Under the Radar

Under the Radar 23: Launching Activity++


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

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 it's get started so today

00:00:11   what I want I think we wanted to talk

00:00:13   through is a a little bit of follow up

00:00:15   on the pricing discussion we had a few

00:00:18   episodes ago and be talk about the

00:00:20   actual app that we were talking in vague

00:00:22   terms about then and that I recently

00:00:24   launched and given that even for even

00:00:27   for someone like me launching an app is

00:00:29   a fairly rare thing in the scheme of

00:00:31   what we do and so yeah having just done

00:00:33   it I wanted to kind of talk through that

00:00:35   what that process is like both sort of

00:00:38   functionally as well as emotionally and

00:00:40   kind of just go from there so first the

00:00:45   app that I launched is by worth saying

00:00:46   is called activity plus plus if you have

00:00:49   any familiar with any of my work you're

00:00:50   probably familiar with an app called

00:00:51   pedometer plus plus or sleep plus plus

00:00:53   or emoji plus plus I've kind of got into

00:00:56   this thing where plus plus is sort of

00:00:57   like the name you know it's actually

00:00:59   really helpful from a naming perspective

00:01:01   because I just take whatever like proper

00:01:03   noun or a verb that's up you know

00:01:05   describes the thing that I'm doing at a

00:01:07   plus plus and that kind of works as a

00:01:09   trait you know sort of like a trademark

00:01:10   thing that people recognize okay because

00:01:13   it helps you avoid actual trademark

00:01:15   conflicts because like like activity is

00:01:17   not a trademark of a word in that area

00:01:19   like you like so you're not gonna have a

00:01:20   conflict with that although it doesn't

00:01:22   do you any favors with App Store search

00:01:23   no it does not but that is aid well it

00:01:28   as best I can tell like half helps

00:01:30   because the plus plus as far as I can

00:01:33   tell is ignored for the purposes of

00:01:35   search at least as best I can tell and

00:01:39   so when people search I could do very

00:01:41   well for generic searches but I do not

00:01:44   do well for exact searches which you

00:01:47   know it's good and bad but you know it's

00:01:50   my the plus plus naming kind of came by

00:01:54   accident more than intentionally and so

00:01:56   it just sort of forced one of these

00:01:57   things of like well no now that I'd know

00:01:59   that it exists and whether or not it's

00:02:01   great or not in the App Store search it

00:02:03   just sort of is its own thing and would

00:02:05   be you know would caught it would be

00:02:06   worse to change than to stick with so

00:02:09   that's just sort of where I am I like it

00:02:12   yeah but

00:02:13   and it seems and I think it works well

00:02:14   it's rolls off the tongue everyone kind

00:02:16   of knows how it works and yeah and it's

00:02:20   I like it and I like that it's geeky too

00:02:22   but anyway so activity plus plus is a

00:02:25   something that takes advantage of the

00:02:27   new some new API is that are added in

00:02:29   9.3 and watch OS 2.2 where we can

00:02:33   finally get access to all the data in

00:02:35   the activity app so so if you have an

00:02:38   Apple watch you'd be familiar with it's

00:02:39   like the three rings there's like the

00:02:41   red ring which is your active calories

00:02:44   the green ring which is your amount of

00:02:45   exercise and the blue ring which is the

00:02:48   amount you've stood or hours you've

00:02:49   stood in a day and we finally have

00:02:52   access to that as a third party and so

00:02:54   what I did is I just said I have a lot I

00:02:56   use the activity app a lot I like that

00:02:58   sort of concept of measure and measuring

00:03:01   how I'm doing in terms of activity and

00:03:02   fitness but I don't really like apples

00:03:06   activity app especially on the phone I

00:03:09   find it really awkward like there's all

00:03:12   it's trying to do so much and because of

00:03:14   that it does the basics kind of

00:03:17   awkwardly so I know as soon as I saw

00:03:19   that I could do this whenever they

00:03:21   announced nine point three which I think

00:03:23   was a couple months ago I like I dived

00:03:24   into it's like this is something that I

00:03:26   wanted to do and so I did you know I

00:03:28   made an app that as an alternative to

00:03:30   that it's this is an area that I think

00:03:32   if you're a developer looking to find

00:03:35   like a new market to get into this is

00:03:37   always something that I found some

00:03:38   success with of looking through the EPI

00:03:41   tips every time Apple releases something

00:03:43   and saying you know what this is

00:03:45   something new something like there is

00:03:47   this type of app is entirely not

00:03:49   possible before and then suddenly is

00:03:52   possible so there's you're necessarily

00:03:54   going to be competing in a smaller

00:03:55   market which I'll mention a bit later

00:03:57   but it's always a helpful thing to kind

00:04:00   of dive into that because the reality is

00:04:01   like you they're sort of like there's

00:04:03   three types of apps that are probably

00:04:05   sort of worth making if there's these

00:04:08   something like this where it's sort of

00:04:09   new and novel because it couldn't have

00:04:14   been done before if you know first sort

00:04:16   of policy reasons or technical reasons

00:04:17   like this data just wasn't available to

00:04:19   third-party apps before you can go ahead

00:04:21   and do that or you could there's like

00:04:23   the apps that are just like sort of

00:04:24   truly not

00:04:26   like someone just sort of invents

00:04:28   something totally new which are

00:04:30   typically very hard to do or think up or

00:04:33   the third is the as the type of app that

00:04:34   are just it's like it's the same thing

00:04:36   just done slightly better or different

00:04:38   and the last two like if you can do that

00:04:41   for the second one where you have a true

00:04:43   innovation like you just invent

00:04:44   something amazing that could have been

00:04:46   done before but now you're doing it in a

00:04:48   better way more power to you that's

00:04:50   awesome that's pretty rare and you know

00:04:53   kind of hard to just do what do on on a

00:04:57   regular basis so most people end up

00:04:59   doing the apps that are just like the

00:05:00   same thing that's but you know existed

00:05:01   before but done better but those are

00:05:04   really competitive because by nature of

00:05:05   being something you could have done

00:05:07   before people already have and so

00:05:08   whenever you have an opportunity to do

00:05:09   the first thing to be able to just do

00:05:11   something that wasn't possible before

00:05:13   just because of technical reasons or

00:05:15   policy reasons disagreed it's a great

00:05:17   opportunity and so you know sort of

00:05:19   that's what I did and it's I've now

00:05:21   launched it I think I launched it last

00:05:22   Thursday and yeah launch has been going

00:05:25   well it's been doing been very well

00:05:28   received which is always really you know

00:05:30   affirming but something like this

00:05:31   because you put it out into this into

00:05:33   the world and you never really know

00:05:34   what's gonna happen but in a bit of a

00:05:36   twist it is a paid up front app and in

00:05:39   fact it is a three dollar paid up front

00:05:41   app which if you lure listening to our

00:05:43   discussion two or three episodes ago

00:05:45   where I've talked about pricing paid

00:05:47   upfront was the form of business model

00:05:50   that I had at the a used to sort of in

00:05:52   our final conclusions had kind of thrown

00:05:53   out as not possible and so that's a bit

00:05:56   of a surprise and but I wanted to kind

00:05:59   of talk through why I did that because I

00:06:01   think it's helpful as a prize a thought

00:06:05   process to sort of show that what we're

00:06:08   doing as divided as independent

00:06:10   developers and developers in general but

00:06:12   especially as independent developers is

00:06:14   we have to be making these decisions

00:06:17   that ultimately like there's no right

00:06:19   answer for you can never know like which

00:06:22   business model is going to be best

00:06:23   there's a lot you can ever know which

00:06:24   design decision is gonna be best like

00:06:26   when you're designing your icon or

00:06:27   designing your layouts like there's all

00:06:28   these things that you just have to make

00:06:29   a decision and you have to just sort of

00:06:30   live with it but Jukka and you have to

00:06:34   work out what process makes the most

00:06:36   sense for you so in this case I looked

00:06:38   at yeah I looked at for pricing

00:06:40   and as we finished in our last

00:06:41   discussion I was probably meaning

00:06:43   towards something like free with ads or

00:06:44   something like that and the more that I

00:06:46   thought about that like the next week I

00:06:48   listened to the episode a couple times

00:06:49   and I was just kind of mulling it over

00:06:51   and I kept being like you know what like

00:06:54   I don't like how this feels I don't like

00:06:56   that more and more of my businesses

00:06:58   becoming reliant on ads especially in

00:07:00   the time of kind of a little bit of

00:07:02   turmoil is the wrong word but it's

00:07:04   there's a little bit of upheaval in

00:07:05   terms of exactly what the right

00:07:06   advertising platform is what that's

00:07:08   going to look like come when I ad ends

00:07:10   this June and it seems like a really

00:07:13   poor time to be doubling down on that

00:07:15   model and so I said you know what I'd

00:07:17   rather have diversity in terms of I'd

00:07:20   rather have a paid app even if it didn't

00:07:21   perform theoretically as well as a free

00:07:25   app just to have some diversity to have

00:07:28   some bit some backup in terms of if one

00:07:30   of my f-free with added apps starts to

00:07:32   really plummet in terms of revenue

00:07:34   I have something to back up and the

00:07:36   biggest thing that was holding me back

00:07:37   was the thought that hah man this is a

00:07:39   watch app though and so if you don't

00:07:40   have a watch people are going to be

00:07:41   annoyed but I saw in the app store there

00:07:44   was an app called heart watch which is

00:07:46   by a gentleman named David Walsh who is

00:07:49   a similar kind of thing but it's focused

00:07:52   all on the heart rate data that the

00:07:53   Apple watch collects it's a great app

00:07:54   and recommend you taking a look at it if

00:07:57   that's something you're interested in

00:07:57   but I was kind of curious if he was

00:08:00   having for this trouble cuz he said he

00:08:01   had a hit paid app and it didn't seem

00:08:03   like in his app store reviews and in

00:08:04   general that he was having trouble with

00:08:06   people complaining that oh I doubt I

00:08:08   bought your app and I don't have a watch

00:08:09   you know boohoo and so I was like okay

00:08:12   maybe it's not a problem and then I did

00:08:15   what I always do when I'm trying to deal

00:08:17   with these types of problems is I went

00:08:18   to a spreadsheet because for me I can't

00:08:23   make decisions like this without a

00:08:24   spreadsheet usually because I need to

00:08:26   have something that I can kind of point

00:08:28   to rationally and say you know is this

00:08:31   viable is this going to work

00:08:32   am I being foolish and I in just looking

00:08:35   at myself it's often easy to kind of

00:08:37   confused you know confuse or betray

00:08:39   myself by kind of what I want or what I

00:08:42   think would be nice but number is 10%

00:08:44   you know if you're doing it right

00:08:45   typically can't do that and so I took a

00:08:48   look at the know how much money I make

00:08:49   per user right now in pedometer plus

00:08:52   plus

00:08:53   just mic you know my single biggest app

00:08:54   which is like in my mind the best-case

00:08:57   scenario for a new app would be it would

00:08:58   match that and right now and I do it on

00:09:02   the surf on the basis of new users not

00:09:04   of active users or existing users

00:09:06   because that gets really complicated so

00:09:07   I tend to look at it it's like based on

00:09:08   the number of downloads I get how much

00:09:10   revenue do I get each day and for

00:09:11   pedometer right now it's like 20 cents a

00:09:14   user or something like that which I

00:09:16   think for free app is actually not too

00:09:17   bad

00:09:19   and so then the nice thing you think

00:09:21   about that though is like if you sell an

00:09:23   app for three to four three dollars you

00:09:24   end up with two dollars and ten cents

00:09:26   back from Apple for each user and so as

00:09:30   long as you can maintain a tenth of the

00:09:33   downloads that you get otherwise you'll

00:09:35   kind of break even and I looked at that

00:09:38   and I was like you know 10x that that

00:09:39   seems doable that seems possible like

00:09:42   the number of downloads per day that

00:09:44   activity plus plus would have to have to

00:09:46   maintain that isn't completely

00:09:47   inconceivable and so I went for it and

00:09:51   the nice thing about free Arbus or

00:09:53   starting paid rather than free is that

00:09:55   it I can always switch and go free later

00:09:56   if I want yeah I can use the app store

00:09:58   receipt system to know if someone paid

00:10:01   for it upfront or not and if they did

00:10:03   then great you know I'll just sort of

00:10:05   put it hide the ads or idea net

00:10:07   purchases or whatever it is but I can

00:10:09   always make that change down the road

00:10:10   and so that's what I did and you know it

00:10:12   seems to be working I feel good about it

00:10:14   which is probably the best thing because

00:10:16   that in the end I like that you know

00:10:18   it's a more proof eels a bit more

00:10:19   premium it feels a bit nicer of an app

00:10:22   to not have any ads in it do not have to

00:10:24   think about that kind of stuff

00:10:25   and to just put it out as you know

00:10:27   something that's good it's also I mean

00:10:29   just you know as we discussed in the

00:10:31   pricing episode I paid upfront model is

00:10:32   just so much simpler on you on the

00:10:34   developer you know for both designing

00:10:36   the app around and also just having to

00:10:37   code all the in-app purchase stuff or

00:10:39   embed other people's crazy kind of

00:10:41   creepy ad frameworks free up or paid

00:10:43   upfront it's just so much easier and and

00:10:45   simpler and it really does just simplify

00:10:47   the model you know what's the

00:10:48   relationship between you and your

00:10:49   customers what's being done but their

00:10:51   data if anything you know how do you how

00:10:54   do you survive how do you make one like

00:10:55   it's all right up front there and there

00:10:56   are downsides to it of course but I

00:10:58   think if you can make the numbers work

00:10:59   out paid upfront is is of course the

00:11:02   easiest way to do it and and overall the

00:11:04   I mean by easy I mean simple

00:11:06   it's the simplest way to do it and

00:11:08   there's a lot of benefits to that

00:11:10   exactly and you know like I said I'm

00:11:12   happy with it admit right now and I

00:11:13   think the reality is with pricing is

00:11:16   there is no like there there's no good

00:11:19   answer there's no like right answers

00:11:20   like it because the reality is as soon

00:11:22   as if as developers we determined like

00:11:24   oh this is the perfect thing to do you

00:11:26   know if you do this this and this you'll

00:11:28   maximize revenue fully like servos

00:11:30   almost like the stock market if as soon

00:11:32   as that becomes known and everyone does

00:11:33   it it'll almost inevitably become the

00:11:36   wrong thing everybody like by the nature

00:11:38   of everybody doing it it saturates that

00:11:41   type of thing and then becomes

00:11:42   problematic and so ultimately like you

00:11:44   just have to go with your gut and decide

00:11:46   what you're gonna feel comfortable with

00:11:47   and in this situation I was like you

00:11:49   know what I like this app like I really

00:11:50   felt proud of it and I was like I don't

00:11:52   want to put ads in it like I don't want

00:11:53   to I like the way it looks I wanted to

00:11:56   look that way

00:11:57   and you know so this is a twist of the

00:12:00   road I went down and I think you know

00:12:02   the market was better than I was fearing

00:12:05   it might be it's definitely still in

00:12:08   these like the very steep dropoff phase

00:12:10   where your first couple days are like

00:12:12   yeah this is awesome and then it starts

00:12:15   to go down and every day you know the

00:12:17   long in tight interconnects and I'm like

00:12:18   is this the bottom is this the bottom

00:12:21   what about this is that is this the new

00:12:23   bottom and I don't think we've quite

00:12:24   reached there yet which is you know is a

00:12:26   bit scary like who is it gonna go all

00:12:28   the way to zero like where no but you

00:12:31   know so far so good

00:12:32   and I think there's still something to

00:12:34   be said for you know paid upfront apps

00:12:36   like and the funny thing is I didn't

00:12:38   ahead of anyone that I was aware of

00:12:40   complaining about the price at $3 it you

00:12:42   know at $3 which I'm also surprised me

00:12:45   slightly that it wasn't like Oh $3 I

00:12:47   guess but I guess that once you're paid

00:12:48   you know you're paid and the difference

00:12:50   between $1 and $3 is much more like

00:12:54   intellectually minor compared to free

00:12:57   and a dollar so yeah that worked at

00:13:00   quite a while I think maybe one of the

00:13:02   reasons you're able to do it for this

00:13:03   app is you know as you said at the

00:13:04   beginning of the show like they've

00:13:05   different apps that you have different

00:13:07   types of apps that are possible to make

00:13:09   in this case this is a very non crowded

00:13:13   category so it is in many ways it

00:13:15   behaves a lot more like the early app

00:13:16   store back when the entire app store

00:13:18   wasn't very crowded well which was

00:13:20   actually very short-lived but you know

00:13:21   that was like maybe a couple of weeks

00:13:22   but at that time you know you could you

00:13:25   could sell something for five ten

00:13:26   dollars and it didn't even have to be

00:13:28   that good and people would buy it

00:13:30   because they wanted that kind of thing

00:13:32   and they were just were no all other

00:13:33   alternatives or there are very few other

00:13:34   alternatives and in this case you know

00:13:37   when when you do what you what you gave

00:13:39   is like the first type of app you could

00:13:40   make which is the kind of app that just

00:13:42   recently became possible by some kind of

00:13:44   API or technical change you you

00:13:47   effectively create or you enter a market

00:13:49   where there is almost no competition

00:13:52   upfront and it is kind of like those

00:13:54   first few weeks of the app store where

00:13:55   you can charge a price upfront and if

00:13:59   people want that kind of app they'll be

00:14:00   more willing to pay for it because there

00:14:02   aren't 50 free alternatives to do the

00:14:04   exact same thing where I blow in the App

00:14:05   Store search exactly and you know it's a

00:14:08   nice thing to take advantage of so idea

00:14:12   so the launch has been going well

00:14:14   something else I wanted to talk through

00:14:16   a little bit about the launch because I

00:14:17   get this question a lot from people who

00:14:19   are launching their first to happen it's

00:14:21   like how do you get attention for you

00:14:24   for any new product and some of it is

00:14:27   just like well you just kind of have to

00:14:28   keep trying which is another very

00:14:30   satisfying answer but I was very you

00:14:33   know very grateful for I had a few news

00:14:35   and press sites write up the app which

00:14:37   is always really kind of exciting and

00:14:39   awesome to see like you know something

00:14:40   you made on a site that you that you

00:14:43   respect deeply and so the way the witch

00:14:45   that I would recognize really

00:14:47   recommendation I can make with that is

00:14:48   to make sure what you're doing when

00:14:50   you're reaching out to them and like you

00:14:52   should be reaching out to the press

00:14:53   ahead of time like especially the sites

00:14:55   that you read yourself like it sounds a

00:14:58   lot better if it doesn't come if it's

00:14:59   not like a cold call in so far is like

00:15:01   you've read the site you know the kind

00:15:03   of things they do you know what what

00:15:05   excites them you know like some sites

00:15:06   are really interested in the visual

00:15:10   design or the typography or those types

00:15:12   of things other sites tend to be more

00:15:14   feature focused and so when you're

00:15:16   writing your emails like write a

00:15:17   different email to each of those people

00:15:19   letting them know take advantage of the

00:15:21   test flight system which is something

00:15:23   that I did you know this time around

00:15:24   where it's nice to be able to send out

00:15:27   copies of your application to you know

00:15:30   to the press I personally take the

00:15:32   approach of always asking

00:15:33   they want access to it like I'll send

00:15:36   him an email first whenever I've had

00:15:38   people do this to me we're like you've

00:15:40   you just sort of like blindly get a test

00:15:42   flight in flight invite for an app that

00:15:44   I've never heard of yeah it's no good

00:15:45   it's that's not really what you want

00:15:47   like you want to have the personal reach

00:15:49   out first and say hey this is something

00:15:51   I'm working on maybe include a few

00:15:52   screenshots or a video or something like

00:15:54   that

00:15:54   I send then out to somebody and at the

00:15:57   end just say hey if you know if you want

00:15:58   to check this out I'd be happy to send

00:15:59   you a test flight and you know if you're

00:16:02   doing it right and if you're targeting

00:16:04   your message to them appropriately that

00:16:06   you know you look at what other articles

00:16:08   they've read and you've said hey you

00:16:09   know I saw that you wrote you know this

00:16:11   article about another another you know a

00:16:14   fitness tracker or something or that

00:16:16   seems to be something that you're you

00:16:17   know that's relevant to you and like

00:16:19   actually you know if you are correct in

00:16:21   that like go to a website see who's the

00:16:23   one who writes about the products that

00:16:25   are typically you know that would be

00:16:26   appropriate and you send that over more

00:16:29   often than not they'll say sure send me

00:16:30   a test flight because obviously but it's

00:16:32   much better coming from that respect

00:16:33   than just like a blind thing so it was

00:16:35   just something I wanted to mention but

00:16:38   yeah then otherwise you just kind of

00:16:40   keep at it it's it certainly is easier I

00:16:43   will say having done this for so long

00:16:45   and having some amount of reputation and

00:16:47   and platform you know it is doubtless

00:16:50   easier than that you know in that regard

00:16:53   and you know and the way it's like oh

00:16:54   it's you know like that's that's nice

00:16:55   for underscore to be able to reach out

00:16:58   to people and and know it but you know

00:17:00   the realities everyone starts off this

00:17:02   way like no I did not know the first

00:17:04   time I wrote you know it was an app

00:17:07   written up by a publication it was a big

00:17:09   deal for me because I'd tried many times

00:17:11   before and got nothing so you just kind

00:17:14   of have to keep trying and hope that

00:17:15   invent in the end it will happen and you

00:17:17   know be respectful of people and if you

00:17:18   know you write an email to somebody and

00:17:20   they don't write back it's not the kind

00:17:23   of thing that's like oh I wonder if they

00:17:24   didn't get it let me bring this to the

00:17:25   top of their inbox let me respond to

00:17:27   three times like just be respectful and

00:17:29   understand that they may have responded

00:17:30   not responded because they just don't

00:17:33   have time or they're not interested in

00:17:34   they're trying to you know it's kind of

00:17:36   because it's easier to be kind by just

00:17:38   not saying anything sometimes than it is

00:17:39   to you know try and respond back and in

00:17:43   in the negative and you know just sort

00:17:45   of hope for the best

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00:20:22   the last thing I wanted to kind of talk

00:20:24   through about a launch it's kind of the

00:20:27   actual dynamics of it like the actual

00:20:30   timing and sort of logistics of doing it

00:20:33   because it's kind of a tricky process

00:20:36   because when you are trying to launch an

00:20:38   app you don't really know when that's

00:20:41   gonna be

00:20:41   sometimes you know I think I submit I

00:20:44   submitted this application as soon as it

00:20:46   was physically possible to submit 9.3

00:20:48   binaries and from that point on like my

00:20:52   goal is to be ready to launch it

00:20:57   whenever Apple is you know is available

00:21:00   because like we've been saying this

00:21:01   episode so many times there's a certain

00:21:03   element of like first mover advantage

00:21:05   with something like this like you want

00:21:07   if it's you're building something that's

00:21:09   newly possible being one of the you know

00:21:11   being the first or a second application

00:21:13   that takes advantage of that API is

00:21:15   going to be much more useful to you than

00:21:18   if you're just like one of 10 and so I

00:21:21   wanted to be a you know like I sat there

00:21:22   in iTunes Connect trying to hit submit

00:21:25   and having it come back and say like

00:21:27   we're not ready for this binary version

00:21:28   yet we're not ready for this binary

00:21:29   version like essentially every 10

00:21:32   minutes until he was about 10 p.m. that

00:21:33   night when it finally went through and

00:21:36   it's like you know that's I wanted to be

00:21:38   that confidence that I was like the

00:21:41   first of the 9.3 apps in line that's

00:21:43   dedication well this is this is the

00:21:45   thing though like I've spent months

00:21:47   working on this and so I you know

00:21:49   they've you know spending an afternoon

00:21:51   sitting there hitting next you know it's

00:21:53   like try try try gives me any advantage

00:21:57   I'd feel foolish if in the end that you

00:22:00   know like not doing that

00:22:01   would have you know what would have come

00:22:03   back to come back to bite me in this

00:22:05   case it ended up taking a bit longer

00:22:07   than usual for app review which can be a

00:22:09   bit you know it was a bit worrisome and

00:22:11   we talked about that a little bit you

00:22:12   know in our life

00:22:13   are saying the last episode I think

00:22:15   about a preview but it's just a reality

00:22:17   sometimes you never really know and so

00:22:19   what I did though and this is like the

00:22:21   thing that I always try and make sure

00:22:23   that I've done is have anything that

00:22:25   you're going to be doing about the

00:22:26   launch like I tend to have like a blog

00:22:28   post that you know the launch is long

00:22:31   along with the app and you know

00:22:32   certainly keeping people in the press so

00:22:34   we're of the situation but have

00:22:36   everything ready to go so that like

00:22:37   whenever Apple said hey you're approved

00:22:39   I could go ahead and launch it you know

00:22:42   so I had my blog post written I had the

00:22:44   screenshots all done for that like

00:22:45   everything was ready and waiting which

00:22:48   is good bit much better than you know a

00:22:50   view finally you get your approval email

00:22:52   which is you know yeah that's exciting

00:22:54   and then you're like oh goodness now at

00:22:55   right now I need to do all this work but

00:22:58   like you had weeks or days when you had

00:23:01   nothing else to do for this application

00:23:02   that you could have been doing it so

00:23:03   definitely something that I recommend

00:23:05   doing kind of comically this time

00:23:08   emphasizing how much you have how little

00:23:10   control you have over the timing I ended

00:23:13   up launching this app while I was on

00:23:14   vacation with my family and actually hit

00:23:16   release this version while I was sitting

00:23:20   in the in a Children's Museum in Phoenix

00:23:24   which was kind of just like a strange

00:23:25   place to be sitting on a bench and like

00:23:27   you know what I need it's like I need a

00:23:28   to get this out but it worked you know

00:23:30   the iTunes Connect app that you Apple

00:23:32   puts out is very useful and can do all

00:23:35   these types of things and you know you

00:23:38   the nice the one thing I will say and

00:23:40   this is a recommendation if URL

00:23:42   certainly new to this is launching an

00:23:43   app that doesn't have any back back-end

00:23:46   services related to it is incredibly

00:23:49   relieving because there's no servers for

00:23:51   me to monitor you know see our sponsor

00:23:53   like I didn't have any notifications or

00:23:55   things that I need to worry about

00:23:56   because the app is entirely local and so

00:23:58   that's always a kind of recommendation

00:24:00   if you if you're kind of timid about

00:24:02   what this is gonna be like maybe start

00:24:04   off with something that doesn't have a

00:24:05   back-end or as as simple a back-end as

00:24:07   possible because it is really reassuring

00:24:09   that like there's nothing in this app

00:24:12   that can there's no data that the user

00:24:14   can lose there's no back-end

00:24:17   infrastructure I need to maintain like

00:24:19   it is just an app that you launch you if

00:24:21   you have a permission to access your

00:24:23   health kit data it pulls it in and shows

00:24:25   it to you and

00:24:26   that's all it does and that was really a

00:24:29   nice thing especially when I'm on

00:24:30   vacation like I've launched it and kind

00:24:32   of participated slightly in it

00:24:34   and but then you went back to my

00:24:36   vacation and you know went to the Grand

00:24:37   Canyon the next day and hiked around

00:24:40   there with my family and didn't really

00:24:42   pay much attention to it which was odd

00:24:44   but nice but you just gonna have to keep

00:24:49   that in mind when you're launching these

00:24:50   things that you have no control over it

00:24:52   that often and being you just kind of

00:24:53   like can't even it's like a Zen thing

00:24:54   which is like except that except that

00:24:56   you have no control about the situation

00:24:58   and just kind of roll with it as it goes

00:25:00   because there were certainly times that

00:25:03   I would get a bit frustrated but

00:25:04   ultimately like it worked out it worked

00:25:06   out fine

00:25:06   you know the apps in the store it's live

00:25:08   and you know I just decided you know

00:25:10   it's this is the right time to launch it

00:25:13   because if this is when the first

00:25:14   approvals of 9-3 apps are gonna go out

00:25:16   like I want to be in that wave if there

00:25:19   was a wave as far as I know there hasn't

00:25:20   been much of a wave and so my kind of my

00:25:22   fears weren't we're a bit on unfounded

00:25:25   but you never know because a lot of

00:25:28   these things you just end up kind of

00:25:30   fearing the unknown when you're

00:25:31   launching an app like I got it like I've

00:25:33   been doing this for seven and a half

00:25:35   years I think and I still have like

00:25:39   tremendous anxiety about launching

00:25:42   something new and I say that because

00:25:45   hopefully that's helpful to you know

00:25:47   listeners of the show who are launching

00:25:49   things of themselves when you look at

00:25:51   it's like if you're launching your first

00:25:52   app you're probably just as nervous as I

00:25:54   still am about it and that's okay that's

00:25:57   part of the process like I and you have

00:26:00   these figures of like what if this is

00:26:01   actually not very good what if I'm

00:26:03   putting this out in the world and

00:26:04   everyone's you know kind of gonna laugh

00:26:05   at me like it becomes very like I'm like

00:26:08   in high school or middle school or

00:26:10   something like this kind of that feeling

00:26:11   of being nervous about other people

00:26:13   think of you oh I'm the same way yeah

00:26:16   and I think that's healthy to say though

00:26:18   like it is difficult and you're good no

00:26:20   matter what you're gonna feel that way

00:26:21   so just like embrace it and understand

00:26:24   that it gets better because if you've

00:26:27   been do building it right if you've been

00:26:29   making you know a thoughtful design that

00:26:32   works well and is functional and you've

00:26:34   tested it and you've beta tested it and

00:26:35   you've beta tested it with the right

00:26:37   people who are hopefully you know would

00:26:38   be honest with you if it

00:26:40   wasn't very good and they say it's good

00:26:42   then just trust them and go for it and

00:26:45   you know maybe it will be awesome maybe

00:26:46   it'll be mediocre but you know it

00:26:50   doesn't do any good to fret too much

00:26:52   about it as much as you can and then

00:26:55   yeah and then it's out in the world and

00:26:57   now it's like the funny thing I always

00:26:59   try and celebrate launches seems like we

00:27:01   know we were on vacation but we did our

00:27:02   best to kind of celebrate that it was

00:27:04   out in the world especially I try and

00:27:06   bring my kids into that Jimmy because

00:27:07   they have kind of a vague sense of what

00:27:09   daddy does and so it's kind of fun when

00:27:11   I can show them like hey here's this

00:27:12   thing I just launched in the App Store I

00:27:13   can like show it to them in the App

00:27:14   Store um and then the funny thing about

00:27:16   launching is it feels like this big deal

00:27:19   and then it's done and then you just

00:27:21   move on and now you get a big long list

00:27:23   of bugs the things you have to fix and

00:27:24   you just keep going on that and so it's

00:27:28   like you want to celebrate it now it's

00:27:30   like alright now it's on to you know 1.1

00:27:32   or 1.0 one or you you identify all the

00:27:35   issues that you just never even thought

00:27:37   could be issues which is always the most

00:27:39   striking thing to launch an app for

00:27:41   myself or you you have somebody who

00:27:43   gives you feedback you're like huh you

00:27:46   were absolutely right but I had never

00:27:49   ever thought about that and like that's

00:27:51   always the best and most fun feedback to

00:27:53   get that's why my work has beta it was

00:27:55   six months long there you go and it was

00:27:59   a much I was on the I was on it from the

00:28:00   first one to the last one yes a it got a

00:28:02   lot better it's it it really did

00:28:04   everything I hadn't thought of everyone

00:28:05   everyone brought up all right I think

00:28:08   that does it for this week so

00:28:10   congratulations on the launch any

00:28:11   closing thoughts no I think had one

00:28:14   thing I'd say is you know launch

00:28:16   something it's exciting like I always

00:28:18   hate I get a lot of people questions

00:28:20   from people like how do I get started

00:28:21   and it's like you know the best way to

00:28:22   get started is to write something and

00:28:24   ship it like there's not am like magic

00:28:26   rocket science to this and you just have

00:28:28   to do that and the more you do that the

00:28:29   better you get at doing it and the

00:28:32   better your apps will be as a result and

00:28:33   you know I've launched a lot of products

00:28:35   as I have a bit of a penchant for doing

00:28:38   and you know imagine in June we'll get a

00:28:40   bunch of new api's and new opportunities

00:28:42   and so I'd encourage everyone to look at

00:28:44   them you know just don't look at the

00:28:45   same ones that I'm looking at a problem

00:28:50   we have a problem

00:28:51   alright thanks David and everybody

00:28:53   please go out

00:28:54   by activity plus plus because David

00:28:55   won't say it but I will and we will talk

00:28:58   to you next week

00:28:59   Thanks bye