Under the Radar

Under the Radar 12: Apps With Personality


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

00:00:02   independent iOS app development I am

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

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

00:00:08   minutes so let's get started so for this

00:00:10   week's topic I thought it might if we

00:00:13   might respond a little bit and possibly

00:00:16   disagree a little bit with with a topic

00:00:18   that our friends over at release notes

00:00:20   covered about a week ago in release

00:00:22   notes episode number 140 called like

00:00:24   watching paint dry and release notes is

00:00:27   a very good podcast that I highly

00:00:28   recommend for developers who listen to

00:00:31   this should also listen to that they

00:00:32   cover a lot more a lot of like the

00:00:34   business stuff they their motto is like

00:00:35   everything but the code and so

00:00:38   definitely love that show I've listened

00:00:39   to it for a while they have a conference

00:00:41   love that show love those guys and so

00:00:43   this episode they they did was about

00:00:46   basically as their they both have small

00:00:50   software companies Charles Perry has has

00:00:53   a company that recently launched an app

00:00:55   called meta tax which is for tax for tax

00:00:58   preparing professionals like not for you

00:01:00   to do your taxes but like for your

00:01:01   accountant to to reference while they do

00:01:03   taxes for lots of people and then Joe's

00:01:06   company bombing brain makes tools for

00:01:08   pro audio and video producers and they

00:01:12   so they both have these these companies

00:01:14   that kind of appeal to like you know pro

00:01:16   users of some kind and these are not

00:01:18   mass consumer apps and this episode they

00:01:20   did number 140 was was kind of about how

00:01:24   they they both are like taking their

00:01:26   their corporate voice more seriously now

00:01:29   like kind of dropping some of the some

00:01:31   of the the pretense of like being indie

00:01:33   and making themselves appear like a

00:01:36   serious company so like for example

00:01:38   using we instead of I and you know kind

00:01:41   of separating like their personal blogs

00:01:43   even if it's about business that kind of

00:01:45   separating their personal names and

00:01:48   blogs from the company and not having

00:01:49   like a company blog anymore of like them

00:01:51   complaining about the app store stuff

00:01:52   like that like separating those out so

00:01:54   that their companies appear to be more

00:01:57   professional you know kind of more like

00:01:59   other big companies do where you tend to

00:02:02   have like this kind of corporate almost

00:02:05   non voice like it's not it's kind of a

00:02:07   void of personality like there's not

00:02:10   you're not like the the personality of

00:02:12   an individual you're

00:02:13   projecting the image of like a serious

00:02:15   company and I think it's worth

00:02:18   discussing kind of the pros and cons of

00:02:20   that decision of that kind of approach

00:02:22   of like whether whether you should be

00:02:24   you know if you're an indie developer or

00:02:27   like us like whether you should just

00:02:28   kind of own that and and show

00:02:30   personality in your apps and just use

00:02:32   the pronoun I instead of we and things

00:02:34   like that or whether you should appeal

00:02:36   appeal to people's more conservative

00:02:39   sides and and appear to be this this

00:02:42   bigger company yeah what have you found

00:02:44   in this game this regard David so when I

00:02:46   first started doing development price

00:02:49   set like seven ish years ago like as an

00:02:52   independent I remember going through

00:02:54   this and trying to decide well how I

00:02:55   wanted to do it I think in the early

00:02:56   days of my business I would always use

00:02:59   like you always talk about it's like we

00:03:00   do this we do that to try and appear big

00:03:02   like refer to the company like almost

00:03:04   like as its own it like as a third

00:03:06   person and this these types of things

00:03:09   and I think I was doing that week almost

00:03:11   like to avoid like the imposter syndrome

00:03:13   kind of stuff where it's like I wanted

00:03:15   to hate to feel like I was a real

00:03:17   company not just a guy but I think

00:03:20   recently I've very strongly gone in the

00:03:22   other direction with that and more and

00:03:25   more I do everything and make it quite

00:03:28   clear that it's like I'm a person I'm an

00:03:31   individual who makes an app like most of

00:03:33   my apps websites are now like hosted off

00:03:36   my own personal site you know David -

00:03:37   myths org is like where people would go

00:03:39   to find my apps like that's linked to

00:03:41   and is shown in the app store

00:03:44   description for my app in some of my

00:03:46   apps even like I'll have little notes

00:03:47   that say like you know this app was made

00:03:49   by David Smith a independent developer

00:03:52   and herndon like thank you for

00:03:54   supporting it or those types of comes

00:03:56   like I'm trying to make it very clear

00:03:58   that's where I went and for me I

00:04:01   switched around

00:04:02   mostly because I made peace with the

00:04:05   fact that my goal is not to be a big

00:04:08   company my goal is not to ever grow

00:04:11   because like there's something to be

00:04:13   said maybe for like faking it until you

00:04:15   make it like if your goal is to be a big

00:04:17   company to have lots of employees to

00:04:19   have a big presence and so on to like

00:04:22   say okay I'm going to pretend like I'm

00:04:24   one of those because that's what my goal

00:04:26   is

00:04:27   to become but once I just really made

00:04:30   peace with the fact that was not my goal

00:04:32   I wasn't like faking until I make it

00:04:33   like I'd already made it I'm the one

00:04:35   person shop that I kind of like being I

00:04:38   was like then it's just kind of like

00:04:40   silly pretense to do and in many ways it

00:04:43   really it I was losing some of the

00:04:45   opportunities that I could probably

00:04:47   otherwise get by appealing to people

00:04:49   more personally like it's it's a funny

00:04:52   thing like you'll get a customer service

00:04:53   response to somebody and they're kind of

00:04:55   really mean and belligerent and kind of

00:04:57   grumpy at you and you ruin you respond

00:05:00   personally like in a more kind of like

00:05:02   it's like hi this is like I don't know

00:05:03   what you're expecting like I'm a person

00:05:05   very often I'll get the like they just

00:05:08   sort of calmed down like oh I'm so sorry

00:05:10   like I'm used to yelling at customer

00:05:11   service representatives of big faceless

00:05:13   corporations but it feels a little bit

00:05:16   more awkward when they're just like

00:05:18   yelling at you know yelling at a person

00:05:19   and so I'm sorry I found I get a lot of

00:05:21   benefit from just saying like hey I'm

00:05:23   one person and you know people like that

00:05:25   it seems yeah I mean because III think

00:05:28   like if you if you act like a big

00:05:32   company people will treat you like a big

00:05:34   company exactly and and that there are

00:05:37   there are pros and cons to that like you

00:05:39   know Charles Perry's Metta tax software

00:05:41   for tax preparers like if you're if

00:05:44   you're appealing to a more like a more

00:05:47   narrow professional market like that and

00:05:49   charging I think he charms like a

00:05:50   hundred bucks for something like that

00:05:51   you know that's this is like you know

00:05:54   pro software at a decent price you know

00:05:57   this is not consumer level stuff in that

00:06:00   kind of context I think showing the

00:06:03   personality of like being one person you

00:06:06   know and we'll get into like kind of

00:06:08   like personality and attitude also in a

00:06:10   bit which i think is also part of this

00:06:11   but being like the the hi I'm going to

00:06:13   dependent person kind of thing in that

00:06:15   kind of context could be a downside you

00:06:17   kind of like it maybe those buyers might

00:06:19   want the appearance of a big serious

00:06:21   company like the or that just might be

00:06:22   the norm in that field but when you're

00:06:25   doing something like what you and I do

00:06:26   which is consumer apps where you know

00:06:29   you like you you know we have apps that

00:06:31   are not going to be bought for a hundred

00:06:33   dollars by professionals getting their

00:06:36   job done we have apps that people buy

00:06:37   because like kind of for fun or for

00:06:39   entertainment or

00:06:40   for for you know more more mass-market

00:06:44   casual use and I feel like in that area

00:06:49   there is not much of an upside to

00:06:52   appearing to be a big company whereas

00:06:55   you know so there are areas where that

00:06:56   is an upside you know like like Charles

00:06:58   uh like meta tax there but but I don't

00:07:00   think that the kind of apps that we do

00:07:02   are those areas so again is this is one

00:07:05   of those things where the answer is it

00:07:07   depends and and different things work

00:07:09   for different people but I think it's

00:07:11   important to recognize where your target

00:07:14   market really is what kind of accurately

00:07:16   making and what people think of you and

00:07:18   what people want to think of you before

00:07:21   you decide kind of which of these

00:07:22   approaches to take because like like you

00:07:24   know what I do an overcast is also it's

00:07:27   completely the I'm one person approach

00:07:30   in in like the support page and

00:07:32   everything it in order to try to defuse

00:07:34   people's anger into what they perceive

00:07:37   as like some kind of chatbot for a big

00:07:39   company that will never get read because

00:07:41   they're angry at most big companies

00:07:42   because most big companies don't help

00:07:44   them right in my feedback form in the

00:07:47   app I say hi I'm one person and before

00:07:51   they can even get the email address

00:07:53   there's a there's this like two sentence

00:07:54   thing up top the debate basically says

00:07:56   that I I'm just one person and also I

00:08:00   don't have time to respond to most

00:08:01   emails and so that immediately diffuses

00:08:04   a lot of anger they might have towards

00:08:07   like I can't get this to work your

00:08:09   company sucks and and I really don't get

00:08:12   a lot of those emails like I even with

00:08:14   Instapaper I got way more because I was

00:08:15   I was less heavy handed with instapaper

00:08:17   about about the kind of like I'm one

00:08:19   person approach with overcast I went

00:08:21   very heavy-handed on that and the emails

00:08:24   I get are generally extremely civil

00:08:26   extremely nice I hardly ever get you

00:08:29   know anger at all and also because I say

00:08:33   right there in the feedback form I don't

00:08:35   have time to respond to most emails I'm

00:08:36   sorry that sets expectations for support

00:08:40   also because you know a lot of people

00:08:41   you know if if they think you're a big

00:08:43   company they're going to expect maybe

00:08:45   not helpful support but they will expect

00:08:49   fast support responses and because you

00:08:52   know that because that's what most big

00:08:53   companies you can

00:08:54   you can contact them and you can get

00:08:56   support of some kind and it might not be

00:08:58   very helpful but you will get a person

00:09:01   who responds to you soon and if they

00:09:04   don't get that and they think you're big

00:09:05   company they get mad if you're a small

00:09:09   if you're one person and you say I'm one

00:09:11   person and also sorry I can't really

00:09:14   respond to you most of the time and then

00:09:16   you don't respond to them I feel like

00:09:18   that's that actually leaves them feeling

00:09:20   Lessing then then if they if they go if

00:09:24   they think you're a big company and they

00:09:26   email you and they don't get a response

00:09:28   have you have you I mean I know you

00:09:30   actually do support cuz you're a good

00:09:31   person but I mean I think there's

00:09:34   something to that for sure like it

00:09:36   there's a bigger person know there's

00:09:39   something to be said for setting

00:09:41   expectations appropriately for what

00:09:44   you're trying to like like project and I

00:09:48   mean I remember I've heard people the

00:09:50   funny thing alpha-1 sometimes get it

00:09:51   when people who ask me like what's my

00:09:52   support phone number and like it's like

00:09:56   you know which is like a reasonable in

00:09:57   some ways a reasonable a reasonable

00:09:58   question like if you were a big company

00:10:01   like if I was a big software company

00:10:03   like I would imagine I can call someone

00:10:06   at Microsoft to get support like I'm

00:10:08   sure there's no hundred number maybe I

00:10:09   mean I wouldn't surprise me but they're

00:10:12   like I don't think like but you know

00:10:14   what are you gonna call like they're

00:10:15   gonna like call my own phone number like

00:10:17   like where is how is that gonna work

00:10:19   it's like it's trying to set

00:10:21   expectations because maybe like at its

00:10:24   core so much of this it's just about

00:10:25   like honesty maybe it's like it's like

00:10:28   this is who I am this is what we're like

00:10:30   what I'm the level of support I provide

00:10:33   this is the types of apps I do and I'm

00:10:35   just like being transparent about that

00:10:36   and so like with support when I say like

00:10:39   it's like you can email sometimes I mean

00:10:41   I have I hire someone who does a lot of

00:10:43   deals like the front level of support

00:10:45   for me so that my response or like the

00:10:47   response time is pretty good in that

00:10:48   regard but every now and then like I'll

00:10:50   get people who email me directly just

00:10:52   like they find my contact information or

00:10:53   though you know sent that reply me on

00:10:56   Twitter or something like that and I'm

00:10:58   less responsive there but I don't I

00:11:00   haven't gotten a lot of negativity

00:11:02   around that because I think they know

00:11:04   what they're doing like they're they

00:11:05   know that they're contacting me as the

00:11:07   person

00:11:08   not me as the company or not like you

00:11:11   know they're not contacting pedometer

00:11:12   plus plus they're contacting David Smith

00:11:14   and the expectations I think you have

00:11:17   for when you like sort of out of the

00:11:19   cold email somebody is are very

00:11:22   different than if you're just for when

00:11:23   you're you know feel like you're

00:11:24   responding to a company especially a

00:11:26   company that you've paid a lot of money

00:11:27   to and so just trying to be honest and

00:11:30   transparent about that I think is a

00:11:31   really helpful thing

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00:12:48   the show

00:12:49   so moving on a little bit from like

00:12:52   whether you want to appear as a company

00:12:53   versus an individual i I wanted to

00:12:57   mention kind of personality of an app

00:12:59   and whether your app should kind of like

00:13:02   even just in things like the copy that

00:13:04   you have in the app the the wording for

00:13:06   things the micro copy the help text the

00:13:09   even even like the major features of the

00:13:11   app or the the branding of at the name

00:13:14   the icon every like in all aspects of

00:13:16   the app whether whether you want it to

00:13:19   have a a personality a strong

00:13:22   personality or a kind of more neutral

00:13:25   theme and voice and I think there's a

00:13:28   lot to be said for both sides of this

00:13:31   the the the more neutral voice it would

00:13:34   should be kind of like the default kind

00:13:36   of the the corporate voice /no voice

00:13:40   depending on how you look at it that I I

00:13:43   think is the safe choice it's the

00:13:44   easiest choice so it's easy to have a

00:13:47   neutral personality because if you look

00:13:50   at like Apple's apps Apple's apps all

00:13:52   have an initial personality if you look

00:13:54   at other platforms windows Google like

00:13:56   you all these things they have neutral

00:13:58   personalities at the system level and

00:14:00   the reason they have neutral

00:14:02   personalities is because they don't want

00:14:04   to alienate people because as soon as

00:14:06   you add any personality to it to to the

00:14:09   app or or to the system or anything like

00:14:11   that

00:14:11   you do run the risk that that's not

00:14:15   going to work well for some people that

00:14:17   some people are are maybe not gonna get

00:14:20   it or they're gonna be confused like

00:14:21   wait why is that kind of appearing like

00:14:24   smart at me like like they're they're

00:14:27   they're gonna they're not gonna like it

00:14:29   it's gonna rub them the wrong way it's

00:14:31   very hard to create a personality that

00:14:34   spans across all cultures all ages all

00:14:38   languages in a way that that nobody is

00:14:41   really offended and at big companies

00:14:43   like Microsoft and Apple and Google they

00:14:46   have to consider that because they serve

00:14:48   the entire world and and if they if they

00:14:51   have something that is slightly rubbing

00:14:53   somebody the wrong way that could mean

00:14:55   like millions of people don't buy it or

00:14:57   think worse of it or something and and

00:14:59   so it makes a lot of sense if you're a

00:15:02   really big company like that to to

00:15:04   basically not have personality in your

00:15:06   apps or to have very very little of it

00:15:08   and I think a lot of people look at

00:15:12   those big companies and they say well I

00:15:14   want my app to appear to be as good as

00:15:16   theirs and so therefore the right

00:15:18   approach for me is also to have this

00:15:20   kind of neutral personality and to not

00:15:22   put much you know voice or flair in in

00:15:26   the app and I think again this is one of

00:15:29   those things where it depends on the

00:15:31   business I you know if you look at again

00:15:33   picking charles's meta tax is great

00:15:35   example I bet the world of tax

00:15:37   preparation does not really want their

00:15:40   tax reference app to be making jokes at

00:15:42   them like that would just rub them the

00:15:44   wrong way it would make it look a mature

00:15:47   issue it would it would make them feel

00:15:48   like wait a minute what did I could

00:15:50   spend $100 on this is supposed to be a

00:15:52   serious reference tool and I need to

00:15:54   know it's serious because I'm doing

00:15:55   serious work with it at the same time

00:15:58   though if you look at other apps

00:16:01   especially and I said like consumer

00:16:02   absolute like what we make I think a

00:16:04   really great example of this is carrot

00:16:06   weather I was gonna say the same thing

00:16:08   yep

00:16:09   it is the extreme archetype for the

00:16:12   strong personality in an application

00:16:14   like it makes a point of insulting you

00:16:18   on a regular basis or at least making

00:16:21   odd comments and like it's as though the

00:16:24   app was made by this kind of crazy robot

00:16:26   or I don't even know or AI am not sure

00:16:29   what it's exactly the posed to be clear

00:16:31   this crazy weather thing that you know

00:16:34   has a strong personality and you love it

00:16:37   or you hate it like it's it's very

00:16:38   unlikely to be kind of like yeah I feel

00:16:41   neutral about this we know weather

00:16:43   overlord that's you know making jokes

00:16:45   about me yeah but like so-so carrot

00:16:48   weather is you know it's a weather app

00:16:50   like there are a billion weather apps

00:16:52   and they are differentiated by in part

00:16:55   this incredibly strong polarizing

00:16:59   personality they've added to that app

00:17:00   and it kind of makes sense it works for

00:17:03   them because a you know most people

00:17:06   don't need their weather app to be a

00:17:08   hundred percent serious all the time and

00:17:10   there are enough people looking for

00:17:12   weather apps that you you can have a

00:17:15   polarizing personality like that in your

00:17:18   weather app and even if you a lien eight

00:17:20   ninety percent of people out there you

00:17:23   can still make a really good business

00:17:25   out of their remaining ten percent and

00:17:26   you can look at that and you can say

00:17:28   well that's bad business you know why

00:17:30   why don't you make an app that appeals

00:17:31   to more people and then you can do

00:17:33   better and and of course it isn't

00:17:35   actually that simple in reality you know

00:17:36   in reality we have all these complicated

00:17:38   factors and contributing factors in the

00:17:40   case of something like this like in iOS

00:17:42   consumer apps having some personality

00:17:45   like that while it will lose you some

00:17:46   people for sure and in carrot where

00:17:48   those case I

00:17:49   use carrot weather because I don't like

00:17:51   that personally I find it a little bit

00:17:54   much so I don't use it but I know a lot

00:17:56   of people who do use it and who enjoy it

00:17:57   a lot and the reason I know about it is

00:17:59   because a I saw it once and it made an

00:18:03   impression and I remembered it which is

00:18:06   something you can't say about things

00:18:07   that have a neutral voice they usually

00:18:08   don't do that so I remember it made an

00:18:10   impression and B it got a lot of press

00:18:14   because it was noteworthy it was

00:18:16   different it there are so many weather

00:18:19   apps out there and it's very hard for

00:18:22   any of them to stand out in any way to

00:18:24   get press or to big get remembered by

00:18:26   people who aren't using them every day

00:18:27   and this one did it got press it gets

00:18:30   remembered it has like you know about

00:18:33   you and I have never talked about that

00:18:34   before I had no idea that you had used

00:18:36   it but now I know because like you know

00:18:38   we we this app has made a splash for

00:18:41   itself and has its own brand and

00:18:44   personality that are established now

00:18:45   that people know that people remember

00:18:47   and and it stands out from the pack

00:18:48   because it has personality so adding

00:18:51   personality to an app and the stronger

00:18:53   you do it the more stream this is adding

00:18:55   personality to an app is a risk but it's

00:18:58   a risk that might be worth it for the

00:19:00   payoff and it's you know it's really up

00:19:03   to you and and up to the market of the

00:19:05   app whether that's a risk worth taking

00:19:07   and how far you want to take it you know

00:19:09   in their case you know as it like for me

00:19:11   they took it too far

00:19:12   but they're obviously doing well with

00:19:14   everybody else so and you know III have

00:19:17   a different app I use anyway so it's

00:19:18   fine it's like and you know and and in

00:19:21   overcast

00:19:22   I have personality and there are two I

00:19:23   don't do it is I don't do it to the

00:19:24   extent that they do I kind of my

00:19:27   personality is more like a little bit of

00:19:28   accent here and there like some of the

00:19:29   microcopy around certain things and

00:19:31   everything but it's not like it's not

00:19:33   that heavy handed and because for me I

00:19:36   thought that was the right balance

00:19:37   because I want overcast to be semi

00:19:39   mass-market but I also know that I need

00:19:42   to stand out because there's already a

00:19:44   mass-market podcasts app on the phone

00:19:45   called podcast that's always there and

00:19:48   heavily promoted and heavily indicated

00:19:49   by everything so you know I knew that I

00:19:52   wasn't going to win the battle with no

00:19:54   personality but I also I didn't want to

00:19:57   give so much personality that it turned

00:19:59   off a big section of the audience so

00:20:01   it's always it's a bow

00:20:03   you have to strike and I think it's it's

00:20:06   it's part of your overall design and

00:20:08   branding of the entire app you know you

00:20:10   should be considering this with any

00:20:12   design decision Kyle you know a lot of

00:20:14   you know even in overcast being this

00:20:17   this app with this kind of like bright

00:20:19   orange and white color theme like that's

00:20:21   also part of the personality of the app

00:20:23   it's like I'm not gonna just pick you

00:20:25   know blue like everybody else everybody

00:20:27   picks blue no offense everything

00:20:29   everybody picks blue and the reason

00:20:31   everybody picks blue is goes back to

00:20:32   what I said earlier about Microsoft and

00:20:34   Apple that it's it's very hard to pick

00:20:36   colors that don't offend or have

00:20:40   negative connotations to some culture

00:20:42   somewhere and one of the reasons why all

00:20:44   your icons in your computer are blue is

00:20:46   because blue is is like probably the one

00:20:49   of the most neutral but appealing colors

00:20:51   that exists that can be the same around

00:20:54   the whole world and not really offend

00:20:56   anybody where if you pick like red then

00:20:58   you know red might mean unlucky in

00:21:00   country X Y or Z or you know something

00:21:02   like that it's like there's there are

00:21:04   always these these cultural baggages on

00:21:06   all the on all design and color and

00:21:08   personality choices that you have to

00:21:09   kind of walk around if you're a giant

00:21:10   company but as a smaller company as we

00:21:13   as we've been talking about as a smaller

00:21:14   company we have the freedom to to not do

00:21:17   that we have the freedom to to to be a

00:21:20   little bit polarizing for the benefit of

00:21:24   having people notice us and remember us

00:21:27   and maybe get some press and maybe get

00:21:29   some some people who who resonates with

00:21:32   ya because I think at its core I mean

00:21:34   there's the marketing aspect of like you

00:21:36   need to have something if you will

00:21:39   ideally your app it's probably gonna

00:21:41   have some sense of like word-of-mouth

00:21:43   advertising to it there's gonna be some

00:21:45   aspect to it that like you someone likes

00:21:47   the app and they're gonna show someone

00:21:49   else and there is a you have to have

00:21:52   something distinctive about your

00:21:54   application for that really to catch on

00:21:57   and to work and like that

00:21:59   distinctiveness could it be something

00:22:01   more like fundamental like it's just

00:22:04   really good its Reno it's just really

00:22:06   solidly constructed but like that's a

00:22:08   harder thing to get to such a degree

00:22:11   that someone's going to be like wow let

00:22:13   me show you this app that you know like

00:22:14   all the way it always renders that 60

00:22:16   frames a second

00:22:17   and sinks really quickly like that's

00:22:19   unlikely to be something that is a hook

00:22:21   that is like something that really grabs

00:22:23   someone's you know imagination and makes

00:22:25   them want to tell people about it and so

00:22:28   when you do something like this when

00:22:29   you're talking when you're thinking

00:22:30   about your application and you give it a

00:22:32   give it a stronger personality or you

00:22:34   have lots of little touches that maybe

00:22:37   are a bit more Arthur are less safe

00:22:41   you're giving yourself the opportunity

00:22:43   to have more of those hooks to have more

00:22:46   of those things that the press will

00:22:47   latch onto that people your customers

00:22:50   will latch onto and be like show other

00:22:51   people you're like I'm thinking about

00:22:52   like an overcast at the bottom of your

00:22:54   settings screen where it tells you how

00:22:55   much time you've saved with smart speed

00:22:57   it's like it's a little touch that in is

00:23:01   a great opportunity for someone to share

00:23:04   the application with someone else even

00:23:06   if you add these little things into it

00:23:09   you're trying to give it a little bit

00:23:10   more you know like personality or like

00:23:14   non neutral non neutrality maybe even is

00:23:17   a better way to say it like you give

00:23:19   yourself the opportunity and being a

00:23:21   small company like I like that I'm I

00:23:24   feel fine doing those because I don't

00:23:26   it's not like I have to go before some

00:23:28   kind of committee to be like is this an

00:23:30   accept like is this silliness okay like

00:23:32   there's not like the Ministry of

00:23:34   silliness that I have to go to and say

00:23:35   I'd like to have this little silly this

00:23:37   little silly touch to the application is

00:23:39   that okay I would love to see like a

00:23:41   conference room at Apple and on the

00:23:44   front of the door in like sterile bland

00:23:46   San Francisco Texas stenciled Ministry

00:23:49   of silliness yeah but it's sure though

00:23:53   like I imagine in some ways there is

00:23:54   that that those voices in bigger

00:23:56   companies that look at something and be

00:23:58   like no that's that's not like that

00:24:01   maybe that people could take that the

00:24:02   wrong way or maybe that's not do you

00:24:05   know like oh that doesn't fit with our

00:24:06   corporate brand or a feel I mean or even

00:24:08   like I think about like in pedometer

00:24:10   plus plus I had a little thing it when

00:24:12   you hit your goal confetti falls from

00:24:14   the top of the screen which is a little

00:24:16   bit of tight a little bit of personality

00:24:18   a little bit of sleight of silliness

00:24:19   that is probably the one with it's

00:24:23   probably only a slight exaggeration to

00:24:25   say like that feature is one of the

00:24:27   biggest reasons the app has been

00:24:28   successful

00:24:29   because people love it like they like

00:24:32   that feeling of getting their goal and

00:24:34   getting confetti and it's an it doesn't

00:24:36   have to be there the app doesn't need is

00:24:38   something like that but putting it there

00:24:41   by making it a little bit more fun a

00:24:43   little bit more a little bit more silly

00:24:44   I people it endears itself to people and

00:24:48   like I like that I can take advantage of

00:24:50   that and you know have you give people

00:24:53   that fun of like hey check this out I

00:24:54   just got my goal and you know confetti

00:24:56   is falling from the sky yeah it seems

00:24:59   like like maybe like the more

00:25:01   commoditized a market is and like the

00:25:04   harder it is to stand out otherwise like

00:25:06   I mean you would know better than

00:25:07   anybody else how many other pedometer

00:25:08   apps are there on the store it's

00:25:10   probably not a small number no it isn't

00:25:12   anymore but yeah I mean when you

00:25:14   launched it was a smaller perk as you

00:25:15   launch like the second you possibly

00:25:17   could but yeah it's not a small number

00:25:18   now and so stuff like that will help you

00:25:21   stand out now because you know it's it's

00:25:24   it's a large market of mostly

00:25:26   undifferentiated apps anything you can

00:25:28   do to differentiate yourself and to give

00:25:30   people a little bit of that little

00:25:31   niceness a little delight little moments

00:25:34   of delight that that is that helps you

00:25:36   stand out and you know in in like

00:25:38   business-wise you can you know this

00:25:40   could integrate into your business model

00:25:41   as well like you know if you look at an

00:25:43   app let's let's say like one of those

00:25:45   like hipster camera apps if they limit

00:25:47   the amount of shots you can take and

00:25:50   it's like like what didn't have some

00:25:51   dismantle it's like you can like you

00:25:54   like paper shot like an old Polaroid

00:25:55   it's like an old film camera like like

00:25:58   oh you get you could buy a roll of film

00:25:59   or whatever that's part of their

00:26:02   business model and people hated it but

00:26:04   they talked about it and it worked you

00:26:05   know in in a more I guess positive way

00:26:09   you know in an overcast the the whole

00:26:11   patronage model patronage works because

00:26:15   from day one I've been giving the app

00:26:18   the voice and personality of one person

00:26:21   like not a big company one person so

00:26:24   when I say hey please give me money if

00:26:26   you feel like it that means a lot more

00:26:29   than if it was a bland voiced company

00:26:32   saying that I I think it would be less

00:26:35   successful you know but at the same time

00:26:37   it's a risk is like you know some people

00:26:38   just think I'm a jerk and won't give me

00:26:40   any money but you know it's

00:26:42   think overall I think I found a decent

00:26:44   balance there and and i think i think

00:26:46   many apps could benefit from finding

00:26:49   that kind of balance because as you said

00:26:51   earlier this is something that the big

00:26:53   companies they won't do because their

00:26:56   Ministry of silliness will reject it all

00:26:57   like do something if you want to stand

00:27:00   out from the big companies do something

00:27:02   they will never do because then they

00:27:05   can't Sherlock you they like they can't

00:27:07   put you out of business through that way

00:27:08   like they that it's a way you will be

00:27:10   able to stand out and one way you can

00:27:12   always stand out as an indie is with

00:27:14   personality because the big companies

00:27:16   will never do it and it's I think in

00:27:18   many ways like it's the great thing of

00:27:20   it's the hardest thing for someone else

00:27:22   to copy oh yeah like if I'm if I imbue

00:27:27   my applications with my own personality

00:27:29   like you know like my sense of humor the

00:27:31   way I the way I see the world someone

00:27:33   else may be able to come along and copy

00:27:35   my features they may be able to copy my

00:27:38   UI but those little touches are going to

00:27:41   be very hard for them to copy for them

00:27:43   to copy and so if my features start

00:27:46   showing up in other applications like

00:27:49   okay that the features there but it's

00:27:51   not gonna feel the same as when

00:27:53   someone's using that feature inside of

00:27:55   my application because the reason it was

00:27:57   there and the way that like it loses the

00:27:59   context around it that made it

00:28:02   distinctive and like in the crowded kind

00:28:04   of insane marketplace that is the App

00:28:06   Store like makings doing anything that

00:28:09   is hard to be copied can only probably

00:28:11   be a good thing yeah and other

00:28:13   industries learn this lesson long ago

00:28:14   like this this is how the fashion

00:28:16   industry works big time like it's so

00:28:18   much based on reputation and and like

00:28:20   long term branding and personality and

00:28:22   everything I'm like what does this brand

00:28:23   mean we know what do they stand for and

00:28:25   someone else can make the same shirt

00:28:27   that's cost less the people will buy

00:28:29   your shirt because they like you know

00:28:31   the horse and your ads or whatever so

00:28:32   it's like we have a lot to learn from

00:28:34   other industries about this as well but

00:28:36   you know software doesn't it doesn't all

00:28:38   have to be safely blandly voiced it can

00:28:43   be and there's many instances where that

00:28:45   is the right choice but not all exactly

00:28:48   and I think ultimately you just have to

00:28:50   make sure the it's the most important

00:28:51   thing like the biggest takeaway

00:28:52   hopefully from today's show is this is

00:28:54   something that's important to be a

00:28:56   conscious

00:28:56   choice that it's something that you if

00:28:59   you view and whenever you sit down to

00:29:00   make software you have to decide like

00:29:02   where are you on the spectrum what are

00:29:03   your goals what are you trying to

00:29:05   ultimately do with this piece of

00:29:06   software and then you'll have to align

00:29:09   that with the way you build it how much

00:29:11   personality you put into your

00:29:12   application how big you appear how fancy

00:29:15   you appear how much silliness you allow

00:29:17   and as long as it's a conscious choice

00:29:20   you're probably doing you know in a good

00:29:22   place because you're able to have it be

00:29:24   consistent and then impactful for your

00:29:27   customers exactly alright well we're out

00:29:29   of time for this week and there's a good

00:29:31   discussion so thank you very much for

00:29:32   listening everybody they took on for

00:29:34   sponsoring thanks to release notes for

00:29:36   being good go listen to that show you

00:29:38   should be subscribing to it and we'll

00:29:40   talk to you next week