Under the Radar

Under the Radar 96: Risky Business


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

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

00:00:04   Worman and I'm David Smith under the

00:00:06   radar is never longer than 30 minutes so

00:00:08   let's get started so this week we wanted

00:00:11   to talk about a little bit of a current

00:00:13   event and then brought it into a general

00:00:14   topic the current event is that the the

00:00:17   third-party YouTube client Pro tube was

00:00:20   removed from the App Store Apple

00:00:23   basically forced it out on Google's

00:00:24   request because it was violated in the

00:00:27   YouTube Terms of Service apparently and

00:00:28   I want to talk about some of that and

00:00:31   then brought that into the topic of

00:00:33   generally developing apps that rely on

00:00:36   other big services or that are not quite

00:00:40   they're kind of on the edge of what's

00:00:42   considered okay or what might be allowed

00:00:45   or what might be legal the pro 2 bath

00:00:47   specifically that you know it was a

00:00:50   third-party YouTube app for iOS and it

00:00:53   had great reviews I know I'm pretty sure

00:00:56   Mac stories did a big review on at once

00:00:57   that's one of that's where I heard of it

00:00:59   first

00:01:00   and it had many YouTube Pro user

00:01:03   features many features that people want

00:01:05   out of YouTube app that the main app

00:01:07   either didn't or wouldn't offer you know

00:01:09   different playback you know speeds and

00:01:12   originally it offer downloading a for

00:01:14   offline YouTube forced them to remove

00:01:16   that a long time ago it offered things

00:01:18   like stripping out the audio and just

00:01:20   playing the audio and not having to rely

00:01:21   on video so it could be played in the

00:01:22   background things like that that the

00:01:25   official app didn't offer for a long

00:01:27   time or if ever things like picture and

00:01:29   picture support on the iPad the official

00:01:31   app made you buy YouTube read to do so

00:01:34   you can kind of see why the why the

00:01:36   official app and why YouTube might not

00:01:39   have wanted this to happen but there

00:01:41   there is quite a market to be had in

00:01:44   doing things that people want that like

00:01:46   the man won't let them do pro tube

00:01:49   existed in this market this is something

00:01:51   that I have a little bit of experience

00:01:53   with ultimately though I try to stay

00:01:56   away from this these days a lot of

00:01:58   developers try to build their business

00:02:00   on a third party API or app of some sort

00:02:04   whether it's you know YouTube or a

00:02:06   social network like Twitter clients or

00:02:09   other you know other such things and I

00:02:12   get a lot of requests for

00:02:13   to open up an overcast API so people

00:02:15   could make third-party clients this

00:02:18   there was a brief time in the internet

00:02:20   where where this seemed like an okay

00:02:22   business model I'd say around like 2004

00:02:25   or so where all the web services were

00:02:29   opening up public API is that you could

00:02:31   basically do whatever you wanted with

00:02:33   and access wasn't controlled at all so

00:02:36   anybody could write clients that said

00:02:38   pretty much anything and this way this

00:02:40   was considered like a big part of web

00:02:42   2.0 for a little while and then

00:02:45   everything started getting locked down

00:02:47   and and what was public became private

00:02:50   what was free became controlled and and

00:02:53   locked out and more recently you know in

00:02:57   more recent apps and services that have

00:02:58   taken off they either haven't had an API

00:03:01   at all or like in the case of Instagram

00:03:04   there's an eight there is an API but

00:03:06   it's extraordinary limited or it might

00:03:08   just be discontinued at any point or you

00:03:11   can't do what you really want to do what

00:03:14   most people would really want to do with

00:03:16   with such an API there's there's a case

00:03:18   to be made there is lots of demand for

00:03:22   apps that live in this gray area that

00:03:25   that do things that a service might not

00:03:28   want or even even if it has a public API

00:03:31   that for the moment you're doing things

00:03:34   that the API allows there is a big

00:03:36   market there because usually if you've

00:03:38   heard of these services they're pretty

00:03:39   big they have a lot of users and

00:03:40   everybody wants you know something to

00:03:42   enhance their favorite service or to

00:03:44   make it easier to use or or whatever

00:03:46   else so it seems like there's there's a

00:03:48   business there or there's there's a

00:03:51   market there rather but trying to build

00:03:54   an entire business in a situation like

00:03:57   that where there is this massive

00:03:59   fundamental dependency that your app has

00:04:01   on someone else's service that I think

00:04:06   is increasingly unwise over time and

00:04:11   that it's not to say that nobody should

00:04:13   ever do it but it certainly should I

00:04:16   think give you pause before you invest

00:04:19   heavily into it so for instance in the

00:04:22   case of Pro to Bleich I'm pretty sure

00:04:24   that was somebody's full-time job

00:04:26   or at least that was like that was their

00:04:28   primary app that they made and and I

00:04:30   believe that I believe the author even

00:04:32   seven blog posted it did pretty well for

00:04:33   a while and it had lots of users I

00:04:36   personally at this point in my life I

00:04:39   cannot imagine having my app be a

00:04:43   hundred percent dependent on someone

00:04:46   else's service now in the app store we

00:04:49   are always 100% depend on Apple like

00:04:51   that that is one dependency we always

00:04:53   have is that well Apple at any time

00:04:55   could kick us out of the App Store but

00:04:57   in general if you align your incentives

00:05:01   with Apple's you know or at least if you

00:05:03   avoid stepping on their feet there's not

00:05:06   much reason for Apple to remove you from

00:05:07   the App Store like if you just have some

00:05:09   regular app why would Apple remove it

00:05:12   like that would that would be a huge PR

00:05:14   risk to them maybe even a legal risk if

00:05:17   you're big enough you know they the fact

00:05:19   is Apple does not want to go around

00:05:20   removing apps for no reason so like I'm

00:05:23   not worried with overcast

00:05:25   I'm not worried that Apple is gonna come

00:05:27   along and all of a sudden say you know

00:05:28   what podcast apps are now illegal again

00:05:30   in the App Store and therefore you have

00:05:33   to leave like that's I I don't stay

00:05:35   awake at night thinking about that

00:05:36   because I think it's incredibly unlikely

00:05:38   because there's not much reason for

00:05:41   Apple to ever do that that and that

00:05:43   would be too much downside for them for

00:05:45   it compared to whatever little upside

00:05:46   there might be but if you're basing your

00:05:49   entire app on something like Twitter or

00:05:51   YouTube or somehow or Facebook you know

00:05:54   some other big service like that you are

00:05:57   building a business in someone else's

00:06:01   property like they can do whatever they

00:06:04   want and they don't have the kind of

00:06:07   neutral incentive collection that Apple

00:06:11   has in that kind of scenario like if

00:06:12   you're building a Twitter app you're

00:06:15   competing with Twitter and their own app

00:06:17   using their own service and they're an

00:06:19   API to do it so they are not going to be

00:06:22   too keen on that and even if one of

00:06:25   these services has an API where they

00:06:27   they say that they're okay with

00:06:28   something one day the next day that

00:06:30   could change the next year that could

00:06:32   change they might have to boost their

00:06:34   metrics and your app might be taking

00:06:36   away their metrics they might get new

00:06:38   leadership that wants to take the

00:06:40   company they

00:06:40   and direction or their investors might

00:06:42   force the company to take a different

00:06:43   direction you know they might need to

00:06:45   make changes to the product and the API

00:06:48   that your app relies on is getting in

00:06:50   the way of that progress there's all

00:06:52   sorts of reasons why most companies and

00:06:56   apps and services don't really need to

00:07:00   let you build apps on them and it

00:07:02   usually is actually against their best

00:07:03   interest these days to do that and

00:07:06   therefore it is unwise to make your

00:07:09   business rely on that and so in the case

00:07:14   of Pro Tube and YouTube it is really a

00:07:17   shame that this great app that had a lot

00:07:21   of big fans and had really been

00:07:24   critically acclaimed it's a shame that

00:07:26   app is now gone because YouTube decided

00:07:29   they had enough and they they made Apple

00:07:31   take it down and by the way I don't

00:07:34   think Apple had any choice in the matter

00:07:35   like that's a simple you know legal

00:07:38   request thing and Apple does not need to

00:07:41   put their neck out for that that's not

00:07:42   worth it for them so this was really you

00:07:45   know if you if you wanna be mad at

00:07:46   somebody about this be mad at YouTube

00:07:47   not Apple but it's it's a shame this app

00:07:52   is gone but at the same time it was

00:07:55   never on solid ground

00:07:56   it was never guaranteed to be just

00:08:00   forever the author of it had no right to

00:08:03   like no guaranteed right that it would

00:08:05   exist forever because it was always from

00:08:08   the beginning built upon YouTube's

00:08:12   property using YouTube's service doing

00:08:15   things that YouTube really probably

00:08:17   didn't want anybody to do and you know

00:08:19   living on the edge and that really

00:08:23   really sucks for the developer that it's

00:08:25   now gone and that that business just

00:08:27   disappeared but on someone well that's

00:08:29   just the risk you take when you live on

00:08:31   the edge like that like when you're in

00:08:32   when you live in these gray areas it

00:08:34   could disappear at any moment

00:08:36   and so I'm not I'm not saying that you

00:08:38   should necessarily never build an app

00:08:41   like that but you should expect that you

00:08:45   know you should go into it knowing that

00:08:46   massive risk knowing that at any time

00:08:49   the ground could shift below you and

00:08:53   your

00:08:54   fire app could just be gone like in this

00:08:57   in the snap of fingers like it's just

00:08:59   it's just gone and so how much do you

00:09:01   want to invest in that how much do you

00:09:03   want to rely on that how much do you

00:09:04   want to plan for the future of his

00:09:05   business when that could happen at any

00:09:07   moment

00:09:07   yeah it's so tough to cuz it's like I

00:09:10   feel at a personal level I feel really

00:09:13   bad for this developer I think it's

00:09:14   Jonas Gessner I think it's his name like

00:09:16   I have been in the position of making an

00:09:20   app having it be successful and then

00:09:22   having it sort of taken out at the store

00:09:24   and thankfully for me that has that was

00:09:27   many years ago when the App Store was a

00:09:29   slightly different place and so like

00:09:31   eventually I was able to get it back in

00:09:32   and so on like that's a long story for

00:09:34   another day but like I have been in this

00:09:35   exact position and I know how this feels

00:09:37   and it feels awful so at a personal

00:09:41   level like it's very very sympathetic to

00:09:43   like how frustrating this meant we must

00:09:46   be but it is yeah I think the thing that

00:09:49   most fundamentally when I think about

00:09:50   these types of apps like there is any

00:09:53   time there was a popular service like

00:09:55   there is a built-in audience and so

00:09:58   building applications to cater to that

00:10:02   audience it makes sense because you're

00:10:04   it's like if you wanted to create your

00:10:07   own video you know video sharing viewing

00:10:11   platform that hosts all the content and

00:10:14   has Pail you know has video creators

00:10:16   publish your videos on your platform etc

00:10:17   like that is completely insurmountable

00:10:20   so piggybacking on top of a big popular

00:10:23   or probably the most popular video

00:10:25   service in the world YouTube makes a lot

00:10:28   of sense but inherent in that is like

00:10:31   what you are in some ways doing is it's

00:10:33   like you're it's you're making money off

00:10:37   their service off their costs like

00:10:39   YouTube is paying all the infrastructure

00:10:41   costs YouTube is paying all of the

00:10:44   bandwidth costs for hosting this video

00:10:46   and then they're not activate on their

00:10:48   own a they don't have a mechanism to

00:10:49   make money from that you know YouTube

00:10:52   makes most of its money from its

00:10:54   advertising or its YouTube red

00:10:57   subscription service both of which are

00:10:59   things that as you know any third-party

00:11:02   client isn't really showing to them I

00:11:04   mean it's theoretically possible that

00:11:06   YouTube could make

00:11:07   mechanism by which you know developers

00:11:10   have pay for that the use of the API but

00:11:12   in general I don't think that's the case

00:11:13   and so you're always in this kind of

00:11:15   tricky position where you're making

00:11:18   money off someone else's work in a

00:11:20   certain way in a very helpful useful way

00:11:23   but it's a really tenuous thing because

00:11:25   that money that you are able to bring in

00:11:27   that business that exists in many ways

00:11:31   belongs to YouTube like and from a like

00:11:34   they're made there they're creating the

00:11:36   opportunity for doing that they're

00:11:38   choosing not to necessarily explore and

00:11:41   exploit that themselves you know they're

00:11:43   not making the YouTube pro app that

00:11:47   would do all of these things and they

00:11:49   may have reasons for doing that and they

00:11:51   could be you know who knows what that

00:11:54   what that is like maybe they don't want

00:11:56   a lot of apps to exist that have you

00:12:01   know background audio playback because

00:12:02   then they get in trouble with music

00:12:05   labels who then people are you know just

00:12:07   using YouTube as a as a CEO music

00:12:10   streaming service and that creates legal

00:12:11   issues or problems for them and so that

00:12:13   they don't want to go down that road and

00:12:14   sometimes they may want to let that

00:12:17   exist like it's some it reminds me in

00:12:21   many ways a lot of sort of the early

00:12:23   days of Twitter where it existed part of

00:12:27   what made it catch and fueled its

00:12:31   initial growth I think was their

00:12:33   openness of their third part of

00:12:35   third-party clients because it allow it

00:12:36   GAE essentially gave them this massive

00:12:39   free developer effort that they didn't

00:12:42   have to directly pay for they just paid

00:12:43   for the infrastructure but there was a

00:12:45   lot of this creativity and innovation

00:12:47   that happened around their platform that

00:12:49   they didn't have to manage and direct

00:12:51   you know they could just sort of let you

00:12:53   know let a thousand flowers bloom and

00:12:55   then ultimately they just they picked

00:12:57   the most successful flower there and

00:12:58   they went after they purchased Tweety

00:13:01   and you know made that the official

00:13:03   client and then now now that that's sort

00:13:06   of that that phase has happened it's you

00:13:09   know increasingly they are shutting that

00:13:12   down and I mean it's there's a few

00:13:14   players who make third-party Twitter

00:13:16   apps now but largely it's kind of this

00:13:18   grandfathered in now

00:13:21   really supported or encouraged kind of

00:13:23   thing and in some ways that's great if

00:13:25   you happened to like that's a very as

00:13:28   the best possible scenario probably that

00:13:30   if you make this kind of dependent

00:13:33   service where ultimately yours kind of

00:13:35   grandfathered in and you can just kind

00:13:37   of exist and you have this mode of

00:13:38   protection around you because no one

00:13:40   else can make these apps anymore and so

00:13:43   you're the only one so like that's

00:13:44   awesome but probably much more likely is

00:13:47   what's happening here where they just

00:13:50   say you know this is not something we

00:13:52   want to do and because you're sort of

00:13:54   operating at our at our pleasure like at

00:13:58   any point we can just turn this off

00:14:00   they'll just turn it off and while at

00:14:04   some point maybe you can find like crazy

00:14:06   technical solutions to work around that

00:14:07   and things where you're like you're not

00:14:10   it's not an official API it's an

00:14:12   unofficial API or you're just like

00:14:13   you're posing as the official client

00:14:15   like there's all kinds of crazy

00:14:16   technical things but ultimately

00:14:18   especially because we're exist in the

00:14:20   app store environment where YouTube can

00:14:22   just go to Apple and say this developer

00:14:25   is essentially is violating our Terms of

00:14:28   Service is doing illicit things we need

00:14:30   you to take them down you'll get taken

00:14:32   down like it's not a world where that

00:14:35   might exist and so it's yeah it's it's

00:14:38   unfortunate that this happens like I

00:14:40   feel really bad for the people involved

00:14:43   in the actual situation both the

00:14:45   developers as well as the users but yeah

00:14:47   it's it's always so tenuous and it's and

00:14:49   it's something that I think we'll get

00:14:52   into this a bit more later on too but

00:14:53   it's these types of opportunities when

00:14:55   they appear they look so enticing

00:14:57   because the audience of the platform is

00:15:00   so big and the user base is so large

00:15:02   that you look at something like like

00:15:04   when I think if these types of things

00:15:05   and I've thought about making YouTube

00:15:07   related apps and content and features

00:15:08   it's like the universe of you know it's

00:15:10   like there's probably under hundreds of

00:15:13   millions if not billions of people who

00:15:16   use YouTube and you start to play that

00:15:18   game of like well what if I could only

00:15:19   get like 1/10 of 1% of those people to

00:15:22   download my app then that's huge and

00:15:23   it's like well if you did get to do that

00:15:27   if you did have an app that had a lot

00:15:29   had a lot of success in almost it almost

00:15:32   necessarily you will bigger you

00:15:34   the more trouble you will have and as a

00:15:37   business that sound it's like that

00:15:40   sounds kind of fundamentally problematic

00:15:41   that most of us when we're setting out

00:15:44   to build something you know we wanted to

00:15:46   have you have the ability to grow

00:15:48   steadily over time whereas in a

00:15:51   situation like with almost all these

00:15:52   types of apps the bigger your app gets

00:15:54   the more likely it is that the service

00:15:58   that you're reliant on is either is

00:16:00   going to become suspicious or you know

00:16:02   concerned about you and maybe on the

00:16:04   upside eventually that would lead to

00:16:05   sound like an acquisition which is like

00:16:07   I guess the best version of this you

00:16:09   know like if YouTube had come along and

00:16:11   said hey we're gonna buy you know we're

00:16:13   gonna kind of a queue high IQ higher the

00:16:15   Pro Tube app and you know get gained

00:16:18   from the expertise and the experience of

00:16:20   this developer like that would be the

00:16:22   happy ending but you know there's no

00:16:24   guarantees if a happy ending in

00:16:25   something like this also keep in mind

00:16:27   like if even even in that scenario where

00:16:30   they equi hi are you think about the

00:16:33   leverage that they have that situation

00:16:34   versus the leverage you have in a

00:16:36   situation yeah they could bring you in

00:16:37   the room and say look you can come work

00:16:39   for us for whatever amount of money

00:16:41   we're gonna offer you which probably

00:16:42   doesn't need to be that much because of

00:16:44   what we're about to say or we're gonna

00:16:46   shut you down

00:16:47   that's it like we're gonna cut off your

00:16:48   API access or you can come work for us

00:16:49   like you don't have a lot of leverage in

00:16:52   that negotiation they have all the power

00:16:53   so that even that is not a great outcome

00:16:56   especially to if you do implemented

00:16:59   features that aren't things that are

00:17:02   technically difficult in this editing

00:17:05   like like Twitter bought Tweety because

00:17:08   Lauren bricked her is a deus and was

00:17:11   doing things like he invented

00:17:13   pull-to-refresh and he was doing crazy

00:17:15   iOS performance stuff in a way that at

00:17:17   the time very few people could touch and

00:17:20   so like his leverage wasn't that he was

00:17:23   doing things that he was he was doing

00:17:25   things that Twitter just couldn't

00:17:26   recreate whereas in you know in this

00:17:29   case it becomes much trickier and your

00:17:31   position is would definitely be a much

00:17:32   weaker where it's like it's things that

00:17:34   the content provider or the platform

00:17:36   owner is consciously choosing not to

00:17:39   implement your leverage goes down

00:17:42   dramatically yeah and I think one of the

00:17:45   reasons I think we see a lot of younger

00:17:48   developer

00:17:48   falling into the trap of assuming that

00:17:51   they can build an app on this kind of

00:17:53   thing and and that they'll be okay and

00:17:55   that or that will be okay and they you

00:17:58   know some of that just comes with

00:17:58   experience of you know whether you trust

00:18:01   that kind of stuff or not but also you

00:18:03   know I feel like humor developers have

00:18:05   I'm sorry this is insulting I don't mean

00:18:07   it to be there they don't often

00:18:10   distinguish well between what's a public

00:18:12   good on the internet and what's a

00:18:13   private service or or you make

00:18:15   assumptions about about the private

00:18:17   services that they are maybe more

00:18:19   publicly available or more publicly open

00:18:22   or that you have more rights than you

00:18:24   actually have and like this is one of

00:18:27   the things one of the reasons why all US

00:18:29   olds talk about things like the open web

00:18:31   and open protocols and open formats

00:18:35   decentralization because so much of the

00:18:39   internet now is privatized so much of

00:18:42   usage of metrics of time spent is

00:18:46   happening under the complete control of

00:18:49   one of a handful of web giants that

00:18:53   there's almost nothing public left that

00:18:56   a lot of people think about and use all

00:18:58   the time and think about every day like

00:19:00   almost all usages in Facebook or you

00:19:04   know Google does all the searches and

00:19:06   YouTube does all the video and so if you

00:19:09   actually want to you know try to build

00:19:12   something lasting build it on open

00:19:14   platforms and open standards and in open

00:19:16   places where you can be the business you

00:19:18   can be the service that's in control

00:19:20   this is one of the reasons I like

00:19:22   podcasting so much because Apple has

00:19:24   some role in it but not actually a very

00:19:26   major one anymore and so my main

00:19:28   dependency an apple is literally just

00:19:29   the App Store like if the iTunes API

00:19:31   shut down tomorrow I'd be totally fine

00:19:34   so when you're choosing what to do build

00:19:39   in open spaces anyway speaking of spaces

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00:21:40   their support of this show so related to

00:21:44   this type of this discussion of pro to

00:21:47   bene relying on external services I

00:21:49   think interesting place to wrap up might

00:21:52   be to also talk a little bit about

00:21:54   exploiting developer opportunities in

00:21:57   this kind of seeing seeing an

00:21:59   opportunity seeing a niche that exists

00:22:03   and then sort of trying to build an app

00:22:05   inside of that because often I feel like

00:22:08   that is the especially as a smaller

00:22:11   developer one minute one one two three

00:22:13   paper person team whatever your

00:22:16   we are best able to thrive and flourish

00:22:19   in these kind of small spaces that may

00:22:22   be too small for a larger company to

00:22:25   want to go after or maybe you have the

00:22:30   ability to get in there right away like

00:22:32   I've taken advantage of this many times

00:22:34   myself where a new API you know is

00:22:37   introduced in iOS or watch OS and I

00:22:40   immediately jump on it and kind of dive

00:22:42   in there to take advantage of it and

00:22:46   it's interesting because I feel like in

00:22:48   some ways this is what this app was

00:22:52   doing but in others it's not and I think

00:22:56   maybe it's interesting to you to kind of

00:22:57   differentiate between the types of

00:22:58   opportunities that are likely going to

00:23:02   be sustainable down the road and those

00:23:05   these types of opportunities that are

00:23:07   tenuous and exist sort of if somewhat

00:23:11   more transiently and it isn't

00:23:14   necessarily that one you should only

00:23:15   ever pursue the first and ignore the

00:23:17   second because there are certainly

00:23:19   opportunities I'm sure where it's like

00:23:21   making an app that is useful or exists

00:23:24   you know solely for a few weeks or a few

00:23:27   months for you could potentially be

00:23:29   worth doing I mean there's been numerous

00:23:33   of these I think they like that they

00:23:34   come up in the App Store like when the

00:23:36   ipods first came out there's a whole

00:23:38   there's a couple of apps that day where

00:23:39   ipod found finders before Apple

00:23:42   introduced to find my iPod into the find

00:23:44   my friends app err pause yeah sorry

00:23:48   sorry the air pause and that those like

00:23:51   find my earpods apps like exists in this

00:23:54   kind of tenuous space that I don't I

00:23:56   mean ultimately I think a lot of them

00:23:57   were pulled from the App Store so like

00:23:59   maybe they didn't actually end up being

00:24:00   financially viable in that sense but

00:24:02   like that kind of an opportunity where

00:24:04   it's like here's this thing that exists

00:24:05   it may have a very short-lived lifespan

00:24:09   but then like you can go in you can take

00:24:12   advantage of it you potentially don't

00:24:14   put in a massive amount of development

00:24:15   resources into it and then you move on

00:24:17   like that's interesting and that's

00:24:19   potentially use useful in a lot of cases

00:24:23   versus I think it's it's keeping in mind

00:24:25   that there are other opportunities that

00:24:27   are just these you know building an app

00:24:28   that

00:24:29   is filling filling a filling a space

00:24:32   that is too small for someone s a penis

00:24:36   it's too small for a big competitor to

00:24:38   come in and try and compete with you

00:24:40   with and just so you know surviving in

00:24:43   there and taking advantage of that space

00:24:44   like I mean I think of this some of

00:24:47   these like that and for some reason I

00:24:49   think I'm on the Mac a lot more about

00:24:51   these but there's so many of these like

00:24:52   little tools these little utilities that

00:24:55   exist to solve a little annoyance or fix

00:24:59   something that's just you know doing

00:25:01   window management I mean is a common

00:25:03   example of something on the Mac maybe

00:25:05   where like you're solving this little

00:25:06   problem that isn't you know that

00:25:09   theoretically Apple could one day come

00:25:10   along and Sherlock you and usually that

00:25:12   is the like the big risk for these kinds

00:25:14   of apps worse you know you have some

00:25:16   some bigger person will eventually come

00:25:18   along and then slurp up the that space

00:25:20   but you can often this you know we have

00:25:22   a sustainable business for a long time

00:25:24   or you can be in these kind of in this

00:25:27   kind of a situation where maybe other

00:25:29   people aren't going after it the

00:25:31   opportunity because it's kind of dubious

00:25:33   or kind of tenuous as to whether it's

00:25:35   something that's allowed but I don't

00:25:38   know other things is worth just

00:25:40   considering and probably the overall

00:25:42   lesson is before you it's so easy as a

00:25:45   developer I think choose to start down

00:25:47   the road of development when you see an

00:25:49   opportunity to like that to just go in

00:25:51   and do it and worry about like you see

00:25:53   this technical opportunity and you go

00:25:55   and try and solve it but it's probably

00:25:57   the important thing is or that I've

00:25:59   learned from my experience is to take

00:26:00   just like two or three steps back and be

00:26:02   like what is this likely going to look

00:26:04   like down the road is this an app that

00:26:07   I'm going to want to maintain is this an

00:26:10   app that I'm that I think would make a

00:26:11   sustainable business do I think what is

00:26:13   the likelihood of this being sure locked

00:26:16   down the road I mean actually this very

00:26:18   summer like I had a couple of ideas for

00:26:20   apps related to iPad multitasking and

00:26:23   some of the new changes there and I

00:26:25   think ultimately I've decided I'm not

00:26:26   going to ultimately ship them because

00:26:28   the more I looked at it and the more I

00:26:30   decided like I'm solving this very niche

00:26:34   narrow like problem that I think will

00:26:37   exist for at most a year probably less

00:26:40   you know that I think these there's

00:26:42   these little

00:26:43   Edge's that Apple will likely sand down

00:26:45   over the next couple of point releases

00:26:47   and do I really want to go through the

00:26:50   effort of building out a fully featured

00:26:52   app and then putting it out and

00:26:54   supporting it and maintaining it and

00:26:55   having this sort of this expectation of

00:26:58   death then that if Apple solves it that

00:27:00   half solves it or makes it worse then

00:27:02   like it's becomes this thing that I need

00:27:04   to manage and I just decided you know

00:27:05   it's probably not worth it and I think

00:27:07   doing that exercise is something I

00:27:09   didn't used to do and so I just wanted

00:27:11   to mention it as something to encourage

00:27:13   everyone else to whenever you see these

00:27:15   little opportunities make sure we're

00:27:17   being thoughtful about if it's a if it's

00:27:19   a good if it's a good thing that is

00:27:22   going to come back to benefit us in the

00:27:24   future and if it's not go into it with

00:27:26   eyes open saying like I'm making making

00:27:27   this app that I expect to sell for a few

00:27:30   weeks or a few months and that's okay

00:27:32   and if it you know had if it was a big

00:27:34   big flash and a big fall that's fine I

00:27:36   mean I have failed to learn this less

00:27:39   than so many times I mean I made a

00:27:41   magazine then relighted it in like

00:27:43   running a magazine I made an ad blocker

00:27:45   then realized it's a terrible business I

00:27:46   didn't want to be in that made that

00:27:50   mistake so in terms of like being on you

00:27:52   and especially like in the case of the

00:27:53   ad blocker and even to some degree

00:27:54   Instapaper when you are kind of like

00:27:57   living on the edge of what might be

00:28:00   considered legal with copyright or

00:28:02   things like copyright there is a huge

00:28:05   market of people who want that kind of

00:28:08   thing and you can build a business there

00:28:10   but it's like building a business on the

00:28:12   edge of volcano like it is a very very

00:28:16   high risk and you never know like what

00:28:18   could blow up in your face and really

00:28:20   cause problems for you I mean people who

00:28:22   made a blockers we're getting sued like

00:28:24   not that long after I stopped making in

00:28:27   and I just narrowly dodged that risk so

00:28:30   again it's like there are there's a

00:28:32   business to be had here but do you want

00:28:35   that business are you willing to accept

00:28:37   the risks of that and how long is that

00:28:39   going to be a business and and how much

00:28:41   that is in your control yeah and I think

00:28:43   - it's the maturity of being okay with

00:28:47   missing out is ultimately what I think

00:28:50   it came down for that like I had to grow

00:28:52   as a person to the point that I could

00:28:53   say

00:28:54   if I don't do this and someone else does

00:28:57   I need to be okay with the fact that

00:28:59   they may have a good run or it could it

00:29:02   be successful and not play they like

00:29:03   what if I had done it if only I had done

00:29:05   it kind of a game because ultimately

00:29:07   that's just going to drive you crazy

00:29:08   like you have to be like make an

00:29:10   informed decision give it some thought

00:29:12   and then just be able to be like you

00:29:13   know like that was the choice I made and

00:29:16   live with that rather than just sort of

00:29:17   making these choices out of just the

00:29:19   fear of potentially missing out down the

00:29:21   road like that's no way to to build a

00:29:24   business or support or made do to make

00:29:25   choices in ways that it's going to be

00:29:26   you know sustainable for your look your

00:29:28   your mental health thanks for listening

00:29:32   everybody and we'll talk to you next

00:29:33   week bye