Under the Radar

Under the Radar 53: Seasonality


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

00:00:01   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:03   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 we

00:00:10   as we were sort of right now at the

00:00:12   beginning of November it seemed a good

00:00:13   time to talk a little bit about

00:00:16   seasonality and the way seasonality can

00:00:18   apply both to our work in terms of the

00:00:21   things we're doing what we're promoting

00:00:23   and the timing of when we launch new

00:00:25   products or updates as well as a little

00:00:27   bit just the seasonality of the work

00:00:29   itself and the way that kind of works

00:00:30   for us but especially I kind of it's

00:00:33   something that comes to mind because in

00:00:34   the early days of the App Store

00:00:36   perhaps in the the first maybe three or

00:00:38   four years there was a very strong

00:00:41   seasonality to downloads and sales and

00:00:45   especially in the sense that like the

00:00:46   day Christmas Day the day after

00:00:48   Christmas were massively huge sales days

00:00:53   for Fermi back in those days and it was

00:00:55   a reliable predictable thing that I

00:00:57   would need as best I could to gear my

00:01:00   entire business towards being available

00:01:02   then because those few days would make

00:01:05   up a non insignificant percentage of my

00:01:07   revenue for the year like it wasn't like

00:01:08   50% more it was maybe like 10 percent of

00:01:10   my revenue but still getting ten percent

00:01:12   of your revenue in one week of the year

00:01:13   meant that it was very important to line

00:01:16   everything up and I remember doing lots

00:01:18   of work where especially back when app

00:01:20   review could take a very long time you

00:01:23   know you'd be looking at at least 10

00:01:25   days ish for a review and so you'd have

00:01:28   all these things that I needed to line

00:01:30   up to get you know submitted at the very

00:01:32   latest by the beginning of December so

00:01:34   that I could make sure I if I had a

00:01:36   rejection cycle I could get it approved

00:01:37   in time and you can't be happy in this

00:01:39   mindset towards that and then I would

00:01:44   say increasingly that is less though the

00:01:46   way I think I think both Britos the

00:01:48   impact of that has perhaps diminished

00:01:51   slightly but also I think I just think

00:01:54   about seasonality a bit more generally

00:01:56   now and I think it's probably helpful to

00:01:58   not just view it as everything is on

00:02:02   that one day but I think there is a

00:02:04   something to be said for thinking about

00:02:05   your product and thinking about are

00:02:07   there events or things that you can

00:02:10   latch onto that would make sense to time

00:02:13   you're launched and in two also in terms

00:02:16   of promotion with Apple like this is

00:02:17   something that I start to think about a

00:02:18   lot more recently is how it's like the

00:02:23   Apple AppStore editorial team's job is

00:02:25   to find things that they can promote and

00:02:29   to promote in a relevant way for them

00:02:31   and they're always looking they're

00:02:33   putting together to constantly these

00:02:35   different sort of lists and bundles of

00:02:36   applications to try and promote and

00:02:38   thinking of ways to time things so that

00:02:41   I can be part of that has become

00:02:42   something that it seems like

00:02:43   increasingly makes sense but it is still

00:02:46   something that I think about as we're

00:02:48   coming in to the end of the year and I

00:02:51   still have in the back of my mind like

00:02:52   I'm is everything gonna be inlined up

00:02:54   there's everything gonna be ready and I

00:02:56   think in general there's a strange

00:02:57   aspect to that of I probably should

00:03:00   always be worried about making sure that

00:03:02   everything is buttoned down and ready

00:03:04   but at least maybe these little

00:03:05   seasonality things are good reminders to

00:03:07   me that I'm starting to think like what

00:03:09   are the App Store ratings looking like

00:03:10   in all my apps are there things that I

00:03:12   should do to make sure that's the case

00:03:14   if I had I'd update with a bad set of

00:03:16   reviews for whatever reason like do I

00:03:18   need to get an update out reset my

00:03:19   reviews and then try and mark it around

00:03:21   improving that rating like these all

00:03:24   these little things that are probably

00:03:25   good to do all year round but especially

00:03:27   probably good to do around big events

00:03:29   when sales for downloads are gonna be

00:03:31   higher yeah but I mean as you mentioned

00:03:33   like it is really hard to tell when

00:03:35   those times are gonna be now I mean

00:03:37   they're you know the few obvious

00:03:38   predictable ones or you know things like

00:03:40   the holiday season and and new iPhone or

00:03:44   new iPad release as I would say those

00:03:45   those are the big ones but even those I

00:03:47   think the reason why that we've seen

00:03:50   over time things like Christmas Day and

00:03:52   Christmas week being lower than in

00:03:54   previous years

00:03:55   I think the main reason why is that

00:03:57   we're seeing fewer people who were

00:03:59   getting their very first iOS device on

00:04:01   these big holidays

00:04:03   I think the there's much more people who

00:04:06   are just getting replacement or upgrade

00:04:08   devices or you know new customers might

00:04:11   be just being more spread out throughout

00:04:12   the rest of the year now who are new to

00:04:15   the platform like people who are

00:04:16   converting from Android if they want to

00:04:17   and stuff like that

00:04:18   so you know when when you get your very

00:04:21   first device you go on an app spree and

00:04:23   you go get a bunch of apps that you

00:04:24   might like and want to fill it up or

00:04:26   whatever and

00:04:27   when when you're just getting a new

00:04:28   phone for the year or your your second

00:04:31   or third iPad then there's less there's

00:04:35   a lot less of that like you know new

00:04:36   apps pre that you go on and so I think

00:04:39   that plays a big part of why like make

00:04:42   your gift-giving holidays are no longer

00:04:44   but you know a big thing for most app

00:04:46   developers but you know a new a new iOS

00:04:48   device releases obviously can be

00:04:50   especially if you're like you know like

00:04:52   you often do if you're taking advantage

00:04:54   of a new API that or a new a new type of

00:04:57   app that just became available with new

00:04:59   hardware then obviously you're starting

00:05:02   basically from zero so like those days

00:05:04   you'll have really big you know those

00:05:05   long cuz you'll have a really big

00:05:07   potential there but it's also hard to

00:05:10   tell now because we're seeing our income

00:05:14   be spread out more as we switch more to

00:05:16   ad based and in-app purchase based

00:05:19   revenue models you know like it you know

00:05:21   if you had you know what but we used to

00:05:23   have pretty much all of it which would

00:05:25   paid upfront apps paid up for an app

00:05:27   stay really great on Christmas Day

00:05:28   because you paid to get the app right

00:05:30   then you wanted to use it these days if

00:05:33   you get you know you might get increased

00:05:34   downloads that day but your revenue

00:05:36   might not show that for a while so it's

00:05:39   it's all kind of blending together now

00:05:40   but I think ultimately what it comes

00:05:42   down to is the the saturation of the App

00:05:45   Store so you know it makes it make

00:05:48   everything harder makes it all the

00:05:49   competition tighter and everything and

00:05:50   makes each individual app have kind of

00:05:52   lower lower Peaks I think and also just

00:05:55   the fact that so many people already

00:05:57   have iOS devices and the the new sales

00:06:00   are more to people who were existing

00:06:02   customers than the new customers yeah

00:06:05   there is still something that I see that

00:06:08   in my in my own time my own sort of even

00:06:11   experience at the App Store that I do

00:06:12   think there is still an element of and

00:06:15   maybe it's less seasonality and more

00:06:17   event-driven downloads i deceived myself

00:06:20   like I I mean maybe the one that always

00:06:24   comes to mind for me is whenever there's

00:06:25   a hurricane threatening the United

00:06:29   States the top like in all of a sudden

00:06:32   the top charts are full of radar apps

00:06:34   right like which is something that is

00:06:37   not a predictable reliable season but

00:06:40   there's these periods of increased

00:06:42   interest in an application category that

00:06:45   I definitely still have huge impacts on

00:06:48   downloads and I mean I do a lot of

00:06:50   health and fitness stuff and so the

00:06:52   beginning of January just in the same

00:06:54   way that a lot of people go and get gym

00:06:56   memberships and then you never use them

00:06:57   again but a lot of people will go and

00:06:59   download health and fitness apps at the

00:07:02   beginning of January when they're saying

00:07:03   like hey I'm gonna start a new thing I'm

00:07:04   gonna whatever like for my case I'm

00:07:06   gonna start counting my steps or being

00:07:08   more active or whatever that may be

00:07:10   like there's this certainly this uptick

00:07:12   in it or there's just those event base

00:07:16   things but I think in both cases there

00:07:18   is certainly still this element where

00:07:20   it's possible to have these big spikes

00:07:23   and in your downloads and so like for me

00:07:25   I know I need to think about it as if I

00:07:27   have anything that said that sort of

00:07:29   rail health and fitness related it

00:07:30   should be as tight and buttoned down as

00:07:32   it can possibly be by the middle to the

00:07:34   end of December because January 1st is a

00:07:36   big time for me and I imagine similarly

00:07:39   maybe if you're working on a weather or

00:07:40   radar app it's like making sure that

00:07:42   you're nice and put into put into place

00:07:44   before hurricane and the hurricane

00:07:47   season starts or before big winter

00:07:49   storms might be coming sort of like

00:07:51   whenever there's this external thing

00:07:52   it's just probably good to be aware of

00:07:54   because I know and for a lot of my

00:07:56   planning when I'm just kind of doing

00:07:57   things it's so easy to just kind of I'm

00:08:00   just kind of working on it until it's

00:08:01   ready and one of the benefits of being

00:08:04   self-employed is that I can just work on

00:08:06   it until it's ready and then ship it out

00:08:08   and lose sight of the fact that like the

00:08:11   there these opportunities that are

00:08:12   coming and even the other thing that

00:08:15   comes to mind even is if one day I'd

00:08:17   ever hope to win any and an Apple Design

00:08:20   Award for example like I there's a

00:08:22   certain timing that I should probably be

00:08:24   have in the back of my mind as I'm

00:08:25   building my products if that's something

00:08:27   that I wanted to work towards because I

00:08:29   imagine they're looking for apps that

00:08:30   are probably majorly updated or released

00:08:33   it's probably between the latest iOS

00:08:36   launch and the spring like that's when

00:08:40   they're going to be most looking for

00:08:41   those those things that are going to

00:08:42   fill the slot that they want to promote

00:08:44   and you know hold up as examples of

00:08:46   things but even if it's not necessarily

00:08:48   something that I'm trying to do there's

00:08:50   some value to having taken a step back

00:08:52   from what you're

00:08:53   and saying is there a timing element to

00:08:57   this that I should be aware of and not

00:08:59   you know necessarily kill myself to make

00:09:01   happen like oh no I absolutely have to

00:09:03   get the shipped in the next two weeks or

00:09:04   it's all gonna fall apart like if that's

00:09:06   your business plan that's probably

00:09:08   flawed but at the very least it's

00:09:11   looking at it and being like is there

00:09:12   something that I should be aware of that

00:09:13   I'm gonna kick myself for not being

00:09:15   aware of if I don't get taken into

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00:11:32   for sponsoring alright and the other

00:11:34   aspect of seasonality that seemed like

00:11:37   it might be worth unpacking a little bit

00:11:39   is the way that I think i'ma even my own

00:11:43   work I imagine your own your your work

00:11:45   to marco like can be very seasonal

00:11:48   especially when you're not employed in a

00:11:51   typical profession where obviously like

00:11:53   my work was not really seasonal when

00:11:55   I've had a nine-to-five job I went here

00:11:57   and I worked ostensibly anyway from 9:00

00:11:59   to 5:00 in the day I'm pretty sure mine

00:12:01   was seasonal you know just my bosses

00:12:03   didn't necessarily know that or or they

00:12:06   were doing their best to pretend like

00:12:07   they didn't notice that yeah but there

00:12:09   is an element in when you're

00:12:10   self-employed but like that did that

00:12:13   illusion doesn't work quite as well

00:12:14   where you really like I know for myself

00:12:18   Mike my productivity and the my

00:12:20   motivation the way in which I seem to be

00:12:23   able to actually get things done can

00:12:24   tend to have a certain seasonality to it

00:12:26   where there are periods of time during

00:12:28   the year where I'm just like really

00:12:31   killing it and like writing interesting

00:12:33   you know write writing great great

00:12:35   updates new code all these things like

00:12:37   everything's working well and there'll

00:12:38   be periods of time when it just doesn't

00:12:40   happen and the difficulty I think is

00:12:43   both in being aware of that as a thing

00:12:47   and then you know and so that you're not

00:12:49   surprised by it or you know sort of

00:12:51   beating yourself up when like man I'm

00:12:53   just really not getting a lot of work

00:12:55   done and being like okay you know this

00:12:56   is fine this is something that happens

00:12:58   but then also probably good to have the

00:13:01   element of planning around that and

00:13:03   thinking about like if you have control

00:13:06   over your schedule what would an ideal

00:13:07   schedule be adapting it to yourself

00:13:10   because I feel like it's so easy to fall

00:13:12   into the pattern of and something I

00:13:15   still struggle with of the feeling that

00:13:18   like 40 hours of work is the thing that

00:13:21   I'm trying to always get out of me every

00:13:24   week irrespective of whether that makes

00:13:26   sense both in terms of how I feel you

00:13:29   know physically health-wise etc what's

00:13:31   going on in my life personally what's

00:13:33   going on in the world like there's lots

00:13:35   of things that I think can either

00:13:37   encourage or motivate good good and

00:13:39   effective work or demotivate and kind of

00:13:42   take that out of you and kind of

00:13:44   planning around that it's something

00:13:45   that's probably a wise and useful thing

00:13:48   to do because it's it's a strange thing

00:13:52   to think of it in some ways when you

00:13:54   kind of know if I boil down the big like

00:13:57   the most important important work I've

00:13:59   probably done in my business has likely

00:14:01   been done mmm it's probably in maybe

00:14:04   about six weeks or so over the last

00:14:07   eight years like in the sense that like

00:14:11   the the first versions of most of my

00:14:15   most successful apps so like the first

00:14:16   app that I ever had that was successful

00:14:18   was an app called audiobooks which isn't

00:14:19   like an audiobook player and I wrote it

00:14:21   in a week between I had it I was doing

00:14:24   consulting at the time and I had a

00:14:26   period just you know like in consulting

00:14:28   is inevitably the case where I had like

00:14:29   a contract and I had about a week before

00:14:32   my next contract started and I was like

00:14:33   you know I'm just gonna work on this app

00:14:35   idea that I have for that week it was

00:14:37   like in that one week I'd built the

00:14:38   basic version of the app and I put it in

00:14:40   the app store and that happened out to

00:14:42   be yeah it's probably the how most

00:14:45   downloaded app I've ever had and if not

00:14:47   if it isn't it's definitely the second

00:14:49   most and was the app that I've turned

00:14:50   app development from a like a sideline

00:14:55   or a small part of my business into my

00:14:56   primary business I was like that was in

00:14:58   one week's work and similarly with

00:15:00   pedometer like it was I wrote that

00:15:01   happened about a little over a week or

00:15:03   about yeah I was about a week because it

00:15:05   was announced at the keynote when they

00:15:07   announced the 5s and then I had a week

00:15:09   until the 5ns launched and that was all

00:15:11   I had to build the app and there's a few

00:15:14   other kind of periods like that where

00:15:15   you can have these really focused

00:15:17   intensive periods that at least for me

00:15:19   have been really impactful and important

00:15:21   and that's a strange thought when I try

00:15:24   and unpack it and be like wow my career

00:15:26   like what have I been doing for the

00:15:27   other like whatever eight years - six

00:15:30   weeks of my life

00:15:31   I don't want to think about it too much

00:15:33   but I think there is something that's

00:15:34   good about thinking about and being

00:15:36   aware of that your work is not

00:15:39   necessarily this like we're the nature

00:15:42   of being a software developer is not

00:15:44   like we're building a wall or something

00:15:47   where every all we need to do is like we

00:15:48   go over here we pick up a brick we walk

00:15:50   over to the wall we put a little plaster

00:15:52   down with the next brick and we walk

00:15:54   back and forth and we can keep doing

00:15:55   that really no matter what like we can

00:15:57   just keep adding bricks in the rate at

00:15:58   which we add bricks is how much progress

00:15:59   we made when was the last time you saw a

00:16:01   construction project I don't know it'd

00:16:05   be wonderful if they just kept going

00:16:07   until they were complete with no random

00:16:09   interruptions and long breaks of

00:16:10   seemingly nothing happen no it is that's

00:16:14   not software development at all like

00:16:15   that's not the way that our work goes

00:16:17   where it's this very creative like

00:16:20   esoteric like sometimes you just kind of

00:16:22   get the idea and you get to get in a

00:16:24   flow and you can really do some cool

00:16:25   work and then at other times you just

00:16:27   really can't yeah I mean my issue with

00:16:31   this some of it is seasonal for sure

00:16:34   you know there's certain like times

00:16:36   where where I have a lot more family

00:16:38   obligations or family events to do

00:16:41   things like you know around summer

00:16:43   vacation or around winter holidays any

00:16:45   kind of travel obviously is a huge deal

00:16:48   in in terms of lordosis my productivity

00:16:50   which is generally bring it to zero so

00:16:52   that's that's that's a big deal but my

00:16:55   problem more is it's not necessarily all

00:16:58   the family stuff it's all the just

00:17:00   unexpected stuff or everyday

00:17:03   distractions or everyday errands or

00:17:05   things like that where I find that I my

00:17:09   schedule is basically perforated with

00:17:11   like lots of scattered holes and it and

00:17:16   sometimes I can really buckle down and

00:17:17   just get it done anyway get everything

00:17:18   done that I need to do anyway but just

00:17:20   like the the the realities of everyday

00:17:23   family life especially when you work at

00:17:25   home and when you want to be you know

00:17:27   heavily involved in your child care then

00:17:31   it's it's there's a lot of holes in the

00:17:33   schedule basically it's very hard to get

00:17:35   long blocks and to really make that make

00:17:37   that work and and a lot of it it's also

00:17:41   just self-imposed I mean a lot of it I

00:17:42   just thought I'm not a very focused

00:17:44   person I'm very easily to stray

00:17:45   did I don't have an incredibly strong

00:17:47   work ethic so the idea of like just

00:17:50   sitting down with a strong routine

00:17:52   during the time I do have even that

00:17:54   doesn't always work out for me

00:17:56   and then you have the you have other

00:17:57   problems you have things like I mean you

00:18:00   know not to make this political with the

00:18:02   current political events but like you

00:18:04   have things like national events that

00:18:06   happen you know that that can really

00:18:09   change either your ability to work or

00:18:12   your or your motivation or your mood or

00:18:15   can it can be like you know for instance

00:18:18   if you were marketing an app and if you

00:18:21   wanted to launch an app right after this

00:18:24   US presidential election that just

00:18:26   happened

00:18:27   the day after it happened if your app

00:18:30   appeals ten if you're a potential to

00:18:32   liberal people would be a terrible day

00:18:35   to launch that because you know like

00:18:37   that would be it's kind of a day of

00:18:38   mourning for like the side that loses a

00:18:40   presidential election and or if if

00:18:43   there's like a big national tragedy of

00:18:45   some kind like if there's like a

00:18:46   shooting or something like that like you

00:18:48   know you try to avoid or you know some

00:18:50   kind of natural disaster or like trying

00:18:52   to launch an app or or do anything like

00:18:54   that day is probably a bad idea you know

00:18:56   and and so there's all sorts of other

00:18:57   factors that will that will come into

00:19:00   your life in your schedule and will

00:19:01   disrupt your plans and you you have to

00:19:04   have enough padding and you and you have

00:19:06   to have you know enough slack in the

00:19:08   plans that you can accommodate for these

00:19:09   things when they come and you know you

00:19:10   won't always I mean sometimes these

00:19:12   things just come at the worst possible

00:19:13   times or they're completely unexpected

00:19:15   or whatever else but you know you have

00:19:18   to have slack in your plans for for

00:19:19   unfitted events like that and and you

00:19:22   know because regardless of what if

00:19:23   regardless of whether you want them to

00:19:24   happen they will happen and and you

00:19:27   should be ready for that but you know

00:19:29   ultimately the when it comes down to

00:19:30   like everyday motivation I mean just a

00:19:33   really inconsistent I will have some

00:19:35   days or weeks that I'm just on fire and

00:19:39   I just get tons done and it's just like

00:19:42   I I will do like an entire major version

00:19:45   of overcast like my 3.0 I can do a good

00:19:49   chunk of the work for 3.0 in like two

00:19:52   weeks but it'll take me six months to

00:19:54   ship it because I have so much other

00:19:56   stuff that I'm juggling and balancing

00:19:59   and

00:19:59   it's doing in like fits and spurts and

00:20:01   attempting and then out that doesn't

00:20:02   that didn't work so I've got a rollback

00:20:03   try different approach whatever else or

00:20:06   I'll just have like a month where I have

00:20:09   so much family stuff and slacking going

00:20:13   on that I just don't get anything done

00:20:14   it's it's all I'm well I'm all over the

00:20:16   map on that and it's part of the reason

00:20:18   why I

00:20:19   I typically look back on the time that I

00:20:22   have spent like I look back on like a

00:20:24   year I'm like what did I do this entire

00:20:26   year and I'm usually not happy with the

00:20:30   amount that I got done in software

00:20:32   development I'm very I'm very proud of

00:20:34   things like podcasts and I'm kind of

00:20:35   forced to do those on a schedule look I

00:20:37   had because I do them with other

00:20:38   people's oh and there's sponsors and

00:20:39   everything's like that there's an

00:20:40   enforced schedule on that but the stuff

00:20:42   that's more flexible I'm usually less

00:20:44   proud of because I just I don't have a

00:20:48   strong work ethic that makes me sit down

00:20:51   and have these large blocks of

00:20:52   uninterrupted work time consistently

00:20:55   like I'll have those sometimes but I

00:20:56   don't have them consistently but I think

00:20:58   that's mostly my personality and I think

00:21:01   there is something to be said though to

00:21:03   fur and they'd only be touched from the

00:21:04   end we touched on this last week we were

00:21:05   talking about learning but there is

00:21:07   something that I noticed for myself two

00:21:09   of my it's easy to get stuck where you

00:21:13   can do the interesting part of a problem

00:21:15   or the like the part that's interest

00:21:17   that's exciting to you yep and then you

00:21:19   hit a point where you are having to do

00:21:23   something that you don't really want to

00:21:24   do and you suddenly your motivation and

00:21:27   somehow magically disappears and you

00:21:29   just like oh I'm suddenly very like this

00:21:31   little distractible puppy that's just

00:21:33   like oh there's a butterfly let me run

00:21:34   around after it this is every time I've

00:21:37   ever touched watchkit very I possibly do

00:21:43   besides watch it yeah but I think it's

00:21:47   important to understand that about

00:21:48   ourselves

00:21:49   we're like I have done that enough times

00:21:52   that air than the first the first couple

00:21:54   of times that that would happen like I

00:21:55   don't think I had any self awareness

00:21:57   that like what I'm doing is avoiding

00:21:59   work because I don't actually want to

00:22:01   work and the times that I'm very

00:22:03   productive it's usually because I'm

00:22:04   really excited or interested and you

00:22:06   kind of get into these modes where all I

00:22:08   think about is the problem I'm trying to

00:22:10   solve and it's the like it can almost be

00:22:12   annoying where

00:22:13   I'm trying to do something else and it's

00:22:15   like heaps the thought keeps popping

00:22:16   into my head like oh what if I did this

00:22:17   over here what if I did that over there

00:22:19   and then like I'm in the shower and I'm

00:22:20   like what you know like writing notes on

00:22:22   the on the glass in the shower door

00:22:24   being like these are things that I'm

00:22:25   thinking about like it's if you're

00:22:28   excited and motivated about what you're

00:22:30   working on you're gonna be so much more

00:22:32   productive and effective at it and

00:22:33   that's something that I think for myself

00:22:34   I've started to be very just trying to I

00:22:39   try to be more conscious about this and

00:22:41   that's only it's somewhat helpful

00:22:42   because they're still necessarily going

00:22:43   to be times that you have to do things

00:22:45   that you don't want to do but at the

00:22:47   very least if I can tell myself like

00:22:49   have the sort of them the metacognition

00:22:51   to say like the reason I'm taking longer

00:22:55   to do this is because I'm not motivated

00:22:57   to do it and at the very least then it

00:22:59   gives me an opportunity to look at it

00:23:01   and say is this really something I want

00:23:03   to do is this something that I should be

00:23:07   doing and I can make a decision and a

00:23:09   choice and I can actually make the

00:23:11   choice about it rather than just kind of

00:23:13   pretending that it's not there and

00:23:15   pretending that they're actual reason

00:23:16   I'm not working or with actual reason

00:23:18   I'm not making progress is because of

00:23:21   something else something out of my

00:23:23   control or something in my family or

00:23:24   whatever it is that like there's a

00:23:26   simply sometimes those things are just

00:23:28   gonna impose themself upon you and

00:23:29   sometimes I feel like for myself I can

00:23:32   go seeking out those distractions or

00:23:34   those things to pull me away because I

00:23:35   don't actually care and I think having

00:23:38   some degree of intentionality is helpful

00:23:41   like I know for myself it doesn't it's

00:23:43   not like it's this cure-all because even

00:23:46   if the answer is like I don't want to do

00:23:48   this because I don't want to do this but

00:23:49   I still have to do this then well I'm

00:23:52   kind of stuck and I just have to kind of

00:23:53   transition into more like like crisis

00:23:57   management of like how can I trick

00:23:59   myself into thinking this is exciting

00:24:01   and get it done but at the very least I

00:24:05   can be aware of it and try and make some

00:24:06   conscious choices about it that when I

00:24:08   get into these kind of these funks in

00:24:09   these seasons where I'm just not getting

00:24:11   anything done

00:24:11   maybe it's helpful to just think about

00:24:14   it at least from that perspective and I

00:24:17   think you know kind of wrapping it up

00:24:18   back to the beat the beginning part of

00:24:20   the show I think one of the things that

00:24:21   helps a lot is a pretty strong

00:24:23   externally imposed deadline you know

00:24:25   like that that's one of the very

00:24:27   from motivators I have is like if if I

00:24:29   if I'm trying to get a nap or an update

00:24:32   out but and it has to make it or I

00:24:35   really should for business reasons make

00:24:37   it you know in time for the next iOS

00:24:39   update or the next iPhone or the next

00:24:40   holiday season or whatever the case may

00:24:42   be as we mentioned earlier that is often

00:24:45   one of the only ways I can really be

00:24:46   motivated to do something like you know

00:24:49   this is something that I'm just not that

00:24:50   I'm not motivated to do like some

00:24:52   feature I don't want to do or some like

00:24:54   nitty gritty detail that I just don't

00:24:56   find interesting to work on or that I

00:24:57   know is going to be tedious to work on

00:24:59   you know that's having an externally

00:25:02   imposed deadline or some other external

00:25:04   pressure to do it is often necessary

00:25:07   it's certainly helpful and as Indies we

00:25:12   often don't have that especially like if

00:25:13   things are going generally okay like if

00:25:16   we're making enough money to survive and

00:25:17   to stay in business it's hard to be able

00:25:19   to be motivated by many other external

00:25:22   factors for things like feature updates

00:25:24   cuz like what do you really motive like

00:25:27   right now there's nobody pressuring me

00:25:30   to get over cast 3.0 out the door nobody

00:25:32   like sure I have no reason to do it

00:25:34   except that I assume at some point I

00:25:36   will have competition so strong that I

00:25:40   need to you know answer to it with my

00:25:42   own updates or whatever else but besides

00:25:45   that the main motivation for getting

00:25:46   over cast 3 at the door is myself it's I

00:25:49   am doing I think better things in it and

00:25:52   I want I want everyone to see these

00:25:54   things and to use these things and - I

00:25:56   want the app to be better and that's a

00:25:59   great motivation and if you don't have

00:26:00   that motivation I think you're in

00:26:01   trouble for lots of other reasons but

00:26:03   that is not a rush like that that

00:26:05   doesn't impose any kind of timeline on

00:26:07   you and it's very easy to fall into the

00:26:09   trap of like well I I can just make it a

00:26:12   little bit better just a little bit

00:26:13   better and oh if I don't release it in

00:26:15   December well how about February how

00:26:17   about April and just you keep going back

00:26:19   and back and back and before you know it

00:26:20   it's been like three years

00:26:22   before you released anything and and

00:26:25   that's that's not good for for your app

00:26:27   or your customers or your budgeting or

00:26:29   anything like that and so if times you

00:26:32   really needs some kind of external

00:26:35   pressure to get these things out the

00:26:36   door yeah and even one little trigger

00:26:38   I've definitely did use myself is

00:26:41   the making it like it's bad to make like

00:26:44   external public commitments about things

00:26:46   and features and timelines oh yes don't

00:26:48   do that don't do that but I do find that

00:26:51   if I can if I can find non non

00:26:55   commitment ways of sharing what I'm

00:26:57   working on and kind of creating a sense

00:27:01   of interest or anticipation from other

00:27:03   people whether that's friends and family

00:27:05   whether that's customers or people who

00:27:08   follow you on the internet like whatever

00:27:09   that looks like for you but I know for

00:27:11   myself like even on the show like

00:27:12   talking about my next app is written in

00:27:14   Swift

00:27:14   and put like making that commitment out

00:27:17   just out in public it's like now when I

00:27:19   hit the problems with this app that has

00:27:21   been taking me much longer than I wish

00:27:23   it would have and some of those are

00:27:24   because I'm still learning Swift it's

00:27:26   like I can't just say like okay I'm not

00:27:28   just gonna do this or I'm gonna back out

00:27:29   it's been instructive to have this

00:27:31   external thing that it's like no no no I

00:27:32   was like I'm I don't want to do the

00:27:34   episode of like why I abandoned that

00:27:36   commitment and so I'm being able to work

00:27:39   towards it and similarly I've worked on

00:27:40   other apps in the past where it's like I

00:27:41   start talking about them at a high level

00:27:44   or trying to which is good maybe good

00:27:46   marketing to and kind of building a

00:27:47   little bit of anticipation but even from

00:27:49   a timing perspective to say that like

00:27:51   here's something that I'm hoping to get

00:27:52   out by and such and such and then what

00:27:54   you as soon as it's outside of yourself

00:27:55   and there's even this vague sense of

00:27:57   someone else who might be expecting that

00:27:59   I can find it can be a little bit

00:28:00   motivating and a little bit of making a

00:28:03   timeline for you to you know kind of

00:28:05   move forward with things yeah that

00:28:07   sounds good

00:28:08   alright I think we're out of time this

00:28:10   week thanks a lot to our sponsor Pingdom

00:28:11   and thanks listeners for listening and

00:28:13   we will talk to you next week bye