Under the Radar

15: Marketing at Launch


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

00:00:04   I'm Marco Arment. And I'm David Smith. Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes,

00:00:08   so let's get started. So today we're going to talk a lot about

00:00:12   what it's like to launch a new version of your app or a new app. This is

00:00:16   launch day, planning launch day, and then what actually happens on launch day.

00:00:20   Now David, you recently went through a notable launch of one of your notable

00:00:24   products. Do you mind telling us about that? Sure. So yeah, so the part of this

00:00:28   idea to do this was I recently launched a big update to my sleep tracker for the Apple

00:00:32   Watch sleep++. It's been a while since I'd gone through the process of like, okay, this

00:00:39   is like, whenever you like some updates, you just kind of put out without really any desire

00:00:44   or goal or need for attention. But every now and then you find yourself in a place that

00:00:48   you're like, this is one of those things that if possible, I would really like people to

00:00:54   to pay attention to.

00:00:55   I think it's worthwhile, I think it's interesting,

00:00:57   it's compelling, but how do I get that out?

00:01:01   And so for C++, I went through all the steps

00:01:04   that we're about to talk about, of trying to understand

00:01:07   what is compelling, what is interesting,

00:01:09   what is the message about why this is worth

00:01:11   paying attention to, and who should I tell?

00:01:13   And trying to work that out, and writing a bunch of emails,

00:01:16   and preparing blog posts, and eventually putting it out,

00:01:19   putting it out in the store, and thankfully,

00:01:22   it had a really nice reception.

00:01:23   got picked up in a lot of places and had good downloads,

00:01:26   and so overall I would say it was a success.

00:01:28   And so hopefully we can talk through this process

00:01:31   and other people can learn from the mistakes

00:01:34   and the lessons we've both had from,

00:01:36   we've each probably launched at least several,

00:01:40   like dozens of these kind of big updates

00:01:41   where you're like, how am I gonna get attention for it?

00:01:44   And hopefully it's something to learn in that process.

00:01:47   - Yeah, absolutely.

00:01:48   I mean, for me, almost every update or launch,

00:01:52   it has some degree of underlying stress and preparation

00:01:55   and anxiety until it's actually like in people's hands

00:01:58   and seemingly not totally broken.

00:02:01   But certainly like the big ones,

00:02:04   like in the next version of Overcast,

00:02:07   I'm planning on calling it version 2.5,

00:02:10   'cause I've made a lot of improvements since 2.0

00:02:13   and I feel like I kind of half want it to be a big deal.

00:02:16   Like it isn't a 3.0,

00:02:17   but it is a substantial improvement over 2.0

00:02:20   in a number of areas.

00:02:21   So that's why I feel like, okay, 2.5, I feel like it deserves that level of PR, if

00:02:28   that makes sense. Do you ever do like a 0.5 or you just go, you know?

00:02:31   I think I tend to do just, I would just call it the next big number, because the number

00:02:36   only sort of matters, and it's just a much clearer message, often, maybe, to just say,

00:02:41   like, you know, this is, it's like, if people understand what, if the first number gets

00:02:45   bigger, typically that means big, cool stuff. Whereas 0.5, like, unless you realize that

00:02:51   that the previous version wasn't 0.4,

00:02:54   that wouldn't be as significant.

00:02:56   But I definitely have that same thought of it's like,

00:02:58   you're trying to weigh when you do an update of like,

00:03:01   is this, how notable is this?

00:03:03   Because I feel like you only have a certain amount

00:03:06   of attention that you can reasonably expect

00:03:09   to sort of garner with any update.

00:03:11   You know, and so if every single update I did,

00:03:13   every minor bug fix, every little change I made to the app,

00:03:17   I should have treated it as though it was a big deal,

00:03:20   I would very quickly sort of dilute any credence I had

00:03:25   with people in the press or with my audience,

00:03:27   and you kind of have the boy who cried wolf problem

00:03:30   and no one would pay attention.

00:03:31   And so I definitely see when you say,

00:03:33   it's kind of like half a big deal,

00:03:35   you're kind of signaling that and indicating,

00:03:36   hey, I know this isn't as this massive important thing,

00:03:40   and that's okay, but it's important,

00:03:42   so maybe take a look at it.

00:03:44   But just being honest about that

00:03:46   and finding that balance of how important it is in reality

00:03:49   versus how often you can sort of bang on the drum

00:03:54   and say, hey, come and look at me.

00:03:56   - Yeah, that makes sense.

00:03:57   I mean, really, when you're talking about version numbering,

00:03:59   I mean, your users will so rarely

00:04:01   even see the version number.

00:04:03   I mean, they will notice when they launch the app,

00:04:05   which has been auto-updated, and it looks different.

00:04:08   But they won't notice that, oh, the version number

00:04:12   in the store is now a new even number

00:04:14   because they're not gonna look at the release notes.

00:04:16   Nobody looks at the release notes anymore on iOS.

00:04:19   And so it really, it's mostly a signal, in my opinion,

00:04:22   the version number and the major versus minor

00:04:24   improvement numbers are mostly a signal to the press.

00:04:27   It's like you are kind of using the version number

00:04:30   to tell the press when it's a big deal.

00:04:33   So if you have reached version 4.0 after five years,

00:04:38   that's worth somebody paying a little bit

00:04:41   of attention to at least.

00:04:42   That's worth like, okay, I have this giant email inbox

00:04:46   as a press person, I have all these people pitching me

00:04:49   what new app updates and what new apps they have, but oh, this app I've heard of for five

00:04:53   years just released version 4.0, I want to at least read that and pay attention to that.

00:04:59   And you're right, like totally the cried wolf situation happens where, I mean what version

00:05:03   is Chrome and Firefox running now? They're in like the 40s and 50s now or something,

00:05:08   right? I mean, like, you know, they've decided that that no longer matters, and that's fine,

00:05:13   advantages to that too. But I think for indie apps, absolutely, use version numbering and

00:05:21   major versus minor as a way to signal to the press when something is important and worth

00:05:28   further consideration and coverage.

00:05:30   Yeah, because I think, and it's also probably worth saying, in all of your preparations

00:05:35   for this kind of marketing, this type of trying to get attention, the most important advice

00:05:42   I could ever give to somebody is to try and make sure that you have a very clear and concise

00:05:46   story about what's changed, why that's important, that if you can't tell somebody in two or

00:05:55   three sentences what's changed, why this would be interesting, if it's a new app, like why

00:06:00   this app is new or interesting or is worth paying attention to, you're really going to

00:06:05   struggle.

00:06:06   And all of these little things is trying to boil the coolness of your update down to something

00:06:12   very concise.

00:06:13   And so if you can say, "Here is 2.0.

00:06:16   It does X, Y, and Z," you're in a much better place than, "Oh, it does 50 new things

00:06:21   or 100 new things."

00:06:23   That's not really compelling.

00:06:24   It needs to be something that's a very clear story.

00:06:28   And you may need to structure the changes you make to fit a story.

00:06:32   Sometimes I'll look at that and I'll have features that are added into, that are part

00:06:37   of the update but aren't really important, and I won't really mention them in my update

00:06:41   notes because I find it's better to be able to say, "This update is all about this.

00:06:47   Here's the theme of what's going on."

00:06:49   Because A, it's easier for someone in the press to write a story about, and B, it's

00:06:53   just easier to understand, both to someone in the press or to just a customer.

00:06:57   If they go to the app store and they click on the "What's New" section, and it's

00:07:01   Like, this is now better because X.

00:07:04   The sleep analysis engine can now differentiate between multiple different sleep types and

00:07:11   giving you better data.

00:07:13   That's a simple, straightforward story.

00:07:15   That was most of what my recent C++ update was about.

00:07:18   That was the story I was pitching.

00:07:19   It included a whole bunch of other fixes and changes and improvements, but that was the

00:07:23   story that I was telling, and that makes it simpler.

00:07:25   Because you want to end up with something that you'd have someone look at and be like,

00:07:29   "Oh, wow, that's cool.

00:07:30   I want to download that or I want to explore that more.

00:07:33   Or if you're in a press and you've got 50 pitches, what's the thing that's going to

00:07:36   hook them and make them want to continue reading your description or your pitch?

00:07:43   And this doesn't apply only to 2.0, 3.0 kind of updates.

00:07:46   This applies to the entire app.

00:07:47   This applies to your 1.0, if not even more so.

00:07:51   Because your app—this is kind of like what I was talking about in my NS Conference talk

00:07:54   last year about app marketing, where like your app, if you can't boil down why somebody

00:08:00   should care about it at all in one or two sentences, it's going to be very hard to

00:08:05   get attention and to get press, or at least to get attention that lasts. And you can do

00:08:11   it, you know, you can have like an everything text editor that just, you can do everything

00:08:14   with this app, you know, or, you know, and everything, some kind of like everything bucket,

00:08:17   like oh, you can capture all your data and organize it, you know, like something very

00:08:22   vague but you know that it's very hard to stand out from the crowd with that or

00:08:27   if you say like you know this is the the iOS audio editor with 300 plugins like

00:08:34   okay like that doesn't it doesn't tell as compelling of a story as if you can

00:08:39   boil it down to a few specific noteworthy and useful sounding or

00:08:45   compelling sounding specific bullet points about like my app does these

00:08:50   three things, period. And then version two has these two or three big changes that will

00:08:55   help you. And yeah, you're right, one of those changes should not be fixed 60 bugs.

00:09:02   No one needs to be announced to that you fixed bugs. You should be fixing bugs and you shouldn't

00:09:08   even need to use PR to advertise that you are fixing bugs. You should just fix them.

00:09:17   the reason why somebody should care about your new version is not because

00:09:20   you fixed more bugs from the previous one. That's kind of an insult to your own

00:09:24   product. Fix the bugs, yeah, but also have other reasons that people should

00:09:29   care about and kind of downplay the bug fixing if you can. Like summarize it all

00:09:33   as one bullet point. Bug fixes and improvements, you know, like I always in

00:09:36   my business I always have like, you know, like the top few bullets of my

00:09:41   change logs in iOS will always be like, you know, interesting features. Like if I

00:09:45   I have to remove something that'll be up top.

00:09:46   That's usually not the case.

00:09:48   Otherwise it'll be interesting, compelling things

00:09:52   in those first few bullets.

00:09:53   And then the lower ones, I'll consolidate

00:09:56   almost everything else that nobody cares about

00:09:59   into a single bullet that says bug fixes

00:10:01   and other minor improvements.

00:10:03   Because nobody cares that, oh, I increased

00:10:05   the artwork size by four pixels.

00:10:07   It doesn't matter.

00:10:08   - Yeah, and I think this is the kind of thing

00:10:09   that it's an important distinction that,

00:10:12   I know it took a long time for me to learn as I started making apps, is marketing and

00:10:18   PR is a different thing than software engineering and making things.

00:10:25   And not necessarily that it's...

00:10:28   I still, in all of my marketing materials, strive to be honest and clear and straightforward.

00:10:34   But it's not that...

00:10:37   I want to tell people things that are going to be attractive and interesting and sell

00:10:44   my app to them.

00:10:45   I'm selling to them.

00:10:46   I want to emphasize the good and downplay the bad, because if I don't, it's not going

00:10:53   to be compelling.

00:10:54   And your example with bug fixes is a great one there, because while it's true that fixing

00:11:00   60 bugs may actually be important and have made the app way, way better and be a really

00:11:04   important thing, what you're saying when you say that, like the message that sends to your

00:11:09   customers is like, "Here's my app. Now it's less terrible." And that's not compelling.

00:11:17   You don't want to tell somebody, "Hey, here's this thing that's less terrible than it used

00:11:21   to be." It has to have that positive, exciting, interesting flair to it. It's awesome because

00:11:28   of this, and emphasizing things like fixing bugs isn't probably going to be it. It's like

00:11:33   You wanna have something that is going to be,

00:11:37   have that positive impact on them rather than, yeah,

00:11:39   less worse.

00:11:41   That's probably, that's a pretty low bar

00:11:44   to try and get someone's attention.

00:11:45   - Exactly.

00:11:46   - So once you have the story, you've come up with

00:11:50   what is this compelling feature set,

00:11:52   what is this thing, this hook that you're going

00:11:54   to give to people, the next thing you have

00:11:57   to kind of work through is who are you actually

00:12:00   going to tell, it seems?

00:12:02   And obviously, you'll talk to your friends and your family,

00:12:05   colleagues, your network.

00:12:07   But inevitably, to have any kind of big splash,

00:12:10   you need to reach out to the press.

00:12:13   And these are all kinds of people.

00:12:14   They could be from websites, from blogs, podcasts,

00:12:19   YouTubers.

00:12:21   It could be whatever.

00:12:23   YouTubers dwarf our audiences, just for the record.

00:12:25   If you can get MKBHD to talk about something,

00:12:27   that's so much better than any tech blog you've ever heard of.

00:12:31   >> Yeah. And you need to reach out to them. And one thing I always wanted to mention here

00:12:36   is it's okay for that to be really, really scary because I've been doing this a long

00:12:42   time. I've been an independent developer for almost eight years now, I think, or seven

00:12:46   years. And it's still every time I sit down to write an email to someone in the press,

00:12:51   many of these people who I know personally now who I'm good friends with and will meet

00:12:56   up when we're in the same town and things, it still is scary because whenever you actually

00:13:00   have to put virtual pen to ink kind of thing.

00:13:05   It's like you have to say, OK, I think this is cool.

00:13:09   I hope you do too.

00:13:11   And there's a certain vulnerability about that, because if they come back and say, I

00:13:14   don't think that's actually very cool or interesting, that's kind of not great.

00:13:19   But you have to kind of work past that and understand that, well, you worked on this

00:13:23   for a long enough time.

00:13:24   You owe it to your app and to yourself to put your best foot forward and to move past

00:13:28   that and to say like, "Oh no, these are the people I respect," because if people ever

00:13:33   ask me who I should reach out to, it's like, "Well, reach out to the people whose opinions

00:13:38   you would respect, and people who, when they recommend apps, you treat that with a fair

00:13:45   bit of regard, because presumably there's reasons why you think that, and there's reasons

00:13:50   that other people would think that too."

00:13:51   Yeah, and it takes a certain degree of getting over the shyness fact that you kind of alluded

00:13:58   to.

00:13:59   Like a lot of developers, they kind of just want to be Steve Wozniak.

00:14:02   Like I'll just make something cool and the world will respect it I guess, but I'm not

00:14:06   going to be out there being the showman.

00:14:09   Because a lot of developers, that's just not the kind of personality that we often have.

00:14:14   And the fact is that that's not enough.

00:14:19   enough when it was 1970s whatever and there were no other computers out there and Steve

00:14:25   Wozniak was making brilliant things that like a few other people discovered because they

00:14:29   were brilliant and there wasn't much else out there. That worked then. But that wouldn't

00:14:33   work today in a very very crowded market where if you don't get some kind of recognition

00:14:40   to make you stand out from the crowd then no one's ever going to find you. And so you

00:14:45   You have to, to some degree, be willing to take on the role of being the show person

00:14:51   for your app and developing some kind of quick pitch to be able to brag about it.

00:14:59   Not to say like, I'm the greatest person in the world, but I've made this app that's

00:15:03   really cool and useful for this short list of reasons or for this use case that you might

00:15:09   have.

00:15:10   And you have to be able to communicate that clearly and confidently, because if you can't,

00:15:16   it's very unlikely anybody else will do it for you these days, because they won't ever

00:15:20   see you, they won't ever find you.

00:15:22   Yeah, and it's also, I think, worth mentioning here that this is the place that I think you

00:15:27   often run into the, like, you look at someone who has been doing this for longer, and you

00:15:33   see the size of the audience they have, and you see the sort of the splash that they're

00:15:38   able to get. And it's easy to kind of look at that and be like, "Well, that's fine

00:15:42   for them, but I'm never going to get there."

00:15:45   I've never heard that before.

00:15:47   But the reality—and I think back to myself, like many years ago—I'm doing the same

00:15:54   things now, but I have a bigger audience for them. But when I launched an app back there,

00:16:00   I still wrote a blog post. I would still try and reach out to as much of the press as I

00:16:04   as I could, I would do all the same things.

00:16:06   And A, that was good practice for getting good at that

00:16:11   when there's a smaller attention on it,

00:16:13   so you can build the skill.

00:16:17   But it's also the understanding that that's just

00:16:19   what you have to do to ever get to that point.

00:16:22   No one just one day turned around and all of a sudden

00:16:25   had this massive audience with a big following

00:16:27   that when they put something out got a lot of attention.

00:16:29   You build that over time, and the only way

00:16:31   you're ever going to get there is to get started.

00:16:34   There's no point in saying, well, I may not as well even

00:16:38   try because I'm never going to get to where they are.

00:16:41   It's like, well, OK, I guess if you don't try,

00:16:43   you're definitely never going to get there.

00:16:45   But if you want to get there, if you

00:16:46   want to have a successful business that

00:16:49   gets a lot of attention and lots of downloads,

00:16:52   you're going to have to start by doing the things

00:16:55   that other people do.

00:16:56   And understand that to start with, maybe that'll go slowly.

00:17:00   But over time, if what you're making is good,

00:17:03   in my experience, it will find its audience,

00:17:05   and it will gather its success,

00:17:07   and you'll end up in the place of those people

00:17:10   that have been doing it for longer.

00:17:13   'Cause some of it, there's no shortcut.

00:17:14   The only shortcut is experience,

00:17:16   and you're just to keep trying and trying and trying again.

00:17:20   - Exactly.

00:17:20   And also, before we move off the topic of promotion,

00:17:23   two quick things that are not to be discounted

00:17:26   and that are very important here.

00:17:27   Number one, don't forget to promote to non-tech sites

00:17:32   that might be relevant to your app.

00:17:33   So look around, if your app is not just like

00:17:36   how to sort your RSS feeds,

00:17:38   like if it's something that is not just appealing

00:17:40   to the people who read sites about iOS apps

00:17:43   and iPhone news and stuff, like look around and see,

00:17:46   you know, are you making an app that is,

00:17:49   like you have my recipe book, right?

00:17:51   You still maintain that, right?

00:17:52   - Yeah, yeah. - Yeah.

00:17:53   So like, that's an app for baking and recipes and cooking.

00:17:56   like go to blogs that have audiences that are about cooking with recipes and using iPads

00:18:02   in the kitchen. Like, you know, something like, you go to relevant places for any non-tech

00:18:08   interests and, you know, go to those blogs and everything. Because like, look, every,

00:18:11   and this goes for the tech blogs too, these blogs and everything, they want good stuff

00:18:15   to post. They, you know, if they're trying to make one to five posts a day or whatever,

00:18:20   you know, depending on the site, it could be more than that if it's Rene Ritchie. You

00:18:24   You know, it's, man, that guy's a machine.

00:18:26   (laughs)

00:18:26   You know, you're trying to make, you know,

00:18:28   these sites need stuff to write about.

00:18:30   They need content.

00:18:31   You are doing them a favor by giving them something good,

00:18:34   and they are out there looking for something good

00:18:37   to write about every single day.

00:18:39   So, you know, the demand is there,

00:18:42   and the more narrow you can go with the site,

00:18:44   the better it will be for your chances

00:18:46   of them writing about it, you know,

00:18:47   if you have any kind of narrow appeal.

00:18:49   The other thing I want to mention is

00:18:51   use Apple promotion as well.

00:18:53   You know, the App Store has a similar issue of they,

00:18:56   every Thursday, they put in a whole new set of apps.

00:18:59   And by the way, there's not just one App Store

00:19:01   all over the world.

00:19:02   Each like category, like each region of the world

00:19:05   has its own editorial selections in the App Store usually.

00:19:08   And so you have all these different App Store

00:19:11   editorial teams looking for apps to feature

00:19:14   in all these different categories,

00:19:15   and all these different subcategories,

00:19:16   all these different special collections,

00:19:18   and especially around like new iOS releases,

00:19:21   if you're taking advantage of new APIs or anything.

00:19:23   Apple wants to feature good apps,

00:19:25   especially if they are making Apple's technologies

00:19:28   and devices look good.

00:19:29   So first of all, that should maybe be a consideration

00:19:32   when you're designing your app.

00:19:33   But second of all, once you are ready to launch your app,

00:19:37   Apple's been telling us for the last couple of events

00:19:40   they do for developers now, there's an email address,

00:19:43   I believe on the top of my head,

00:19:44   I believe it's appstorepromotion@apple.com,

00:19:46   is that right, Dina?

00:19:47   - That sounds right.

00:19:48   - So we'll look it up, we'll confirm,

00:19:49   but I believe it's appstorepromotion@apple.com.

00:19:52   And they actually ask you to please email them there,

00:19:56   you know, maybe four to six weeks ahead

00:19:58   of your intended release.

00:20:00   And tell them about the app,

00:20:02   tell them when you plan to launch,

00:20:03   what your marketing plan also includes,

00:20:06   so, you know, 'cause they don't wanna feel like,

00:20:07   the only people promoting you.

00:20:09   But, you know, tell them about your app,

00:20:12   and tell them why it's cool, maybe show them,

00:20:13   you can send them beta builds,

00:20:15   you know, they might not ever use them,

00:20:16   but it's worth attaching a two meg email attachment

00:20:18   or whatever, like go for it.

00:20:21   you know, use that. And look, they might say no, but they're actually asking developers.

00:20:27   Well, knowing Apple, they would probably say nothing rather than no. But they're, you know,

00:20:31   you're not bothering them, you're not putting them out by sending them an email saying,

00:20:34   "Hey, this is what my app is going to do. You know, I'd love it if you consider featuring

00:20:37   it or promoting it or whatever." Because they're actually asking us to do that. They're asking

00:20:41   developers, "Please email us with your promotions at this email address that includes promotion

00:20:46   in the email address. This is exactly what this is for. So use that. And chances are,

00:20:52   most of the time, it won't work out. But sometimes it will, and that'll be worth it.

00:20:55   Exactly. And I think that, to close up the discussion of the materials you're putting

00:21:00   together, I also want to emphasize the importance of what you put in iTunes Connect, because

00:21:04   the reality is, like, your description there, your screenshots, especially your screenshots,

00:21:09   are the thing that most people, that's all they're really going to know about your app

00:21:14   is what they see there.

00:21:15   And from Apple's perspective, I imagine

00:21:18   that is the first thing they look at.

00:21:19   How will this app look in the App Store?

00:21:23   And if it doesn't look good, if your screenshots

00:21:25   are all messy and ugly and your status bar

00:21:30   isn't cleaned up or all those types of things

00:21:32   that can make it look compelling.

00:21:33   - You have 1% battery life?

00:21:34   - Yeah, it's not compelling.

00:21:35   You have to make, that is the place

00:21:37   that is going to be the longest lived

00:21:40   attention and marketing tool for your app

00:21:42   is what your screenshots look like,

00:21:43   your icon looking good, and your description being clear and concise.

00:21:47   And if you do those things, you have a much bigger chance of getting Apple's attention,

00:21:52   you know, explain it to the App Store reviewers, look at it like if it's easy for them to understand

00:21:57   and get your hook and what's important, why this is cool, it's more likely they're going

00:22:00   to forward it on to editorial, and every time your customer comes to the App Store and opens

00:22:04   up their page, you want them to have that impact and have that same kind of like, "Oh

00:22:08   wow, yep, I want this, this is cool, I need to try this out."

00:22:13   Next we're going to talk a little bit about what it's like to launch an app, but before

00:22:16   we do that, could you tell me about something awesome Marco?

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00:24:05   OK, so now that you've come up with your compelling narrative, you've put together a pitch, you've

00:24:15   sent that out to both the press, to Apple, to your friends, your family, to everybody

00:24:18   you know, now it's time to actually launch your app.

00:24:23   And this is where it gets both kind of terrifying and exciting, because you get to pick a date.

00:24:28   Typically I tend to launch apps at a predetermined date.

00:24:33   It's probably not a great idea to say, just release whenever this gets approved, because

00:24:37   you have no idea when that is.

00:24:38   It could be in the middle of the night, it could be on a weekend, it could be whenever.

00:24:42   So when you're submitting it, say hold for developer release.

00:24:47   And especially if you have a particular date, that's often helpful with the press.

00:24:51   If you say, "Hey, I'm going to launch next Thursday," or on a particular date, so that

00:24:55   they can write their piece ahead of time and know when it is.

00:24:57   And I imagine most of these publications have schedules they're trying to keep to.

00:25:01   And by the way, this also matters for Apple promotion purposes.

00:25:04   This is why you see so many releases on Monday and Tuesday, because if you do it earlier

00:25:08   in the week, remember I said Apple, as you probably know, App Store features cycle on

00:25:12   Thursdays, which means they probably have to decide by like Tuesday or Wednesday what's

00:25:17   going to be in them.

00:25:18   And so if you can launch on Monday or Tuesday, if there's going to be any other press regarding

00:25:23   your app that you might anticipate, or if it's going to make a big splash, or you

00:25:26   think it might make a big splash, or you hope it might maybe someday maybe, you know, might

00:25:30   if there's any chance of there being a big splash,

00:25:32   release it on a Monday or Tuesday.

00:25:34   Because then, the Apple editorial teams

00:25:38   will have a chance to see any other press about it,

00:25:41   notice it, and maybe put it in that week.

00:25:43   But if you release on a Thursday,

00:25:44   when they just cycle out the apps,

00:25:46   it's more likely you're gonna get missed.

00:25:48   - Exactly, and once you pick your day,

00:25:50   you're gonna put it out there, and then you just hit go.

00:25:54   Like, you're gonna need to release it,

00:25:57   it, and the actual day is kind of fun. I mean, I don't... it's kind of weird being...

00:26:02   I think we're both independents, and so like, for the most part, so much of our

00:26:06   work is kind of lonely, for lack of a better word. It's, you know, it's

00:26:11   like, we're just... it's just us sitting at our... at a desk doing work, and...

00:26:14   Solitary. It's solitary. Solitary is maybe a... That's a nicer word. A less sad word than lonely.

00:26:20   Yeah, my dog is usually in the office with me. There you go. But it's... like, launch days

00:26:26   are fun, because it's kind of like we have permission to... people interact more. It's

00:26:34   more of a community, outside, external event, rather than just being something that we're

00:26:39   doing. The development part is just us at a computer working. But launch day, the whole

00:26:46   point is to talk to people about what you're doing, and to be out and about, whether that's

00:26:50   on social media or in emails with customers or whatever it is, it kind of can be fun and

00:26:56   exciting. And obviously you're on the lookout for bugs and issues and problems, but it's

00:27:01   also you're on the lookout for people saying, "Wow, this is awesome, I love it," and

00:27:07   having that kind of positive affirmation that is super cool.

00:27:10   Yeah, and really, hopefully you have a chance to sit back and enjoy it. If your servers

00:27:17   are exploding, that's a different story, but that probably won't happen and hopefully you

00:27:21   can just sit back and enjoy it because it really is nice to have worked for all that

00:27:24   time and then to have anybody, whether it's like, you know, five people or five hundred

00:27:31   people, to have anybody tell you like, "Hey, this is really cool," or to see other people

00:27:36   talking about the app who don't even know you, to say like, "Hey, look at this cool

00:27:40   app that I just launched or that I just found." It's incredibly fulfilling.

00:27:44   Yeah, and it's also probably something that I know it was a sort of like a discipline

00:27:49   I had to get into, but it was the importance of actually making sure that we do take the

00:27:53   time to celebrate these kinds of things.

00:27:55   Because I remember like when I used to work in an office job, when we finished a big project

00:28:01   or had a big milestone, like, you know, we'd all go out to lunch together and have a big

00:28:06   thing.

00:28:07   Like, there was an environment where it made sense as the team to go and celebrate.

00:28:13   And I know I had to learn that just because I'm an independent, just because there's not

00:28:17   a bigger team, that doesn't mean I shouldn't celebrate.

00:28:19   So I try very hard in our family.

00:28:22   When I do a big launch or something, I talk to my kids about it.

00:28:26   Me and my wife will sometimes have a special dinner, we'll do something to try and make

00:28:30   it special, to not just discount, "Well, just because I'm by myself, it would be kind of

00:28:36   silly for me to just be down in my basement by myself popping open a champagne bottle

00:28:40   and being like pouring one glass.

00:28:42   that's not very interesting. But doing that with my wife or doing that with my, you know,

00:28:46   having a special dinner with my family or something is an important way of kind of building

00:28:52   that motive because it helps motivate you to keep going. Like it makes it exciting to

00:28:56   get to the end, which is sometimes important. Like the, you know, three weeks before when

00:29:00   you're kind of really stuck dredging through problems and bugs to look forward to like,

00:29:05   "Hey, I look forward to when I can celebrate this," and, you know, make that an exciting

00:29:09   process.

00:29:10   - Yeah, that's really cool.

00:29:11   It's something that you taught me too a while ago

00:29:13   and I've learned from that

00:29:14   and have really, really enjoyed it since then.

00:29:16   So anyway, we're out of time for today.

00:29:18   This is the end, we can celebrate.

00:29:20   (laughing)

00:29:21   Sorry.

00:29:22   Thank you very much for listening everybody

00:29:24   and we will see you next week

00:29:25   where we will be talking about designing for misuse

00:29:28   of services and apps.

00:29:29   See you next week.

00:29:30   - Bye.

00:29:31   [ Silence ]