Under the Radar

202: The Calm After The Storm


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar, a show about independent iOS app development.

00:00:04   I'm Marc Arment.

00:00:05   And I'm David Smith.

00:00:06   Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes, so let's get started.

00:00:10   So, the iPhone event was yesterday for the iPhone 12 series,

00:00:14   and we're actually not going to really talk about that this week much,

00:00:18   because as far as we can tell, there's not much for developers to really do about it.

00:00:23   The screen sizes are different, but it's a little hard to exactly tell how and why

00:00:28   and what they'll feel like, and they don't seem that different.

00:00:30   So it seems like for developers, there's not much to do yet until we can get these phones in our hands,

00:00:35   and even then, maybe not much.

00:00:37   So, instead of talking about that, we're going to keep talking about WidgetSmith,

00:00:41   because personally, last week, or two weeks ago when we first talked about WidgetSmith

00:00:45   and its massive explosion in the App Store, you know, we only had time for 30 minutes of talking about it,

00:00:50   and it was still very fresh and new.

00:00:52   So I want to hear, Dave, if you're willing to share with the audience,

00:00:56   I want to hear just more about WidgetSmith, how it's going, how it's different now from how it was two weeks ago,

00:01:02   and maybe how you see it going forward from here, now that things have presumably calmed down a little bit.

00:01:09   I mean, I guess let's start with that. Have they calmed down a little bit?

00:01:12   And I would say yes, they have.

00:01:14   They're certainly not to the degree where, you know, there was a period of time

00:01:17   when everything was sort of absurdly fast-paced in terms of the number of downloads,

00:01:24   the number of support requests, the number of places it was being sort of mentioned in the media,

00:01:29   or whatever that might be. Like, there was a period where I couldn't keep track of it,

00:01:33   and it was just like, honestly, that period of time is a bit of a blur at this point.

00:01:36   Like, there was a couple weeks where it was just too much.

00:01:40   And while it's not like, oh, I wanted to, you know, I was looking forward to when it died down,

00:01:46   you know, it's nice when you're the number one app in the App Store.

00:01:49   That was, I certainly appreciated that.

00:01:51   But yeah, I did not expect that to last forever, and it certainly didn't.

00:01:55   It lasted a long time, though.

00:01:57   I mean, right now, like, so I just checked, like, right now you're number eight on my U.S. chart,

00:02:03   you're number eight free app.

00:02:05   And so you've been defeated by some little company called Facebook,

00:02:09   and you're still ahead of some other pretty big company called Snapchat.

00:02:13   So you're still doing pretty well.

00:02:16   Yeah, oh, sure. And I'm not complaining. It's just sort of some context where it's like,

00:02:20   it was the number one app for, I think it was about two and a half weeks, just shy of three weeks.

00:02:26   It was the number two app for about a week after that,

00:02:29   and then now it seems to sort of be hanging out in the top ten.

00:02:32   And on the download side, sort of, obviously, because I can't control when, like,

00:02:37   Zoom has a big surge in downloads because some, you know, school district requires everyone to download it

00:02:42   or something like that.

00:02:44   But on the download side, things are now sort of,

00:02:47   it reminds me of many of the early days of the App Store where this was such the classic curve,

00:02:51   is you have this giant spike, and then you have this kind of, like, decay graph

00:02:56   where it's asymptotically approaching some number,

00:02:59   and then you kind of end up into a steady state.

00:03:01   And I had no concept for this app of, like, where that steady state was going to be,

00:03:06   but it seems like I found it.

00:03:07   Like, it seems like, you know, my day-to-day downloads now are relatively stable,

00:03:12   are relatively consistent, and that's sort of a nice feeling.

00:03:17   It's like I have a sense of, I don't know if this is the bottom of this app

00:03:21   in terms of where it's going to be long term,

00:03:23   but it seems certainly that I'm in a place that it's, sort of,

00:03:27   they would say in the stock market it's found resistance or something.

00:03:30   Like, there's a period, like, this seems to be about the kind of daily downloads

00:03:34   and the daily support requests and the daily whatever that I can kind of plan for

00:03:38   and expect going forward.

00:03:40   And it certainly is landing at a very nice place, you know, number eight in the app stores.

00:03:44   It's a wonderful place to be.

00:03:47   And so that seems nice, and I think it's helpful for me to be now,

00:03:51   as I'm starting to, like, move forward and to be actually not in, like, scramble panic mode,

00:03:57   but instead to be able to start, you know, actually treating this like just one of my normal apps

00:04:03   where I'm working on the next update.

00:04:05   Right now I'm working on version 1.1 of Widget Smith,

00:04:09   and it's like that's expected that will probably come out in about a week or so.

00:04:13   And it's just I'm not in that sort of the frantic mode anymore

00:04:17   because things have kind of settled down.

00:04:19   They're still doing very well, but it's settled into a place that feels dependable.

00:04:23   And I think the only thing that I'm kind of a little bit having anxiety around

00:04:28   from sort of where things are perspective is as we're recording,

00:04:32   it's probably about three or four days before all of the subscriptions

00:04:36   for the initial wave of subscribers to the app.

00:04:40   Those monthly subscribers are going to start coming due,

00:04:44   and I'm very curious to see what that looks like

00:04:49   in terms of how many of these people are going to sustain their subscription

00:04:52   or going to keep their subscription.

00:04:55   After they get charged it, are they going to cancel?

00:04:59   Are they already canceled and it's not going to renew?

00:05:01   Like, I'm very curious to see that because, you know, while at this point

00:05:05   I know it sort of seems like the download side has flattened out

00:05:08   and is sort of in a stable place, I really realistically can't say

00:05:12   that my subscriber base and the business side of the app is stable

00:05:17   until at least I've had like two months or, you know,

00:05:20   sort of two different charges on the monthly side.

00:05:24   And then once I have a sense of how the monthlies go,

00:05:26   I can probably also then start to forecast how the annual subscriptions

00:05:29   might go a year from now.

00:05:32   So that's sort of where things are with me,

00:05:34   and I think I'm very intrigued to see what happens in the next week

00:05:37   with sort of subscriptions, but I mean, the reality is

00:05:41   even if sort of the subscription renewal rate isn't that great,

00:05:45   the new subscriber rate is still reasonable enough,

00:05:48   that I mean, everything is still sort of great and wonderful in that way,

00:05:51   but it's certainly interesting for me to kind of wrap my head around

00:05:55   what this actually is going to look like going forward, you know,

00:05:58   when I'm not thinking about things on a day-to-day basis,

00:06:00   but on a month-to-month or a year-to-year basis going forward.

00:06:03   Yeah, because you don't really know where that baseline is until you reach it, you know?

00:06:06   Yeah.

00:06:07   I think it's interesting, I mean, you know,

00:06:09   something to point out about your current status, too.

00:06:12   It's like if this is your baseline, number eight in the App Store,

00:06:17   just for reference, that little company, SnapChat, that you're beating,

00:06:21   they are worth $40 billion right now.

00:06:24   Okay, sure.

00:06:26   So just for reference, and I think it's also worth noticing that

00:06:30   you didn't fall from number one because you've been beaten by other widget apps.

00:06:35   Other widget apps are actually way lower down the list.

00:06:37   Like I see right now Color Widgets as number 38 and you're number eight,

00:06:40   and there's no other widget app in the middle there that I spotted.

00:06:43   And so it's interesting that it's not that you're being beaten by a competitor,

00:06:48   it's that the spike of the market that you're in that you're on top of,

00:06:52   that whole market is having its peak and now coming down to its baseline.

00:06:56   Yeah, and I think that certainly seems to be the case.

00:07:00   And I think I originally had a fear that there was going to be

00:07:04   a tremendous amount of competition coming into this market.

00:07:07   And I haven't seen that very much yet, which is interesting because,

00:07:13   I don't know if it hasn't happened yet,

00:07:16   that there are teams and teams of developers all over the world

00:07:20   trying to make widget apps right now that are going to try and swoop in

00:07:23   and sort of surpass Widgetsmith.

00:07:26   And that may be the case, but I'm surprised that about a month into this,

00:07:31   I haven't seen any of that.

00:07:33   And there have been lots of other widget apps,

00:07:35   and some of them I think are amazing.

00:07:37   Like I love Scriptable, this amazing app that lets you make totally--

00:07:42   I talk about Widgetsmith is custom widgets.

00:07:45   Scriptable, which is also made by an indie developer,

00:07:49   is the extreme version of that,

00:07:51   where you're actually programming widgets with JavaScript,

00:07:54   and you can do anything you want.

00:07:56   That's awesome, and I love that.

00:07:57   And from a competition perspective, I think that feels good,

00:08:01   that there's going to be those other apps.

00:08:02   But it doesn't seem like yet that there's some big VC-backed company

00:08:07   that's going to come in and just spend millions of dollars on search ads

00:08:11   so that they can kind of buy the market or something out from under me.

00:08:14   And that just doesn't seem to be the case.

00:08:16   And it seems like Widgetsmith still has the mind share

00:08:21   in terms of it's the leader in the industry for this particular kind of thing.

00:08:26   So yeah, it is kind of cool that that didn't collapse

00:08:31   in a way that I really, if I'm honest, I kind of expected it to.

00:08:35   That at some point it would be like,

00:08:36   "Oh, once the idea was out in the world and people knew what it was,

00:08:39   that there would just be this sudden--"

00:08:41   Because what I'm doing is not technically prohibitive

00:08:46   for someone to reproduce.

00:08:48   While I had some advantages because I'd done a lot of this work before,

00:08:51   it's not the kind of thing that I think--

00:08:53   There's some novel algorithm that I'm using here

00:08:57   that would be hard for someone to recreate.

00:08:59   Most of what I'm doing is just configuration stuff and then basic SwiftUI.

00:09:04   So that certainly is an interesting aspect of this, but yes.

00:09:07   It is nice that it doesn't seem like it's--

00:09:12   So new competition is just sprung up out of nowhere and then overrun me.

00:09:17   Yeah, that's really interesting to me too, because I would have assumed otherwise.

00:09:20   I would have assumed that pretty much anything that sits on top of the App Store

00:09:24   for any amount of time immediately gets tons and tons of clones and ripoffs.

00:09:28   And while you did see a few of those, they didn't seem to really get anywhere.

00:09:32   And what competition you do have seems like it's not just ripping you off.

00:09:38   It's doing its own thing, which is nice.

00:09:40   Yeah, and I feel good about that.

00:09:42   I like that--

00:09:44   I am totally happy if I just--

00:09:47   There's a certain kind of widget that I do really well,

00:09:51   and I just keep making those, and I can certainly continue to improve the app

00:09:54   and add more things and so on.

00:09:56   But I'm not going to--

00:09:57   There are certain segments of the widget market that I'm not going after,

00:10:01   and I think that is working.

00:10:03   I feel good about that.

00:10:05   There was a period of time in my to-do list for the app where I was like,

00:10:09   "Oh, what if I make it so that you can do--

00:10:12   "give it an arbitrary JSON endpoint, and you can download that, and then parse it,

00:10:16   "and then I'll display the data in a widget."

00:10:19   And it's like--

00:10:21   Ultimately, I stayed away from it, because it's so much more complicated.

00:10:24   And I'm glad I did in some ways, because there's other apps that are going to do

00:10:27   that kind of thing, that really niche audience thing,

00:10:31   in a much better way than I will.

00:10:34   And I can just continue focusing on more the pure utility,

00:10:41   obviously the more aesthetic side of widgets,

00:10:44   and I can just double down and focus there,

00:10:46   rather than if this had ended up being the power tool that I expected it to be,

00:10:51   that would have been more challenging for me to just stay away from those edges.

00:10:55   But I kind of like, honestly, that I can stay away from those edges

00:10:58   and not worry about it too much.

00:11:00   Well, and it seems like most of your customer base is not demanding a power tool.

00:11:04   It seems like the reason this app succeeded in the way that it has

00:11:08   is mostly for relatively non-power uses.

00:11:13   Yes. I mean, I think--

00:11:14   And obviously, I can only base this in some ways.

00:11:16   I don't have--

00:11:18   Every now and then, I go back and forth on whether or not I should have added--

00:11:23   or whether I should add analytics to the app in terms of

00:11:26   to know which configurations and which types of widgets

00:11:29   are being used in the app most.

00:11:32   And I've thought about this because obviously,

00:11:34   to answer a question like that would be really interesting,

00:11:36   in terms of knowing what's the most commonly installed widget

00:11:41   that's being used at any given time.

00:11:44   And while it's interesting to know that,

00:11:47   I feel more nervous about adding that than I would for any other application

00:11:52   that I've done because while I think there's a way to collect that

00:11:56   in a truly anonymous fashion that doesn't get me into weird privacy issues

00:12:02   or concerns, the scale and the scope of that is so much broader

00:12:06   than any of my other products that it's like,

00:12:08   I think I'm doing it right in some of my other things

00:12:10   where I collect basic device information or knowing which iPhone people are running

00:12:15   or which watchOS version they're running or things like that.

00:12:18   But it's like, if I do something wrong with this,

00:12:20   it's like rather than, now it's dealing with millions of people's personal data,

00:12:25   and that's a lot scarier.

00:12:27   And so I still feel good about not including any of that kind of analytics

00:12:32   into my applications, but it is definitely interesting to me to just like,

00:12:35   mostly I'm judging what people are using the app for based on people

00:12:39   who are tagging the app on Twitter or screenshots I see or articles that are written.

00:12:46   That seems to be the way that I'm being able to collect that.

00:12:49   Obviously I'm already guessing customer support to some degree,

00:12:52   but I'm just sort of guessing as to what it's being used for.

00:12:55   And I think the primary uses are relatively straightforward,

00:13:01   which is nice in terms of it's like most people are,

00:13:04   like if I had to guess, the number one widget people are using is the photos widget.

00:13:08   The number two most used widget is the date widget.

00:13:11   And the number three is probably the photo with the date.

00:13:15   It's a very straightforward, it's a very easy thing.

00:13:19   And I think one thing that I'm increasingly wondering about people not,

00:13:24   there not being this onslaught of kind of copycat apps or whatever you wanted to say,

00:13:29   like people trying to kind of come in and compete in this space,

00:13:32   is all of those are sort of aspects of the app that are completely free

00:13:37   and are completely like, there's no barrier to entry,

00:13:41   I'm not upselling on those,

00:13:43   maybe it's a discussion around my business model,

00:13:46   but certainly makes it so that there's not a lot,

00:13:48   I'm not leaving sort of, I'm not leaving space for someone to come in and undercut me,

00:13:53   which would be the typical way that this would happen,

00:13:55   that like if I had, if Widgetsmith had been a 99 cent app,

00:13:59   and it had done well still, like people had still downloaded it,

00:14:02   it's like the obvious place for someone to come and compete

00:14:04   is to make the free version that has lower features.

00:14:07   Or if I had gated the photo widget in some way,

00:14:11   and you only have two widgets and then you had to unlock the extra with free,

00:14:15   it's like I went to the other extreme where I went very generous,

00:14:18   and it leaves a lot, like very little space for someone to come in and say,

00:14:22   you know, I'm going to beat you on price,

00:14:24   I'm going to beat you on something else,

00:14:27   because like most of my users aren't paying me anything,

00:14:30   and that's fine for me, like it's doing, it's working out well overall,

00:14:33   because I know a high enough percentage of people are,

00:14:36   but it's maybe it's in slightly sort of,

00:14:38   it's one of the few things that I can do from a competitive perspective

00:14:41   to keep competition away, is to just keep, you know,

00:14:45   keep being generous to my customers,

00:14:47   and I think that helps, hopefully also,

00:14:49   just sort of engendering goodwill, that if down the road,

00:14:52   I do need to make adjustments to my business model,

00:14:55   or create new opportunities for people to buy things inside of the app,

00:14:59   they'll feel positively about them to such a degree that,

00:15:02   you know, I can cash in on that goodwill in the future potentially.

00:15:06   Yeah, that's, first of all, people, if you want to hear more about this,

00:15:09   you should listen to Dave's episode of the talk show with John Gruber

00:15:13   that came out, what about a week ago?

00:15:15   Yeah, it was a little over a week ago.

00:15:16   Yeah, because you go into a lot more detail on that

00:15:18   that we can cover in 30 minutes,

00:15:20   but I really like this approach of, you know,

00:15:23   like one of the lessons I learned with Instapaper,

00:15:25   you know, Instapaper did very well for a while,

00:15:28   but eventually Pocket, and a little bit of readability,

00:15:32   but mostly Pocket really kicked my ass in user count and resources and everything,

00:15:37   because they did two things.

00:15:38   Number one, they made the app free.

00:15:39   Number two, they raised VC money,

00:15:41   and that allowed them to hire a staff and do all sorts of stuff

00:15:43   that I really couldn't do as a one-person operation.

00:15:46   And I learned from that a bunch of lessons that I carried into Overcast,

00:15:51   and one of the biggest ones was, you know,

00:15:53   if I want to compete on a certain level, I need a staff.

00:15:56   I decided not to go that way, but I recognized, like,

00:15:59   that's a need if you want to compete in a certain way.

00:16:01   But number two, I realized that, you know, what you were just saying,

00:16:05   of like, I had to make the app free,

00:16:07   because the reason why they got so many users is that my app was a paid-up front app,

00:16:12   and theirs was a free-up front app, and that makes a huge difference,

00:16:15   and I left this giant area under my, like, you know,

00:16:18   four or five dollar price tag most of the time for anybody to come in

00:16:23   and make the free version, and so they did, and it worked.

00:16:26   And if you leave any space for people to undercut you,

00:16:30   they will, and so it's really, it's interesting when you can find a way

00:16:35   to succeed in a way that no one, that leaves very little to no room

00:16:41   for anyone to easily undercut you, and that's hard to do.

00:16:44   It's hard to find ways to actually make money that way to fund your own business,

00:16:48   but, like, and even with Overcast, like, I made the decision early on

00:16:53   that, like, it was always going to be a free app,

00:16:55   and I'd find other ways to make money, like, you know,

00:16:57   in-app purchases or, you know, patronage or ads or whatever it was.

00:17:00   But it took me years to figure out that balance,

00:17:03   but the whole time I never regretted being free up front

00:17:06   because I was able to get tons of users,

00:17:09   because I did the exact same thing to all the other podcast apps

00:17:12   that Pocket had done to me.

00:17:13   I came in with a free version, and every other, like, nerdy podcast app

00:17:16   at that time was, like, three to five dollars,

00:17:18   and I got tons of users as a result because for a long time

00:17:22   they wouldn't or couldn't drop their prices.

00:17:25   They all eventually did, because that's where the market went,

00:17:28   but that was, it was a huge sigh of relief for me

00:17:32   every day to not have to worry, like,

00:17:34   do I have a new free competitor, do I have a new free competitor,

00:17:36   because I was the free competitor,

00:17:38   and so I was leaving no room for other people to come in and kill me

00:17:41   the way Pocket did with Instapaper.

00:17:43   - Yeah, and I think there's an element there of it's,

00:17:46   especially, this is, and this is the thing I love the most about the Indie model,

00:17:49   of, like, kind of the way that you and I are running our businesses,

00:17:52   is that while, obviously, like, the company that is,

00:17:56   has the big staff and has the, you know,

00:18:00   sort of the VC money behind them, they're able to go free,

00:18:03   and in many ways they're trying, they're sort of,

00:18:05   they're making a bet that they can spend a bunch of money now

00:18:10   and then recoup, you know, some multiple of that in the future,

00:18:14   that they're, by going free now, they're building up their audience,

00:18:17   and then at some point they can turn on the money tap

00:18:19   and money will start to flow, and it'll exceed the money they've spent.

00:18:21   But the nature of that kind of arrangement is that

00:18:24   because the overhead at the beginning is so high,

00:18:27   it's like you're, you know, it's like you have this very limited runway

00:18:30   that you're operating on, and at some point there's, like,

00:18:34   there's these, like, there are these two lines on a graph

00:18:36   of, like, your revenue going up, hopefully,

00:18:39   and your, you know, your, sort of your costs cumulatively,

00:18:42   and at some point, like, the money's going to run out,

00:18:44   or those two lines are going to cross in a, like, they can cross,

00:18:46   if they never, if they're, sort of like, they can cross in a good way,

00:18:49   where suddenly, you know, the business becomes sustainable and profitable

00:18:52   and everything's good, or you can go the other way,

00:18:54   where suddenly you've just, like, run out of money,

00:18:56   and there's not, like, while venture capital has, you know, it's a lot of money,

00:18:59   and you think about these deals where you hear even a small deal is, like,

00:19:03   five million dollars or ten million dollars, like, when you start,

00:19:06   if that's suddenly being spent on ten people, and their, you know,

00:19:10   the overhead and the staffing of that, it's actually not that much time you have.

00:19:14   But being, sort of taking the indie approach, it's, like,

00:19:16   the thing that I like is, like, my runway is very long,

00:19:20   and I'm in this for the, you know, for the very long, the very long term,

00:19:25   because all I need to do is cover my living expenses.

00:19:27   All I need to do is have this baseline level of income

00:19:32   that is much more sustainable, much more obvious than if I'm, you know,

00:19:35   someone's coming in and saying they're going to invest five million dollars,

00:19:38   and they expect that in three years the company will be worth 25 million dollars.

00:19:43   Like, that difference is such a higher risk investment,

00:19:47   such a higher sort of complexity thing, versus coming in sort of on the indie level

00:19:52   where the expenses are so small that it doesn't,

00:19:56   I don't have that pressure on me in the same way.

00:19:58   And if I, you know, and I think this is something that was really interesting

00:20:01   watching you with Overcast, is that I don't have to have the fear, necessarily,

00:20:06   that I get the business model right the first time.

00:20:10   Like, you changed the model, the business model with Overcast many times,

00:20:14   and it was fine, and it was, you know, it's like you could take your time with it,

00:20:17   you could give each approach a little bit of air to breathe,

00:20:20   see if it works, and then be like, hmm, you know, maybe that's not quite what I want.

00:20:24   Let me try this other slightly different thing and kind of adjust.

00:20:28   And you have the time and the flexibility to do that,

00:20:30   because each, it's like you don't have to get it, hit it out of the park on that very first try,

00:20:35   because otherwise it all kind of falls apart and fails.

00:20:38   Yeah, and you know, the great thing is, with Widgetsmith, you know,

00:20:41   you're going to find out over the coming months how well the subscription model

00:20:45   that you have in place now will work out over time.

00:20:49   And first of all, you know, like as you were saying,

00:20:51   the numbers are very different between an indie versus like a company.

00:20:56   Like, if you as an indie make a, you know, like high six figures on your app every year,

00:21:02   that's incredible, whereas if a company makes the high six figures

00:21:06   that has a staff of five or six people, that's not enough money to pay them.

00:21:12   You're probably in the red. You're probably losing money at that point.

00:21:14   Right, exactly. And so like the numbers matter so much, you know, as you were saying.

00:21:19   But also, you know, you now have an incredible asset,

00:21:24   which is you have an app with a giant install base.

00:21:27   So even if most of them aren't paying you, and even if, you know,

00:21:31   you're making nothing from the vast majority of them most of the time or all the time,

00:21:35   you still have this giant asset that you can always tweak.

00:21:38   You can always issue an update that adds more stuff that they can pay for.

00:21:43   If times get very desperate, you can always put ads in the client app.

00:21:47   And, you know, I wouldn't put ads in their widgets. That's tacky.

00:21:49   But like you could always put ads in the client app.

00:21:51   And like you have options, you know, and just by having this giant asset.

00:21:54   So as you said, like you don't have to have nailed it the first time.

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00:24:00   So I'm curious, Dave, where are you headed now?

00:24:04   What's your plan for the next month or two?

00:24:07   The first thing I had to do was to pull myself out of the day-to-day madness of the app in some ways.

00:24:15   In the first week or the first week and a half of the app, I was doing a new update every day almost.

00:24:23   It was a bit absurd and it was perhaps in retrospect a bit unnecessary.

00:24:27   It may have actually caused some problems in retrospect.

00:24:31   But there was some amount of that.

00:24:34   If you have a bug that causes 0.05% of sessions to crash,

00:24:40   and you only have 10,000 sessions in a day,

00:24:46   that's actually not that many people who are encountering that crashing bug.

00:24:50   But when you start to deal with millions or tens of millions, it becomes like, "Oh, goodness."

00:24:55   When I see the crash number in App Analytics and it's measured in millions, that's problematic.

00:25:01   That was a little overwhelming and something that I just had to deal with.

00:25:06   Some of them were my mistakes. Some of them are just iOS 14 issues that I think are getting better in subsequent versions.

00:25:12   In some ways, a lot of this was on hard mode because this was...

00:25:17   The app sort of blew up on version 14.0.0.

00:25:22   So this wasn't even after Apple had done any bug fixing on the OS.

00:25:27   Eventually at some point I had to be like, "This is not sustainable for me or it's not good for my customers.

00:25:32   I need to just take a step back and understand that it's better for me to have a slightly more thoughtful approach."

00:25:37   What I'm doing now, as I'm working on version 1.1,

00:25:44   is it has a whole bunch of bug fixes and performance stuff and issues with deal problems like that.

00:25:49   And then also I'm starting to work towards slightly realigning the app with what it seems like people actually are caring about it for.

00:25:58   It's a better tool for making aesthetic changes to your home screen,

00:26:05   which seems to be the primary reason that people are using it.

00:26:09   I'm doing things like being able to export a wallpaper image

00:26:14   in a solid color that coordinates with the colors that you choose inside of the app, for example.

00:26:19   It's a relatively straightforward feature.

00:26:24   I'm exporting a solid color PNG.

00:26:26   There's nothing clever about that, but because it integrates with the color system inside of Widgetsmith,

00:26:30   it seems like it's an obvious place to go.

00:26:35   I'm adding a few other types of customization and flexibility.

00:26:36   One of the ones that I've been enjoying recently, and it's been a huge amount of fun,

00:26:41   is I'm designing a whole set of clock hands and clock customizations.

00:26:45   This is me exploring my custom watch face itch that I've had for years and years.

00:26:50   I finally get to express that in a way that is actually intangible to my customers.

00:26:56   That's been really fun.

00:27:01   I'm starting to go down this road of focusing the app around

00:27:01   making it stable and reliable,

00:27:06   and then working on rounding out some of the aesthetic choices in the app

00:27:09   to make it so that you can customize it however you want.

00:27:15   Then I'm also starting to do some thinking around where I want to go from here.

00:27:20   I think there's lots of opportunities here when I see the interest that people have

00:27:24   in the art and design aspects of it.

00:27:29   It's fascinating to read these stories of these people who are selling icon packs for shortcuts,

00:27:34   where they are totally replacing all the icons on their home screen and things like that.

00:27:40   At this point I'm not really going down that road,

00:27:43   but I think there's some middle ground between the totally crazy, wonderful,

00:27:45   but crazy version of custom app icons to things that I can do in the app

00:27:50   that have a slightly more artistic flair inside of it.

00:27:55   Most of what I've been doing so far is very geometric and basic.

00:28:00   That's the approach that I'm taking right now.

00:28:06   My hope is that I'll just get into that rhythm.

00:28:08   Something that is probably worth saying that I've had to tell myself

00:28:11   and I think has been really helpful for me is

00:28:15   the things that have made Widget Smith successful

00:28:17   are the things that I need to keep doing that aren't different because it has a bigger audience.

00:28:22   The way that I develop and my process and what I do,

00:28:27   my initial instinct when the app had such a much larger audience

00:28:32   than any of my other apps and such a broader reach,

00:28:36   my initial thought was, "Oh my goodness, I need to change everything about what I do.

00:28:39   I need to be doing this differently."

00:28:42   It's like, "No, be slow, methodical.

00:28:45   Build the apps like you built all your other apps.

00:28:48   That's a much better approach.

00:28:50   That's what I have 12 years of experience doing.

00:28:49   I shouldn't be changing."

00:28:54   That's what I'm doing is mostly just taking a deep breath,

00:28:55   not getting overwhelmed when I see the volume of crashes or of numbers.

00:28:58   It's like, "Be thoughtful, be methodical, and just keep moving forward."

00:29:04   My hope is that that will be a better fit both for me personally and my mental health,

00:29:07   as well as for customers in the long run because I'm not in a rush.

00:29:11   It's a bad mentality for me to think of this as a sprint.

00:29:15   It's like, "This is a marathon.

00:29:15   Hopefully, Widget Smith will be a part of my life for years to come."

00:29:20   I need to be patient and thoughtful about it rather than frantic and crazy like I was.

00:29:23   Well, you are definitely very thoughtful and methodical.

00:29:29   I would never use the word "slow" to describe you.

00:29:32   That's fair.

00:29:36   Anyway, thank you for sharing, Dave.

00:29:37   Thank you, everyone, for listening.