it before and something that

00:12:38   I have found time and time again like in

00:12:40   the many many years but it's at almost

00:12:42   nine years of being an iOS developer

00:12:44   like is that the time that I've things

00:12:51   that I've like learned from the learn

00:12:53   from the most or expanded my business

00:12:55   the most have tended to be the things

00:12:57   and the times when I'm doing something

00:12:59   new where I'm doing something that I

00:13:01   haven't tried before

00:13:03   because otherwise I imagine like the

00:13:06   problem I run I so often will fall into

00:13:09   I think is that I am doing things the

00:13:13   same way that I've done them before and

00:13:15   sometimes that's good like there's a

00:13:17   like a good lesson to be learned or

00:13:18   there's a best

00:13:20   that you can pull from something but

00:13:22   very often I think that I get stuck on

00:13:26   like well I did this I did this this way

00:13:28   before so let me do it that way again

00:13:31   and that is probably in the long term

00:13:35   like like the death of my business like

00:13:38   that if I keep trying to just do the

00:13:40   same thing in the same way even it can

00:13:42   be effective in this year in the short

00:13:43   term like I kind of get nervous and they

00:13:45   in this fun and funny way like as soon

00:13:46   as I had this idea then I was like

00:13:48   sending those like you know what if I

00:13:49   just make it totally free and not even

00:13:53   though like the fact that like in many

00:13:54   ways that is like foolish like in the in

00:13:59   the I'm you know I'm giving up a there's

00:14:00   a definite downside in a financial cost

00:14:03   like I have a reasonable expectation

00:14:05   that like if I'd you know have a big a

00:14:07   big update and I've you know get a

00:14:08   little press and do my little things

00:14:10   that I would have a nice couple of weeks

00:14:12   of income but it's the understanding

00:14:13   that like maybe it's better to not worry

00:14:17   about that and because I've never done

00:14:19   had that perspective like even that's

00:14:21   like that's just exciting and

00:14:23   interesting to me in a funny way and I

00:14:26   think it reminds me of the importance of

00:14:29   not being complacent with anything like

00:14:31   to just always be looking for

00:14:33   opportunities to try and like in this

00:14:35   case like it's a good thing to try

00:14:37   because it's not doing anything for me

00:14:39   now like I have this thing that maybe

00:14:42   has a potential upside or potential

00:14:43   interest somewhere down the road that's

00:14:46   never going to be realized in its

00:14:47   current state so let's try it and see

00:14:49   and you know maybe it'll be a podcast in

00:14:51   a couple of weeks or a couple of months

00:14:53   where I'm like that was a terrible idea

00:14:54   and then I can change course or you

00:14:58   decide what I want to do at that point

00:14:59   but it's weird in a weird way it's

00:15:01   almost like whenever I encounter a place

00:15:03   that's like I've never done that before

00:15:05   that makes me like doubly and perhaps

00:15:07   slightly irrationally interested in

00:15:09   trying it just so that I can finally I

00:15:12   can add that data point into my

00:15:14   collection of other data points and kind

00:15:16   of be able to make a better decision for

00:15:18   whatever my next step is whatever that

00:15:19   may be well there's also there's other

00:15:21   value here too like you know for direct

00:15:25   value like you know you're getting these

00:15:26   users and you know you mentioned earlier

00:15:28   that you you know some of them will buy

00:15:29   your other app so that's that's some

00:15:30   value right there you're going to get a

00:15:32   certain number of people in from from

00:15:33   any kind

00:15:33   press you get more of them we'll stick

00:15:36   around because there's no barriers I'm

00:15:38   sticking around so then you'll have even

00:15:40   more people looking at your other apps

00:15:41   you will you'll have some spillover

00:15:43   press that were people who see the press

00:15:44   will look at your other apps so there's

00:15:46   all direct benefits there also you are

00:15:48   not talking about it on a podcast

00:15:49   episode you're probably going to talk

00:15:51   about it again on at least one more

00:15:52   podcast episode we get paid to do these

00:15:55   podcast episodes so here so you're

00:15:57   you're generating you know good topics

00:15:59   for content for the things you do for

00:16:02   other ways you get paid and then if new

00:16:05   listeners come in because they wanted to

00:16:08   hear how that turned out maybe you write

00:16:10   a blog post about it

00:16:11   right and so then and you know and you

00:16:12   don't have ads in your site but then

00:16:13   those people might come to the podcast

00:16:15   where we have ads which I'm about to do

00:16:17   in a minute and they might stick around

00:16:19   so then not only where did you get paid

00:16:22   for that episode where we talked about

00:16:23   this but then if they stick around we

00:16:25   can raise our rates down the road and

00:16:27   then that person has delivered you value

00:16:29   down the road of increased money per per

00:16:33   podcast episode so like there's a lot of

00:16:35   like network effect here that builds

00:16:37   over time also next time you have a new

00:16:40   app to launch you have a place you can

00:16:42   promote that where there's more people

00:16:44   listening both the podcast will have

00:16:46   more listeners and then you can even do

00:16:47   an in-app promotion in workouts plus

00:16:50   plus which has this now massive free

00:16:52   audience and and then you can sell

00:16:55   another app so like there is a lot of

00:16:58   network benefit here to you even if that

00:17:00   one app itself does not directly make

00:17:03   the money it can cause this network

00:17:07   effect to happen but I know this is not

00:17:09   the parties of network effect it can

00:17:10   cause these side effects to happen that

00:17:13   themselves can bring you value yeah and

00:17:16   I think what's liberating in a weird way

00:17:18   about that is it's I think it's so easy

00:17:21   to and maybe it certainly it's different

00:17:24   I appreciate that I am in a privileged

00:17:26   position to have other apps and other

00:17:29   what other means of support that allow

00:17:32   me to do things like this like it's

00:17:33   probably fair to say just like yep I

00:17:35   totally get that the the privileged

00:17:36   position that that is that if this was

00:17:38   my first app this would probably not be

00:17:41   a great idea

00:17:43   but because it isn't because I do have

00:17:46   this opportunity like it's interesting -

00:17:49   yeah it's like as you're saying like

00:17:50   there's all of these other things that

00:17:52   these other potential avenues for

00:17:54   benefit that I typically close myself

00:17:58   off to because I get to folk too

00:18:01   short-sighted that and in a weird way

00:18:05   like I mean it's so easy I think for

00:18:07   myself and I mean generally I'd say like

00:18:09   the surf TV more indie development

00:18:10   community to kind of look down our noses

00:18:12   at the more like MBA business II folks

00:18:17   who will probably honestly have a better

00:18:19   understanding of all those kind of

00:18:20   ciliary benefits that you were just

00:18:22   talking about like all of these other

00:18:23   effects and things that maybe they

00:18:26   quantify maybe they don't but they have

00:18:28   a better understanding of the fact that

00:18:29   it's like don't worry you know just

00:18:31   worrying about what I'm going to the

00:18:33   income I'm gonna get from an app in the

00:18:35   near term is almost certainly not to

00:18:38   take me to account the full the full

00:18:40   picture or the full understanding of

00:18:41   like what possibly could be coming down

00:18:43   the road and so as like independent

00:18:46   developers you might have to be shooting

00:18:47   ourselves in the foot as a results

00:18:49   because we're so focused on this or like

00:18:52   what's gonna happen now and maybe when

00:18:55   you're starting out and you're trying to

00:18:56   launch your first app like that initial

00:18:57   burst of income and having a sustainable

00:18:59   living and paying for medical insurance

00:19:01   and like all of that yet it's like it's

00:19:03   much more important but understanding

00:19:05   that that's not the only way to live is

00:19:08   probably you know it's like it's

00:19:10   definitely better to have that kind of a

00:19:12   bigger breadth of perspective and maybe

00:19:15   try and learn from another world like I

00:19:17   tend to I think I like consciously and

00:19:21   unconsciously I like look down on BC

00:19:23   apps in a weird way like it's and that

00:19:25   kind of any kind of any time I find

00:19:28   myself being kind of you know elitist or

00:19:31   biased or whatever you like you know

00:19:33   sort of having a prejudice against

00:19:35   something like that like that's probably

00:19:37   not a good thing right like that's in in

00:19:39   general in life like being prejudiced

00:19:40   just sort of without basis is not good

00:19:43   so maybe like it's good to stretch

00:19:47   ourselves good to think about these side

00:19:48   of things and try and learn and you know

00:19:51   learned learned from the result we

00:19:53   respond to this week by Linode Linode

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00:21:23   this show so I want to talk a little bit

00:21:25   about an example I have from this from

00:21:28   this world that I'm developing is my

00:21:31   podcast mp3 encoder called forecast this

00:21:35   is I've gone through similar thoughts as

00:21:36   you with with like what I should do with

00:21:39   monetizing this and you know this is a

00:21:42   this is a specialized tool it's it's a

00:21:45   Mac podcast mp3 encoder that lets you

00:21:48   make chapters and stuff in them and so

00:21:50   this is this is going to have a very

00:21:52   small audience you know I think I'd be

00:21:54   lucky to have hundreds of people using

00:21:57   it certainly not more than that and if

00:22:00   you you know do some quick math like how

00:22:03   much do you have to charge money to make

00:22:05   meaningful money when your customer base

00:22:06   is that small like I did like you know

00:22:09   quick math

00:22:10   suppose I charge 50 bucks for the app

00:22:12   which is I think decent for like a a Mac

00:22:14   a good Mac utility so suppose it's 50

00:22:16   bucks if I get 500 customers which is

00:22:19   way higher than I think I will get

00:22:21   especially if it cost 50 bucks that's

00:22:24   $25,000 gross after taxes that's more

00:22:27   like $15,000 thanks New York and so you

00:22:31   know it's like I'm gonna have to build

00:22:33   up the infrastructure and provide the

00:22:35   level of support that people would

00:22:38   expect from a 50 dollar app to only make

00:22:41   at most maybe $15,000 over the lifetime

00:22:44   of this app like that's that's a balance

00:22:46   that like the what you have to put in

00:22:49   place to support a $50 app properly lit

00:22:51   to what customers would expect from that

00:22:52   I don't it's not worth that to me for to

00:22:55   make that amount of money like I would I

00:22:57   would want to be making more money if I

00:22:58   was going to set that up at all and if

00:23:00   it's 50 bucks

00:23:01   like I think 500 customers is actually

00:23:04   pretty optimistic I think a way more

00:23:07   likely number is 100 yes to it which

00:23:10   gives I'm making $3,000 which I can buy

00:23:12   a MacBook Pro but that's about it not I

00:23:13   can buy most of a MacBook Pro but like

00:23:16   that like this is not we're not talking

00:23:19   major money here and so it wouldn't be

00:23:22   worth the overhead to me of having to

00:23:24   support having having it be a paid app

00:23:26   so I started looking at like you know

00:23:28   what are the other benefits of this app

00:23:29   existing I mean and one of them and and

00:23:31   you know you mentioned like you use

00:23:33   workouts plus plus you like it and so

00:23:36   you know I use forecast a lot of my

00:23:38   podcaster friends use it soon once I

00:23:41   release it other people will be able to

00:23:42   use it too and it benefits us all simply

00:23:46   by existing like the fact just that I

00:23:48   wrote it that is a benefit to me because

00:23:50   it saves me time every week and lets me

00:23:52   make podcasts better like and the

00:23:53   podcasts make money so like even if I

00:23:56   never make a dime from it and even if it

00:23:58   has even if I never even distributed

00:23:59   anybody else it already has been worth

00:24:01   the time I put into making it just for

00:24:03   the value it provides to me and then

00:24:05   also there's things like political goals

00:24:07   like I you know like I believe that it

00:24:10   would benefit podcasting as a whole if

00:24:13   more people use tools like this and and

00:24:16   I can advance certain goals I have like

00:24:18   I think mp3 is the best format for

00:24:20   distributing podcast right now not AAC

00:24:22   and

00:24:23   people currently want to use chapters

00:24:25   they often use AAC and so I think the

00:24:28   mp3 is better for that so I can put this

00:24:30   tool to kind of advance that agenda and

00:24:32   I have this other app overcast which has

00:24:35   you know it that doesn't make money and

00:24:37   there are ways that a podcast encoder

00:24:40   could benefit overcast so for instance

00:24:44   overcast we will always support every

00:24:47   forecast feature like you know I if I

00:24:49   can make sure that like the way I do

00:24:51   chapters in forecast will work in

00:24:53   overcast cuz I'm writing both sides that

00:24:55   it's using the same library both on both

00:24:57   ends I can make sure that always works

00:24:59   properly

00:24:59   I can also build new features into

00:25:03   overcast that require some kind of

00:25:06   metadata on the encoding side and I can

00:25:09   add that to forecast and I can have this

00:25:11   you know there's at least the podcasts

00:25:13   who use it they can then use these

00:25:15   features that get that I can integrate

00:25:16   into overcast and so like that there are

00:25:18   there are options I have there and and

00:25:21   there are lots of alternative business

00:25:22   models I can use besides paid upfront

00:25:23   obviously there's like you know trials

00:25:25   and you know nag ware and stuff like

00:25:27   that I I don't really want to do that

00:25:30   there is one thing though that that

00:25:32   could be a direct benefit here is that

00:25:35   forecast is used by podcast producers I

00:25:38   need to reach podcast listeners for

00:25:40   overcast

00:25:41   I need podcast producers to promote

00:25:43   overcast so yeah I could make it just

00:25:46   like the deal is if you use forecast you

00:25:49   need to either either buy some kind of

00:25:51   like goodwill policy or buy like

00:25:53   forcibly embedding a promo unless you

00:25:56   pay or something like that I could

00:25:58   require users of forecast to promote

00:26:00   overcast in their shows that's a little

00:26:03   gross I you know I don't like having it

00:26:05   be a hard requirement but I could just

00:26:07   put like a little piece of text

00:26:08   somewhere saying hey you know please

00:26:09   promote overcast periodically in your

00:26:10   shows if you like this you know and and

00:26:12   that you know not everybody would do

00:26:14   that probably a very low percentage of

00:26:15   the users would do it but if any of them

00:26:17   do it that's still a benefit so there

00:26:19   are lots of ways that I can look at this

00:26:21   and like it's very clear to me that I do

00:26:23   not want this to be a paid up front app

00:26:25   because it wouldn't bring in enough

00:26:26   money to be worth the hassle and the

00:26:28   support costs but there's lots of other

00:26:30   things that can do that the more people

00:26:32   use it the better these effects get so

00:26:34   it probably should be free yeah and I

00:26:36   think

00:26:37   what you as you're unpacked sort of

00:26:39   unpacking that what I see is it's

00:26:40   exactly the same sort of situation that

00:26:43   you were outlining for what I'm finding

00:26:45   myself with where it's the these

00:26:47   auxilary effects or network effects or

00:26:49   whatever these like these sort of these

00:26:51   vague kind of slightly amorphous but

00:26:53   definite benefits that just having it

00:26:58   out there as broadly as possible because

00:27:00   taking advantage of the fact that it

00:27:02   doesn't like cost us we're not producing

00:27:04   a physical object that we costs us money

00:27:06   to produce like an extra copy it's just

00:27:08   we can just put the put it out there and

00:27:10   it's as many people whose use it as

00:27:12   possible like there's no ongoing cost to

00:27:15   us that that nests are almost

00:27:17   necessarily accrues all these other

00:27:19   little side benefits that are wonderful

00:27:23   and especially because it's it's like

00:27:24   it's not totally orthogonal to like your

00:27:26   main business like if it were like you

00:27:28   wrote this Matthews you wrote a to-do

00:27:31   list manager on for the Mac like okay

00:27:34   that's a bit more complicated to have

00:27:36   these kind of these beneficial overlaps

00:27:38   but like even just the fact of like

00:27:41   podcast producers be knowing about

00:27:43   overcast is a great thing if keeping in

00:27:47   mind that over people the people who buy

00:27:49   the ads that are shown in overcast our

00:27:51   podcast producers currently right right

00:27:53   exactly like just making them aware of

00:27:55   overcast and having it be a marketing

00:27:59   tool like in a weird way it's like

00:28:01   whatever a potential cost you are giving

00:28:05   up whatever that few thousand dollars is

00:28:06   and not have not trying to get money

00:28:09   from it it's like just viewing it as a

00:28:11   strict marketing expense like the

00:28:13   forecast is a elaborate advertisement

00:28:17   for overcast that is targeted at a very

00:28:19   specific demographic but turns out to be

00:28:22   the demographic that you are trying to

00:28:25   reach to buy ads in your app like it is

00:28:27   such an interesting thing when you stop

00:28:29   if you like when you like all these

00:28:31   little benefits that can appear when you

00:28:34   don't worry about the short-term benefit

00:28:38   of it like all these down the road like

00:28:40   just it's hard to quantify it's hard to

00:28:42   know but I'm almost certainly the more

00:28:44   people who know about overcast that's

00:28:47   better than not so like making it free

00:28:50   and just have

00:28:51   in having the goal of it being you know

00:28:53   that as many as a higher number of

00:28:55   podcast producers as possible are using

00:28:58   it you know that's awesome

00:28:59   and especially because like I know which

00:29:03   of the apps that podcast that I listen

00:29:05   to are using forecast because they have

00:29:08   raged like that they have great chapters

00:29:11   and the way the chapters work like it

00:29:12   all works seamlessly in overcast and so

00:29:14   that makes overcast look good like the

00:29:17   more people who do that the better it

00:29:18   would be so like seems like it's a win

00:29:19   win everywhere exactly well thank you

00:29:23   everybody for listening we're out of

00:29:24   time this week make sure that you

00:29:25   download workouts plus plus buy it while

00:29:27   you said well it's still paid and then

00:29:29   by all david's other apps and then make

00:29:31   sure you I use forecast when I release

00:29:32   it in the meantime please use overcast

00:29:34   and please patronize our fine sponsors

00:29:36   on the show thanks for listening

00:29:37   everybody please like and subscribe and

00:29:39   we'll talk to you next week bye