Under the Radar

57: Secrecy


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

00:00:03   I'm Marco 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.

00:00:09   Shh, Marco, can I tell you a secret?

00:00:14   Are you allowed to?

00:00:15   Do you sign an NDA?

00:00:17   I'm working on a new app.

00:00:18   You?

00:00:19   Me!

00:00:20   I'm shocked.

00:00:21   So today we're going to be talking about secrecy around new apps, which is kind of

00:00:27   a silly topic in some ways.

00:00:31   Even your immediate reaction when I ask if I could tell you a secret.

00:00:35   I feel like it's a topic that a lot of us take -- can sometimes get a bit too in our

00:00:40   own heads about and kind of overblow the importance of what we're working on and the importance

00:00:44   of secrecy, but it's definitely something that we think about.

00:00:48   I'm probably -- I'm hoping, fingers crossed, going to be launching a new app in about two

00:00:53   weeks.

00:00:55   And as far as I know, the number of people who aren't like myself and my wife who know

00:01:01   what I'm working on is maybe a handful of people at this point, and most of those I've

00:01:04   only told fairly recently.

00:01:08   So it is something that I am generally fairly secretive of.

00:01:11   And in some ways I think that's good, and in some ways that's bad, and I think it just

00:01:14   seemed like a good topic for us to kind of unpack, because it's easy to feel like, A,

00:01:20   you don't want to share what you're working on because there's the trade secrets kind

00:01:25   of thing.

00:01:26   You don't want to let other people know if you have this great idea, if you tell the

00:01:31   world your idea, there's always that fear that someone else will come along and copy

00:01:35   it before you do.

00:01:37   Afterwards, people will inevitably copy you if it's a good idea, but the fear of somebody

00:01:43   copying you ahead of time.

00:01:44   I remember there was -- I think it was clear the to-do list manager who did a preview video

00:01:49   of their app as part of their publicity push, and they published that video.

00:01:56   And before the app was released, which I think the app was scheduled to be released a week

00:02:01   later, someone had already cloned the app from the video and submitted it to the app

00:02:06   store under a similar name, which was remarkable.

00:02:10   I've forgotten about that.

00:02:11   But it's something that you want to be thoughtful of, right?

00:02:14   Like a story like that is a cautionary tale of maybe being secretive is a good thing.

00:02:20   But on the other side, you also are trying to build buzz and get attention and are trying

00:02:26   to not -- you don't want to just show up and be like, "Hey, here's this awesome

00:02:33   thing," but there's no one there listening.

00:02:34   So you have to find this weird balance between pre-announcing and post-announcing and how

00:02:39   much to do.

00:02:40   As I've been thinking about this this week, one thing that came to mind, too, is I thought

00:02:44   it would be interesting if you could unpack your experience with Overcast, because you

00:02:48   pre-announced what you were working on quite a while before it actually went out into the

00:02:52   world, right?

00:02:53   Oh, yeah.

00:02:54   I mean, it was -- I pre-announced it during a conference talk that I gave at XOXO about

00:03:00   eight or nine months before it was actually released.

00:03:04   I didn't intend for it to be that long.

00:03:06   It took a lot longer than I thought to go from beta to 1.0.

00:03:10   But -- which is one of the reasons why you generally shouldn't pre-announce any kind

00:03:13   of dates or anything, which I hadn't done, but I at least pre-announced the product and

00:03:18   that it was a podcast app.

00:03:19   But I didn't pre-announce any particular features, and I didn't show any screenshots.

00:03:25   All I said was that it was a podcast app and it was called Overcast, and that was it.

00:03:31   And so I think it's generally -- the way I tend to do things is keeping things pretty

00:03:40   close to the vest about the specifics, things that it would be bad if someone copied.

00:03:45   So things like screenshots of how things look, things like specific features that are maybe

00:03:51   brand new that no one's done before or that are non-mainstream features so that it would

00:03:57   be interesting to know if someone was doing those and somebody might try to beat me to

00:04:01   it after they hear that I'm doing it, stuff like that.

00:04:03   And the reality is the market I'm in now with the podcast space, it's a pretty chill market

00:04:10   of my various competitors, at least the big ones.

00:04:14   There's tons of small ones, though, that just rip off anything they see in any other app

00:04:17   and everything.

00:04:18   It's just like every app market has a lot of competition now, as we've said before.

00:04:23   And there is definitely a chance that if you preannounce something in a way that gets anybody

00:04:27   to notice that you will have what happened to Clear with that preview video.

00:04:32   You will have other people who very quickly whip together exactly what you just preannounced

00:04:36   and ship it before you do.

00:04:38   And you see the same thing with physical products on Kickstarter.

00:04:40   It happens all the time.

00:04:42   You'll see some amazing, cool, clever new thing on Kickstarter that won't actually ship

00:04:47   for six to nine months, and then three months later you can go on Amazon and buy basically

00:04:52   that thing made by some no-name company for less money.

00:04:56   It's like that happens all the time.

00:04:59   And so generally I think it's wise not to preannounce specifics and not to show a lot

00:05:06   of screenshots and videos and stuff like that because of that problem of people copying

00:05:10   and beating you to the punch.

00:05:13   That being said, to a large degree that might not matter.

00:05:17   The damage that is done, if that happens to you, sometimes it can be significant for certain

00:05:22   products but usually not.

00:05:24   Usually like, there are a number of other apps in the store that, during my app development

00:05:32   career there have been a number of times where somebody has released an app that looks and

00:05:36   works extremely similar to mine.

00:05:39   Basically these were clones of Instapaper or Overcast or the magazine.

00:05:44   This has happened for everything I've made.

00:05:46   Not nursing clock, I haven't really looked, but everything else I've made this has happened

00:05:51   for.

00:05:52   And it certainly happened with Peace, oh my god, because that was the number one app for

00:05:55   a day so that got a million clones.

00:05:59   The fact is most people never hear about people who clone you.

00:06:04   The people who clone you, they're not going to get any blog posts written about them by

00:06:06   Mac stories and everything else.

00:06:10   The press, the features of the app store, these are generally not going to go for the

00:06:16   clones and not going to talk about them.

00:06:18   So you don't really have to worry too much most of the time.

00:06:21   It is a problem in games a lot more often and it is a problem with certain simple mechanic

00:06:27   games.

00:06:28   So one of the biggest examples of this is Threes and then 2048.

00:06:33   Where Threes is this beautifully crafted indie game, it comes out, it's a huge hit, it's

00:06:38   something like three bucks and then within a week or two, it was a really quick time,

00:06:44   this other game called 2048 comes out that is almost completely a clone of Threes.

00:06:49   Simpler not as good but basically the same game and it was free and it just took off

00:06:56   and the game that spread around the world that everyone knew and played was 2048, not

00:07:01   Threes.

00:07:03   So that does occasionally go really badly for you when this happens but usually that

00:07:06   isn't what happens.

00:07:07   Usually there's clones and they just kind of get ignored and forgotten about and maybe

00:07:11   a few people get scammed and buy them but for the most part it isn't a big problem.

00:07:16   So that being said though, I do think it's important to play things relatively close

00:07:20   to the vest because you don't really gain a lot by spreading things around too early.

00:07:26   The idea here is you're going to build hype, right?

00:07:31   The theory is I'm going to release this preview video or screenshot or whatever of my app

00:07:36   and tease people and I'm going to tease the interest up and it'll be this great teaser

00:07:41   and then people will sign up for my mailing list I guess.

00:07:46   The question is suppose you get people's attention with some kind of teaser or preview, then

00:07:51   what?

00:07:52   What can they do and what will they do at that point for them to actually stay, for

00:07:57   you to keep their attention for when the product actually launches?

00:08:01   In many cases the only thing you really can do is follow us on social media or sign up

00:08:07   for our mailing list and as soon as you put up a wall like that a whole bunch of people

00:08:11   who see the preview are going to drop off.

00:08:13   They're not going to complete that call to action that you want them to complete.

00:08:17   They're not going to add their name to the mailing list.

00:08:18   They're not going to follow you on social media.

00:08:20   They would have maybe had more interest if they could have gone to the app store right

00:08:23   then and downloaded your app right then.

00:08:25   If there was a link saying not just that this is coming out in two weeks but this is out

00:08:29   now go get it.

00:08:31   But instead you had all this attention that came to you and it basically fell on the floor

00:08:35   because there was nothing for them to get yet.

00:08:37   It wasn't ready yet.

00:08:38   And that's a huge risk whenever you're doing any kind of pre-announcement.

00:08:41   So it's best to focus your pre-launch efforts on press outreach where you can actually send

00:08:50   bloggers and writers and influential people and YouTubers, you can send them beta builds.

00:08:55   When the app is ready, it's almost ready to be launched, a week or two earlier you send

00:09:00   out these beta builds and we've talked about reaching out to the press in tasteful ways

00:09:03   before.

00:09:04   You send out beta builds like that and get them interested beforehand but then when it's

00:09:09   broadcast to the world that this app or thing exists, make it ready to go right then.

00:09:16   So that way when the whole world has a chance to be interested in what you are selling,

00:09:21   sell it to them.

00:09:22   Be ready on that day to sell it to them.

00:09:26   Quote it with a link saying, "Now that you want this thing, go get it in the app store

00:09:30   right now with this link."

00:09:32   And to me, doing any kind of massive publicity before you're ready to actually give people

00:09:39   who are interested that link to go buy the thing, I think is wasted effort or you're

00:09:45   wasting the attention that you get as a result of it.

00:09:48   >> Yeah, and I think too it's an interesting distinction between secrecy in the sense that

00:09:57   if someone else were to find out what you were working on in detail, it would be a problem,

00:10:03   versus the kind of secrecy that's just not talking about things and not having this sense

00:10:11   of developing things in the open.

00:10:13   Because I think like you say, I think of even for myself, I have a very short attention

00:10:20   span for new and interesting things.

00:10:22   And the number of times I'll see something and click on it is a small percentage of the

00:10:27   number of times I see something.

00:10:29   And even smaller from that is the number of things that I'll actually get from the app

00:10:33   store.

00:10:34   And if you short circuit that right up front and are showing people things, I mean, you

00:10:39   obviously can get kind of cute with this, where it isn't so much about trying to drive

00:10:44   attention to something, you're just kind of talking about this.

00:10:47   And I did this last week, I was like, I love pushing the big add new app button in iTunes

00:10:52   Connect.

00:10:53   You can kind of let people know, like whatever following or audience you have, that hey,

00:11:00   there's something coming.

00:11:01   And I think in some ways that's more effective almost with no specifics at all.

00:11:07   It's just this vague sense of like, huh, there's something coming.

00:11:10   And so that you're just hoping that when you do then subsequently release something,

00:11:16   or when you actually start publicizing it, they're like, oh, this is that thing I was

00:11:19   waiting for.

00:11:20   And you're increasing the chance that they'll actually do that first level of looking at

00:11:24   it.

00:11:26   But beyond that, I'm not sure if you actually gain much.

00:11:29   But on the flip side, like we want to be as communicative and open with press people,

00:11:37   any contacts or people we have on that side of things.

00:11:39   Because there's not really anybody, I've heard from people who are reaching out to the press

00:11:45   and it's like, hey, I have this app that I'd like to show you, here's an NDA, for example.

00:11:50   That doesn't make it, like that level of secrecy for you're trying to get somebody to pay attention

00:11:54   to you and then you're putting a barrier up, that doesn't make any sense.

00:11:57   Yeah, quick tip.

00:11:59   If anybody ever wants you to sign an NDA to hear their idea, the answer is no.

00:12:05   Just don't, it's not worth it.

00:12:07   Because it's just not, it just doesn't, it's just, and the weird thing, especially in that

00:12:12   situation is that it's not respectful of that person's time.

00:12:17   Like maybe it sort of can work.

00:12:19   Like, I mean, obviously, I imagine, you know, when Apple press get pre-release hardware

00:12:23   from Apple that has an embargo on it, like, fair enough, I imagine they are signing a

00:12:27   non-disclosure agreement.

00:12:28   Sure, yeah.

00:12:29   They're not going to talk about it ahead of time.

00:12:32   Our apps are not that level of product, are not that level of sophistication where something

00:12:39   like that is likely appropriate.

00:12:40   Like I want anybody and everybody to be aware.

00:12:45   And if somebody broke an embargo, and I really have embargoes with my apps, typically reviewers

00:12:50   only release their reviews of your apps when they're ready to be released.

00:12:54   But like if somebody released something ahead of time, it's like, okay, like, that's not

00:12:59   a great, that's not ideal, but mostly just because if anybody reads that article and

00:13:03   clicks the button at the bottom to go and download it, it won't work.

00:13:07   Like rather than that, like, it's not a big problem for me in that way.

00:13:11   And so it is something that I think is good to separate between.

00:13:14   There's like that's like, the conscious secrecy of like, like, if something, if this were

00:13:21   to get out, it would be bad versus I'm not going to do any, put any effort into some

00:13:26   of the most like the passive secrecy, like I'm just going to not promote or talk about

00:13:30   what I'm releasing and sort of see what happens there.

00:13:33   - You know, and you're going to hear conflicting advice from this.

00:13:37   If you ask around, like you're going to hear everybody saying different things about this.

00:13:41   Your experience may vary here.

00:13:42   And there's certain contexts in which, you know, going through like the NDA hoops for

00:13:46   somebody might be worth, like if you're a consultant and you have a, you know, a big

00:13:49   client, obviously that's a different story.

00:13:52   But yeah, for the most part, like, you know, jumping through hoops to hear people's secrets

00:13:55   ahead of time is not worth it.

00:13:57   And jumping through and trying to hype up your own secrets ahead of time are also generally

00:14:03   not worth it.

00:14:04   It's, you know, pretty much anybody can figure out at this point, like if somebody wants

00:14:08   to learn all of my secrets, all they have to do is like start basically some common

00:14:13   sense like thought like, okay, what am I working on right now?

00:14:17   Do you have a guess?

00:14:19   - Probably Overcast.

00:14:20   - Yeah, surprise, surprise, I'm working on Overcast.

00:14:22   And it's been a while since I've had an update to the 2.0 series.

00:14:26   So what do you think I'm working on?

00:14:27   - Next big update?

00:14:29   - Yeah, I'm working on Overcast 3.0.

00:14:32   - Shocking.

00:14:33   - You know what Overcast 3.0's gonna have in it?

00:14:35   Some new features, some updates to old features.

00:14:37   Of course, 'cause it's a new version of an app.

00:14:40   It's like, and it's a podcast app.

00:14:42   It's not gonna like, you know, all of a sudden launch rockets.

00:14:46   Like it's like there's a finite number of things that you can expect an app like this

00:14:50   to do.

00:14:51   It's like, again, like most of our updates aren't that interesting.

00:14:55   And the idea of like hyping up anything ahead of time is like, well, if people wanna know

00:15:01   the basics, they can already figure that out with just some basic critical thinking.

00:15:05   And anything else, they don't really need to know ahead of time until there's a link

00:15:09   that they can just go to the store and buy.

00:15:11   If I tell you something right now that doesn't really know that blows your mind and you really

00:15:14   want it, it is way better for me to tell you that when you can actually get 3.0 than for

00:15:20   me to tell you now and to hope that you still care in however many months it is from now

00:15:23   when I release this thing.

00:15:24   - Yeah.

00:15:25   It does make me think, I hear, like it makes me think about it if I'm being too cavalier

00:15:32   with my marketing.

00:15:33   When I hear, like when I'm hearing our conversation going along and I'm thinking to myself, like

00:15:37   I think of the people who do the hype, sort of like the splash page with a mailing list

00:15:44   thing and I'm trying to collect a bunch of people's email addresses so that they can

00:15:49   send them an email on the day of launch ahead of time and that kind of like more formalized

00:15:56   marketing plan, which is just something that maybe like if I'm honest, it's like I don't

00:16:02   feel very good at or comfortable with, like that level of actual like big M marketing

00:16:09   is kind of intimidating to me and so I don't do it.

00:16:12   My guess is people do it because it has some impact and certainly from what I've heard,

00:16:16   that kind of email outreach can be very effective, certainly more effective than something like

00:16:21   social media outreach or blogging outreach just because email is a bit more directive

00:16:27   and people are almost certainly going to see it, whether or not they act on it, but like

00:16:32   people's inboxes where they check, they sort out their email is a more likely place for

00:16:37   someone to hang out.

00:16:40   But that's a tricky thing for me to get into 'cause it's like I don't necessarily want

00:16:44   to go down a road that I'm not going to be able to do a good job on.

00:16:50   Like doing that kind of more, I don't even know, like full service marketing plan for

00:16:54   an application, it's like I imagine it would increase my downloads and potentially theoretically

00:17:00   my revenue down the road, but it's also kind of like an awkward thing if I don't feel like

00:17:04   I'm going to be able to do well.

00:17:05   It's sort of like Facebook.

00:17:06   Like I imagine if I had a Facebook presence for my applications and I was doing things

00:17:14   there, there would be a benefit, honestly even Twitter.

00:17:16   I don't really have a professional side of, like a social media outreach for my apps,

00:17:23   they're just sort of me.

00:17:25   But I think about something like Facebook especially where I have no presence personally

00:17:29   really and no presence professionally.

00:17:32   Like if I just went and created a Facebook page for Podometer++ or for my next app and

00:17:38   started trying to hype and draw people towards it, it would feel so awkward because I don't

00:17:44   know what I'm doing.

00:17:45   And maybe that's a bad thing, like maybe I should be better at that.

00:17:49   But I guess in my mind, it's like that's the kind of thing you can do if you're a bigger

00:17:55   team or an organization where you actually have a marketing team and division whose focus

00:18:03   and job is to do a good job of that and to understand how that works and to understand

00:18:09   the benefits and if they spend a week working on this hype campaign where they're gonna

00:18:17   trickle things out and try and build buzz or whatever, if it works great, if it doesn't,

00:18:22   it's okay.

00:18:23   That was their job to do.

00:18:24   Whereas for me, that would be a massive distraction from the actual work of development.

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00:19:59   So for the last part of the show, it seemed like a reasonable thing too for me to make

00:20:03   this a bit more specific and talk about the approach I'm taking for the app I'm launching

00:20:10   hopefully on.

00:20:11   I think my current release goal is like December 21st.

00:20:13   You're launching a new app?

00:20:14   I'm launching a new app.

00:20:16   It's a health and fitness app.

00:20:17   Big show.

00:20:18   Oh my God.

00:20:20   Perhaps it's not unlike all the other apps that I've launched in the last two years.

00:20:23   Will its name end in plus plus?

00:20:25   It will.

00:20:26   Oh my God, this is amazing.

00:20:28   This is top secret info right here.

00:20:29   Breaking underscore rumors right now.

00:20:31   This is amazing.

00:20:34   See, it's like people think secrets are like this like salacious thing, but like they're

00:20:37   not that surprising most of the time.

00:20:39   Yeah, if it's an actual secret that would be surprising, then you know, it's like you'll

00:20:44   know it.

00:20:45   It'll be a big deal.

00:20:46   Exactly.

00:20:47   No, but so I'm working on this, you know, this new plus plus health and fitness app.

00:20:51   And in general, I haven't talked about it.

00:20:53   Most of why I haven't talked about it is because honestly, like I always have in the back of

00:20:57   my mind, like maybe this won't actually ship.

00:21:00   Maybe this won't, this idea that I have at the beginning that as I'm going along and

00:21:04   developing it won't actually turn into something that's shippable.

00:21:07   And that's happened before.

00:21:08   Yet another reason not to pre-announce things is that when you pre-announce things, you're

00:21:11   kind of promising them, you're committing to them.

00:21:14   And you will have people who are very upset if you don't release what you pre-announced

00:21:17   and at the time you announced it, that it would come out.

00:21:20   Yeah.

00:21:21   And I mean, it's like, and even moreover, like I think the bigger thing that I've from

00:21:24   my own experience I found is if you pre-announce something too early, like often what has happened

00:21:30   where I work on a project, I think it's going to be an app.

00:21:32   It turns out it doesn't quite get to the level of where I feel like it's worth releasing.

00:21:38   But like a year later or six months later, the kernel of that idea with something new,

00:21:43   like some new API, some new platform, something happens that makes it finally a good idea.

00:21:48   Like I actually, like for Activity++, which is all about the three activity metrics on

00:21:54   the Apple Watch, I actually wrote an app earlier that was before Apple opened up all of the

00:22:01   health metrics that did just trying to think it was doing basically the same thing, but

00:22:06   only for the ones that were available, which I think was stand and active calories at the

00:22:09   time, but I didn't have exercise minutes.

00:22:12   At the end, I like, I kind of took that out.

00:22:14   So I built the app out and I was like, yeah, this isn't, it just, without having all three,

00:22:18   it doesn't really work.

00:22:19   So I shelved it and then eventually Apple opened it up and then I could pick that project

00:22:23   up and keep working on it.

00:22:24   But because I hadn't talked about it at all, it's like I hadn't like ruined the idea or

00:22:30   kind of burnt the anticipation or the interest in that until it was ready.

00:22:36   And so I don't talk about things typically until I'm confident that I'm going to get

00:22:39   there.

00:22:40   And for me, that tipping point is essentially around the point where I would say you're

00:22:44   kind of ready to send out a beta.

00:22:47   Like at this point, I'm pretty committed to releasing this app.

00:22:51   You know, whether or not it'll actually happen in two weeks on December 21st, like we'll

00:22:56   have to see.

00:22:57   But I, at this point, I do know that like I have something that I think is worth sending

00:23:04   out into the world and I'm starting the beta process.

00:23:07   And I tend to take an approach for these where I, you know, during development, I will share

00:23:13   the idea and the process and the app with, you know, a few people, sort of the close

00:23:19   friends and family kind of approach.

00:23:20   It's people who either who I talk to on a sort of a more professional level in terms

00:23:26   of like, "Hey, here's this screen.

00:23:28   What do you think?

00:23:29   Does this make sense?"

00:23:30   Like, and it's a UI designer, another iOS developer.

00:23:33   Like I have friends like this who I can talk to about the low level stuff, or I'll show

00:23:36   it to friends and family at a more like just casual level of being like, "Hey, if I showed

00:23:43   you this UI, what do you think you would do with it?"

00:23:46   To kind of do that kind of very informal user interface testing.

00:23:50   But as I get the point to now where it's like, I have something that I think is basically,

00:23:55   it's not quite shippable, but it's like functionally complete, it's not polished.

00:23:59   At this point, it's like, "Okay, I'll start expanding that out and telling more and more

00:24:04   people about the app."

00:24:06   And this process, you know, essentially goes, at least the way I do it is I will send out

00:24:11   my first rounds of betas to a relatively narrow group.

00:24:17   And it's usually the people who, it's not the full like press group of everybody who

00:24:22   I would ever want to know about it.

00:24:25   It's if you chosen people, typically, there's a few people in the press who I have like,

00:24:31   you know, strong personal relationships with who I'll make sure I reach out to.

00:24:35   But it's also like in that first level, it's like, I don't want to send something out.

00:24:39   And then like, a few days later, get some feedback back that really changes how this

00:24:44   is going to be or find some huge, you know, bug.

00:24:47   I don't do that in my first round.

00:24:48   It's like my first round, I just want to kind of keep small, send it out, get some information

00:24:52   back and then probably about a week later after that one, which for me will probably

00:24:56   be this Friday or so or next Monday, I'll be sending out like a bigger one and I'll

00:25:02   send it out this one out to a big wide group of press of influential people, whatever that

00:25:09   might be.

00:25:10   This is the kind of everybody who I might want to do and hopefully by doing that two

00:25:15   phase thing of not sending in the first one out to everybody, where, you know, it's the

00:25:20   first time that the app is kind of getting outside of my control and inevitably you're

00:25:24   going to find bugs and problems.

00:25:26   And it's like, since I've sent out my first beta, I've had probably about, you know, 20

00:25:30   good either like feature changes or bug reports, crashers, whatever it is, like I've gotten

00:25:36   a bunch of feedback.

00:25:38   And so I can show a much more polished product to the broader audience next week.

00:25:43   And then at that point, I'll start like getting ready for the broader release.

00:25:48   And I typically like I won't really say what it is and get into specifics kind of like

00:25:52   you were talking about earlier, like I won't really get into all the specifics publicly

00:25:56   until launch day.

00:25:57   And then, you know, sometime hopefully somewhere around on or around the 21st I'll, you know,

00:26:02   have a blog post, I'll tweet about it, they'll probably talk about it on the show would be

00:26:05   my guess.

00:26:07   Like anything I can do at that point, and then it's less like the megaphone, but it's

00:26:10   this very kind of like, it starts close, it gets slightly bigger.

00:26:15   Once I'm confident, it's like, as I get increasingly confident, I'll increasingly open it up.

00:26:19   And in a weird way, it's also probably fair to say that some of the best feedback I get

00:26:23   is often from people in the press, because they are professionally trained, at least

00:26:30   by or at least by experience at tearing apps apart.

00:26:33   Like that's what they do.

00:26:34   Like they find all the problem problems.

00:26:37   They look at it and be like in the review, they're going to say like, this is what I

00:26:39   like, this is what I don't like.

00:26:41   And you'll get the feedback from them in that early round, hopefully where they'll be like,

00:26:45   this is not so good, to let you make it better.

00:26:49   - Well, and they also have a lot of experience with a lot more apps than you probably do.

00:26:53   Well, maybe not you, 'cause you've made all the apps, but you know, but like, you know,

00:26:57   like anybody who I would send, any press person that I would send an Overcast Beta to, they

00:27:02   have seen, almost certainly they have seen way more apps than I have.

00:27:06   They have used way more apps than I have.

00:27:07   They have tried out way more apps than I have.

00:27:09   They have probably even tried out more of my competitors than I have and spent more

00:27:12   time with them.

00:27:13   So like, they're gonna, they'll be able to tell you ahead of time, if they're willing,

00:27:18   how basically how your app stacks up.

00:27:21   And they will tell you the shortcomings and the, you know, the competitive disadvantages

00:27:24   and the competitive advantages.

00:27:25   Like you'll be able to get an idea from people who basically review apps for a living, like

00:27:30   you'll get an idea pretty quickly from them.

00:27:32   So it's incredibly helpful to involve people.

00:27:34   But I would say also though, that like, you know, the bigger a beta is, the less you have

00:27:39   secrecy.

00:27:40   Like, when, so with Overcast, I did the initial beta with like only trusted friends and trusted

00:27:46   press people.

00:27:48   With later versions that are just, that are mostly just like bug fix updates, I have done

00:27:51   basically a public beta where I'd let anybody sign up for the beta and just open it up to

00:27:56   like a thousand people.

00:27:57   And you basically have no secrecy for the latter.

00:28:00   Like that's basically a public release at that point.

00:28:02   So like 3.0 is not gonna have that kind of beta.

00:28:05   It's gonna have more the first time, it's just gonna be private friends because I do

00:28:10   wanna maintain secrecy for what I'm changing and adding in 3.0.

00:28:14   But you know, it's really up to, you know, your goals and what you're looking to get

00:28:17   out of the beta and how important the secrecy ends up being to you.

00:28:20   - Yeah, and I suppose there is just at the end of it, it's just, I try to hold, like

00:28:27   as I look back on my career, I think in the earlier days, I thought of my apps as more

00:28:32   precious then than I do now.

00:28:35   That you kind of, it's good to have a bit of perspective about how important some of

00:28:41   these details are.

00:28:43   And like that, you know, that you, so easy to get in your own head and like, wow, this

00:28:47   app is gonna change everything.

00:28:48   It's gonna be amazing.

00:28:49   It's gonna be revolutionary.

00:28:51   And you kind of over-hype it in your brain and you get too worried about some of these

00:28:55   details of like who to tell, who not to tell, whether you should do it.

00:28:58   It's like at the end of the day, probably just relax.

00:29:01   Like do what makes sense and feels comfortable for you.

00:29:03   Be authentic about that and it'll probably work out.

00:29:07   - Exactly.

00:29:08   All right, thanks for listening everybody and we will talk to you next week.

00:29:12   - Bye.

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