Under the Radar

265: Old App, New Subscription


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

00:00:04   I'm Marco Arment.

00:00:05   And I'm David Smith.

00:00:06   Under the Radar is usually not longer than 30 minutes, so let's get started.

00:00:09   So it seems like we are in the, you know, any minute now, WWDC announcement kind of part of the year, right?

00:00:18   Yes. I hope so. I really, really hope so.

00:00:21   So it is possible that any time between now and mid-May, Apple might announce WBC.

00:00:28   And so when this happens, I would like to strongly encourage our listeners out there,

00:00:34   if you're wondering, like, is it worth going?

00:00:38   Should I go through the hassle and expense and time of getting out there?

00:00:42   Should I enter what will presumably be some kind of lottery to get to go to the Apple

00:00:46   campus and go in person?

00:00:48   I would say treat it like almost like Disney World.

00:00:53   Like, with the disclaimer I've never actually been

00:00:56   to Disney World, but treat it like a cool destination

00:01:01   vacation or a cool pilgrimage in a way.

00:01:04   I would suggest if you have the means to get yourself there,

00:01:09   whatever that means for you, and that's a huge if,

00:01:12   'cause for many people it could be quite a journey

00:01:16   to get there. I would say if you have the means, going to, assuming they do the same

00:01:21   thing as they did last year, which is also a big assumption, but I think it's probably

00:01:24   a safe one.

00:01:26   Going to the Apple Campus and being there in person, seeing Apple Park, like all that

00:01:31   stuff, you know, that, it was so cool to just be there and see all that stuff. And, you

00:01:38   know, that, it's a really cool pilgrimage. And so I would say if this gets announced

00:01:43   between this episode and next, which we're both hoping it will. And if some lottery opens

00:01:49   up that you can enter to go in person, I would suggest if you can swing it to do so, because

00:01:55   it's really cool. And it's not so much for the developer content, because that will mostly

00:02:01   be streamed. They didn't do live sessions last year. It's more of like, here's a cool

00:02:08   thing you can do in person if you want to. And then the whole conference is actually

00:02:13   online which we talked about before I think is better in pretty much every way. It's not

00:02:18   about the content so much as the pilgrimage. And I find the pilgrimage also incredibly

00:02:23   motivating to go work on my app afterwards because I've been to the mothership and I've

00:02:30   seen all the people who work on this stuff and it always energizes me to go do awesome

00:02:36   some stuff in my app and to go work harder and to adopt the new stuff. And so there is

00:02:41   a very strong just coolness factor to going and there's a very strong motivational factor

00:02:46   to going. So I strongly suggest if Such a Lottery opens up anytime soon and you're

00:02:51   able to go, put your name in the hat. It's pretty cool.

00:02:54   Yeah. And I think I would definitely both concur with that as a recommendation. And

00:02:59   I mean, there's clearly a reason why every WWDC that I could have gone to in person that

00:03:05   I have been to since 2009. And that is, in aggregate, certainly quite a bit of expense

00:03:12   in terms of time and money, but it is something that I continue to do and continue to hope

00:03:17   to be able to continue doing because it has been so impactful, because it is just a useful

00:03:23   part of the year. And I think for all the things you're saying, but I think for me,

00:03:26   the biggest thing too is there is something different about physically moving yourself

00:03:31   to a different place that is a useful mental reset for the rest of the year. It's like

00:03:39   it creates this chapter, sort of there's the first half of the year and the second

00:03:43   half of the year. And from my work life, that has been really helpful to me to be able to

00:03:48   kind of go there and for a week be completely focused on work and what I'm going to work

00:03:54   on for the rest of the year, what's interesting. It's very good for being creative and you

00:04:00   have an idea at WWDC and you can talk it through with three or four people immediately, in

00:04:05   a way that is just different and very cultivating for new ideas and things that you're going

00:04:10   to go into. And so I think there is just that. And you could kind of create that yourself,

00:04:15   in terms of you could go, we talk about going on a working vacation type of situations.

00:04:21   And going to WWDC would not be something that would be particularly viable for you, trying

00:04:26   to do something like that, where you go stay in a local hotel for a couple of nights around

00:04:31   WWDC to have that same sense of like, it's a focused retreat focused on work is just

00:04:37   something that I've found very, very empowering. But certainly if you can get out to there,

00:04:41   and it's like, assuming there's going to be an event like they did last year, at least,

00:04:45   something like that, like, if you I would highly recommend being really positive about

00:04:49   trying to get there, especially if you haven't before, because maybe it's not for everybody,

00:04:53   It's definitely for Marco and I.

00:04:55   And I imagine we are not alone in our finding of its value.

00:05:01   Yeah.

00:05:02   And I mean, I would even say, like--

00:05:05   and let me know when you lived on the East Coast of the US

00:05:07   and had a similar flight situation.

00:05:09   Even the flights to and from, I always

00:05:11   got a massive amount of work done.

00:05:14   When I don't usually, like on usually long flights,

00:05:17   I always think I'm going to get worked on, and I never do.

00:05:19   But for some reason, the ones to and from WWDC,

00:05:21   whether it's like the motivation or the fact that it's usually just me without anybody

00:05:26   else, you know, no companions or family or anything. Like, usually I get a ton of work

00:05:30   done on those flights. So yeah, it's a pretty cool experience, so if you can do it and if

00:05:36   the opportunity opens up in the next two weeks, which we assume there's a pretty good chance

00:05:40   of that just timing-wise for the year, we suggest that you do it.

00:05:43   Absolutely.

00:05:44   So, now onto the actual show topic.

00:05:47   We, you know, so when you debuted the Podometer++

00:05:51   major update a couple episodes ago,

00:05:54   part of that update, among many other things,

00:05:58   including what appeared to be an almost total rewrite

00:06:00   of the app, which is no small feat,

00:06:03   part of that change is you actually changed

00:06:07   the business model of Podometer++,

00:06:09   and you adopted a new subscription.

00:06:10   And, you know, at the time, I believe we said,

00:06:14   Let's revisit that after a little while when you have some data and you've seen the

00:06:18   feedback and how the existing users have received that.

00:06:23   Because this is something that I think a lot of developers face, you have an existing app

00:06:27   with existing users and you want to move it to a subscription model.

00:06:31   And we've seen this over and over again in the industry and it's usually really tricky

00:06:37   to navigate that path.

00:06:38   And a lot of times users get upset or the press turns against you if you have any press

00:06:43   or people dump your app for a competitor because they hate subscriptions or whatever. And so

00:06:52   that's obviously very tricky to manage. And I think you've been really, I think, unusually

00:06:57   good compared to the industry average in terms of bringing your existing user base along

00:07:04   through significant changes in the app. And you are more level-headed than most of us.

00:07:12   you're better at reacting quickly to user feedback than most of us. And so I'm curious

00:07:17   to see, I haven't, I've intentionally not been like, you know, digging into your reviews,

00:07:22   so I didn't want any spoilers. How has this gone for you? And what have you learned in

00:07:28   the process moving pedometer to a subscription?

00:07:31   Yeah, and I think so. So like, like the high level first is that I think it went well.

00:07:36   Like it's, it's been basically, yes, like we're basically a month in and I mean, it's

00:07:40   like, you're never going to get through something like this without some people being grumpy.

00:07:43   I mean, that is anything, regardless of what I had changed, if I change anything, there

00:07:48   will be some, you know, group of people who are grumpy. That's just the reality of development

00:07:54   and improvement and change. So like that, that is not unexpected. But it has been something

00:07:58   that I think and we can, I mentioned the rest of the episode, we'll be talking about all

00:08:02   the strategies I use to try and make this transition sort of smooth and easy and hopefully

00:08:07   painless for my customers, but overall they all seem to have generally worked. And like,

00:08:12   you know, the subscription is doing well, the general kind of user base seems happy,

00:08:17   you know, a month in and other than a few minor issues, like I haven't had any crazy

00:08:22   issues related to the, you know, rewrite side of things, you know, so it's like, overall,

00:08:29   the update went well. And I think probably a good place to start is to just kind of talk

00:08:33   through the business model history for Pedometer++ because, I think Overcast has gone through

00:08:40   the same kind of journey where it has definitely not been a straightforward path from version

00:08:46   1 to now in terms of what brings me to here and kind of the luggage that that means that

00:08:52   the app is kind of carrying with it to this point. Because Pedometer++ launched nearly

00:08:58   ten years ago, which is a wild thing to think about. But it's like in 2013 when the iPhone

00:09:05   5S launched, I launched Panama WordPress Plus, and initially the app was just completely

00:09:11   free, no business model, no anything, because it was super simple, did hardly anything,

00:09:17   and I wasn't even really sure when I shipped it if it was even going to really work, in

00:09:21   in a practical sense that I had gotten my iPhone 5S, got up at two in the morning, went

00:09:28   and camped out in front of an Apple store, got my iPhone 5S, did a build and run, it

00:09:32   worked, I submitted it. That was where I was, and so I had minimal confidence in this app.

00:09:38   But I thought also it was really cool to be there on day one, to be right there at the

00:09:41   start. And so that's how the app launched. It was just like a free app out there, like,

00:09:46   see if there's anything here." And then that was sort of where it began. And then,

00:09:53   so as a result, in a weird way, like I didn't think about this at the time, but that kind

00:09:56   of sort of dictated some of the paths that I felt like were available to me, because

00:10:02   it meant that the paid upfront model, I felt like I was kind of excluded as a result of

00:10:09   going down that road, which isn't technically true. Like I certainly could have gone down

00:10:12   that road. But in general, when you take something that was free and make it paid, that is where

00:10:18   I think the biggest sort of issues and problems you run into in regards to user and customer

00:10:25   feedback that you take this thing that was free and you make it paid, that is so often

00:10:29   the root thing that people don't like. So I was like, "Okay, that's not going to be there."

00:10:33   And so then it was like, "Okay, well, what can I do?" And this is 10 years ago, there

00:10:38   was no in-app purchase subscription for, I don't think, it may not have been for anything,

00:10:43   but at the very least it definitely wasn't for just like software, whereas in the first

00:10:47   version of subscriptions it was only for media and content. And so that definitely wasn't

00:10:53   this. And so the first thing I did was I added a tip jar to Pedometer++, which I think may

00:10:58   have been one of the very first tip jars in the App Store, at least one of the few that

00:11:02   I was aware of. And I wasn't even sure if it would get through App Review, but I was

00:11:05   just like, "Hey, let's just see if that works." So I just added a little thing that was like

00:11:09   a small, medium, and large tip, and you could kind of just freely give me some money inside

00:11:15   of the app. And I tried that, and it worked reasonably well. I think the general feedback

00:11:23   I got from that is that it is a good way of getting a reasonable amount of money from

00:11:28   your most passionate fans. Ten percent of people who are most excited about your app

00:11:36   were very supportive and able to get into that. But it also leaves a lot of users who

00:11:41   are completely unmonetized, and that was problematic. And so then I went and added advertising inside

00:11:46   the app. Originally it was iAd when Apple introduced that, and then when Apple got rid

00:11:50   of that I went to AdMob. And advertising became the main business model for the app for a

00:11:57   long time, and eventually I slightly rebranded the tip jar to be more like "remove ads"

00:12:02   rather than just a tip jar, because that actually performed a lot better but did a similar kind

00:12:07   of thing where it's a bit more voluntary rather than being essential. And so that sort

00:12:13   of brings us to today, where now it's a model where there's a selection of features

00:12:20   inside the app that I put behind a paywall, and I'm now charging a recurring subscription

00:12:26   for that. So it's the $2 a month, $20 a year kind of a model for, in pedometer++' case,

00:12:33   it's essentially all of the workout features. So the iPhone workout tracking, the mapping

00:12:39   features, downloadable maps, all that kind of thing, as well as some custom icons. And

00:12:46   I have some plans for things down the road, and that would be most likely be premium features.

00:12:53   But in kind of just as broad strokes, that's kind of the journey that the app has been

00:12:57   on to get to today, which hopefully is kind of some useful context before I dive into

00:13:01   the actual nuts and bolts for like where I am now and how I got here.

00:13:06   Yeah, I think it's interesting, like, you know, to look back over the history of, you

00:13:10   know, such a long running app, you know, as you said, I have a similar timeline with Overcast,

00:13:15   you know, having come out almost nine years ago. And it's interesting, actually, wait,

00:13:20   almost ten, oh geez, 2014? I forget, I think it's almost nine years ago. Anyway, when

00:13:25   it's been that long, the difference between nine and ten doesn't really matter that

00:13:29   much. But it's interesting, you know, like, on one hand, you have to, you know, it's

00:13:35   useful to know what happened in the past and to know the journey that got you here and

00:13:40   to keep in mind the lessons learned from the past. But on another level, you can't be

00:13:45   too concerned with the past because every new person who's coming to your app, like

00:13:51   your entire source of growth, is coming from people who don't know the app's history,

00:13:55   who maybe don't even know the history of apps in general back then, and also even if

00:14:01   they did, probably don't care anymore. You know, like when the App Store first launched,

00:14:05   almost everything was paid up front for the first few weeks or months. Everything was

00:14:10   like $5 or $10, and then very quickly went down and down and down, and then eventually

00:14:15   we got to where we are today.

00:14:17   But no one today cares that, yeah,

00:14:20   most apps used to be paid up front

00:14:21   for the first couple months of the app store.

00:14:23   No one cares, that's not a thing at all

00:14:26   that people care about now.

00:14:28   But your existing customers who were there

00:14:32   for that part of it, some of them still care.

00:14:35   Like, one of the issues I have with Overcast,

00:14:40   and I've had this issue for everything I've ever done,

00:14:42   is the people who bought it,

00:14:46   who bought the unlock for the original 1.0 version

00:14:51   in 2014 still expect all the benefits they bought

00:14:56   from that unlock to be there today.

00:14:59   And it's like, okay, yes, thank you,

00:15:01   you gave me $5, I think it was, I don't even remember,

00:15:04   I think it was $5.

00:15:05   It's like, whatever it was, you gave me this amount of money

00:15:08   in 2014 and I've been maintaining the app

00:15:11   for this entire time since then,

00:15:13   running the servers this entire time since then,

00:15:15   if you gave me five bucks in 2014

00:15:17   and have been using the app since then,

00:15:20   if you don't show the ads in the app

00:15:23   or haven't bought premium,

00:15:24   I have definitely lost money on you by now,

00:15:27   but that's my problem, not yours.

00:15:30   And that's on me to deal with.

00:15:33   And so if I change the business model

00:15:36   or if I change what those people have access to now,

00:15:41   they're gonna see that as taking away something of theirs,

00:15:45   or they're gonna see that negatively in some other way.

00:15:46   And so it is ultimately my problem to deal with,

00:15:50   of like, if I want to change the business model

00:15:54   to match what current customers expect,

00:15:58   or to match what my current needs are financially

00:16:00   for the app, or how to cover my current costs

00:16:03   of running the app, that's really up to me

00:16:06   and new customers to mostly handle,

00:16:09   because it's really hard to change what the old customers are getting or have gotten for

00:16:14   what they paid or didn't pay without really angering your existing user base.

00:16:19   So on one level, you have to try as much as possible not to care about the past.

00:16:25   But some of your customers are going to care quite a lot about the past.

00:16:29   Anyway, we are brought to you this episode by Indeed.

00:16:32   When it comes to hiring, you need to trust your gut.

00:16:34   But what if you could give your gut some help?

00:16:36   When you want to find quality talent fast, you need Indeed, the hiring platform where

00:16:41   you can attract, interview, and hire all in one place.

00:16:44   Don't spend hours on multiple job sites looking for candidates with the right skills when

00:16:47   you can do it all with Indeed.

00:16:49   Find top talent fast with Indeed's suite of powerful hiring tools like matching, assessments,

00:16:54   and virtual interviews.

00:16:55   And if you hate waiting, Indeed's US data shows over 80% of Indeed employers find quality

00:17:00   candidates whose resume on Indeed matches their job description the moment they sponsor

00:17:05   a job with Instant Match. It's really incredible. As soon as you sponsor a post, you'll get

00:17:10   a short list of quality candidates and you can invite them to apply right away. Boom!

00:17:14   It's like hiring at warp speed. Join over 3 million businesses worldwide using Indeed

00:17:20   to hire great talent fast. Indeed knows when you're growing your own business, you have

00:17:25   to make every dollar count. That's why with Indeed, you only pay for quality applications

00:17:30   that match your must-have job requirements.

00:17:32   Visit indeed.com/undertheradar to start hiring now.

00:17:36   That's indeed, I-N-D-E-E-D, indeed.com/undertheradar.

00:17:41   That's indeed.com/undertheradar.

00:17:44   Terms and conditions apply, cost per application pricing

00:17:47   not available for everyone.

00:17:48   Need to hire?

00:17:49   You need Indeed.

00:17:51   Our thanks to Indeed for sponsoring this show

00:17:53   and all of Relay FM.

00:17:54   - Yeah, and I think it's very much what you're saying there

00:17:58   this sort of this duality that you have to keep in your mind when you're doing this kind of work,

00:18:02   I think is so fundamental to understand and be aware of and respectful of your existing user

00:18:09   base, who are, you know, presumably the, you know, they're the bread and butter of your app,

00:18:14   they're the people you've built up over time, hopefully, this, you know, this group of people

00:18:18   who like the app, who use it regularly, you know, that when we talk about retention, and again,

00:18:22   you have this retention curve where, you know, whatever 40% of people come back the first day,

00:18:27   and then it kind of falls off from there. But at some point, you end up with this group of people

00:18:30   who are committed to your app, who are invested in it into sense of their time and energy and

00:18:34   attention. And so you want to sort of do right by them. And if you do, you know, like treat them

00:18:40   well, that they are, you know, there's hopefully enough of them that have enough goodwill that

00:18:43   they'll support you. But also make sure that you're not catering to them too much at the

00:18:50   expense of your kind of future potential for growth with new customers who don't have that

00:18:54   context who are that for, you know, debt day one person. And so I think when I'm going

00:18:58   into my business model change for this, but the thought I had in my mind, which I don't

00:19:03   know is, I think it was the sort of the generous and but also like, sort of like safe and wise

00:19:10   approach as well, was to say, I'm not going to try very hard to not take anything that

00:19:17   is currently free, and or you could have had access before and put it behind a paywall

00:19:24   I don't want it to ever feel like this thing that you had, I'm taking it away from you,

00:19:28   and now starting to charge you money. Instead, I'm going to do the work to build new and

00:19:34   more compelling features that will augment the existing experience, and all of the new

00:19:39   stuff is going to be paid. And sort of my rationale for that is that if you are a current

00:19:46   user, someone who's happy, someone who likes the app, who uses it all the time, and I make

00:19:50   the app better, you're going to want the things that make the app better because you like

00:19:55   the app. So why wouldn't you want the app to be better? But if you for whatever reason

00:20:00   don't want to pay for that, you can continue to still be that person who is happy and is

00:20:06   using the app and we're all good there. And so that was sort of the way that I intentionally

00:20:11   structured this, that I didn't take any of the features that existed before, that in

00:20:15   some ways if it weren't for the visual redesign stuff, like you could just entirely possible

00:20:20   that some users would never know that anything changed. And those users still have, there's

00:20:24   still ads in the app, and so they'll continue to kind of support and be monetized in that

00:20:28   way if they never went, you know, anywhere else in the app. But I'm also going to create

00:20:32   this new way that if you want the more advanced features, if you want a more robust experience,

00:20:38   if you want features that are new, then you then you have to be sort of on the subscription

00:20:42   plan. And that seems to kind of be working well, where, you know, the existing user base

00:20:49   was fairly happy with that. If you didn't, you could have been completely unaware that this

00:20:53   happened, the business model changed, but you didn't have to change with it. Or you can kind

00:20:57   of become aware of that new option subsequently. That is definitely something that is possible

00:21:04   in this model. But I think overall, that seemed to work. And I think that was the approach I took,

00:21:10   was consciously with that in mind. And I think not every app has the benefit of that, because it is

00:21:16   very difficult to pull off because you have to essentially create whole cloth, something

00:21:22   of value that's worth paying for, in addition to whatever your core value was initially.

00:21:31   Because I think very often where apps get into trouble is when you have a business model

00:21:36   for the core part of your app, and then you now suddenly want to start charging for that

00:21:42   core part of the app, and now you're taking something away from someone. And, you know,

00:21:46   necessarily and obviously and like, quite reasonably, people are going to be upset if

00:21:50   you take something away from them rather than sort of add something extra that they now

00:21:54   have to pay for. And so it's definitely difficult. Like, it would have been great if I just decided,

00:21:58   "Hey, I'm just going to make the app subscription based." And interestingly, like as a sort

00:22:04   of a point of comparison, like I've in the industry that I work in, in terms of step

00:22:09   counting. There have been a number of apps that were created, did reasonably well, and

00:22:14   then got bought by—I don't know what kind of companies you'd call it. I don't know if

00:22:19   it's venture or how it's sort of funded, but there's these companies that come in and they

00:22:23   buy an app, and then it's just like, put everything behind a paywall. It's all about using the

00:22:28   existing search optimization for the app in the App Store. And it's just like, every time

00:22:32   you open the app, it's showing you a paywall. It's very aggressive. And I'm sure it makes

00:22:35   some money, but it also ruins the user experience. And so that is the other extent of this, where

00:22:41   I see that and it's like, maybe there's more money there. Maybe if I'd gone that route,

00:22:44   that would have been potentially overall more income, but it would have been way less satisfaction

00:22:49   for myself and my users. So instead, it's like taking this approach of let's put in

00:22:53   the work to build features that are worth paying for and then charge money for them,

00:22:57   which I think ultimately sounds kind of simplistic and superficial, but that's what I did and

00:23:02   it seemed to work. I think there were a few dozen people who were upset about this thing

00:23:08   or saying, "Oh, now you're just one of these apps always wanting to ask for a subscription,

00:23:13   asking for money, greedy and selfish." It's like a dozen people. It's not the vast majority

00:23:20   of people who seem pretty fair about this, that I'm just presenting this value proposition.

00:23:25   Here are some new features that I spent a while building, and if you want them, awesome.

00:23:29   is what they cost. And that makes it very straightforward. Everything you had before,

00:23:33   if you paid to remove ads in like 10 years ago, it still works today. So remove your

00:23:39   ads. I'm just sort of grandfathering in all the features from before and that seems

00:23:43   to work.

00:23:44   That's really good. I'm really glad to hear that. Because your competitors' apps

00:23:49   that you were talking about, about how they're just kind of ad crap fests to just… It's

00:23:55   like strip mining attention on the App Store.

00:23:57   Just like, we don't care how terrible

00:23:59   we make this experience, we're just gonna mine

00:24:02   these people for as much crappy ad money that we can get,

00:24:05   and when the app becomes a rotting husk of itself,

00:24:09   who cares, we'll move on to the next one.

00:24:12   And that is a huge economy, and that is a huge part

00:24:14   of the App Store, a part of the App Store

00:24:16   that still both baffles and disappoints me

00:24:19   that Apple allows to exist at all

00:24:21   through the process of app review

00:24:22   that's protecting us from bad experiences

00:24:24   in theory. But, you know, setting that aside, Apple permits this and profits heavily from

00:24:31   this because what that industry is mostly for is we're going to buy as many installs

00:24:37   as we can, oftentimes using search ads where Apple profits, again, thanks for that. So,

00:24:43   you know, lots of, you know, money going in to buy installations because they know they're

00:24:49   going to strip mine the attention for ad money once it's installed until the user realizes,

00:24:55   "Oh God, I'm so tired of these stupid ads," and moves on.

00:25:00   And that's a game that if you cross into the purely cynical revenue maximizing mode, you

00:25:12   play that game then, and then you're competing with all of those people and all of those

00:25:15   apps. And the fact is, they're probably better than you with that game, because you

00:25:20   care too much about people and quality. So if you want to, you can play that game, like

00:25:29   if that's your industry and you want to play that game, you can play that game. And

00:25:32   look, someone wins that game. It could be you, maybe not, but it could be you. But when

00:25:37   you're instead focused on the quality market, that's a different game that you're playing,

00:25:43   a very different market.

00:25:45   And that is a much smaller part of the App Store by volume,

00:25:50   but it's also, I mean, for me, it just feels a lot better

00:25:53   to play in that game.

00:25:55   And that's, I think when we are talking about

00:25:59   the wonderful life of being an indie app developer,

00:26:03   that's more what we're thinking of than the, you know,

00:26:07   strip mining people's attention for as many ads

00:26:11   as you can get before they get tired of your app

00:26:12   and delete it because it doesn't quite do what they wanted and it's full of so many

00:26:16   ads they can't get anything done. Like, we've all seen those apps in the App Store. Oftentimes,

00:26:22   like, on our kids' devices that we have to delete or filter or whatever, or our relatives

00:26:27   or whatever. But it's much nicer to not play that game if you don't have to. And fortunately

00:26:34   with Podometer, you don't have to. And you don't play that game with any of your apps.

00:26:37   And I don't either. And I'm really happy not to play that game. And so I think it's important

00:26:42   when you are looking at revenue strategies,

00:26:45   ad strategies, et cetera, to recognize

00:26:47   which of these games you're actually playing

00:26:49   and which one you want to be playing

00:26:52   and which one you are potentially good at

00:26:54   or want to be good at because if you push too hard

00:26:59   and you fill everything with ads

00:27:00   and you maximize every opportunity,

00:27:02   again, that puts you in a different category of app

00:27:05   and the quality market will abandon you.

00:27:08   And then you're just competing with the pump and dump market

00:27:11   and they're going to be better at it than you.

00:27:13   Yeah, and I think too it's the sense of are you trying to build a business that can

00:27:20   last for years and years that, you know, like I, you know, and making this change in Pedometer

00:27:27   ++ 10 years almost into its life and I am sort of making this change to hopefully make

00:27:35   the next 10 years of this app viable. And that's just a different mentality. That's

00:27:40   a different mindset that what I want is a core group of users who love the app, who

00:27:47   care a lot about it, who are my marketing division, essentially. I don't have to do

00:27:53   marketing because my customers do my marketing for me because they like the app and they'll

00:27:57   tell it to a friend or show it to someone or those kinds of things. That's what I'm

00:28:01   buying with that. That goodwill turns into these other divisions of I don't have a

00:28:07   growth marketing team. I don't have a market, you know, all these things that you could

00:28:11   imagine if you start to go in a different direction that you would need. Like I'm instead

00:28:17   building that, you know, paying for those with goodwill instead. And I think my hope

00:28:20   is to just have a model that is sustainable. And I think ultimately for the, you know,

00:28:25   the indie life, I think sort of having ads plus a small sort of not inconsequential,

00:28:33   But to have a subscription that is available for your most interested users seems like

00:28:39   a great model.

00:28:40   It seems sustainable.

00:28:41   It seems like it creates consistent revenue over time, which means that I can continue

00:28:46   to focus on improving and my incentives are aligned with my customers' incentives that

00:28:50   if they're happy, I'm happy, rather than working at any way across purposes.

00:28:55   And I think that is the thing that ultimately is a great guiding principle as you're thinking

00:28:59   through business model changes or how you're going to structure things.

00:29:03   would I respond to this if I was a user? How would I think about this? Would I be happy?

00:29:08   Would this increase the satisfaction I would have in using this app?" And if that's the

00:29:12   case, if you're doing things that are only going to make people happy, like, "Oh, wow,

00:29:15   that's a great new feature. I want that. Oh, it cost me money. That's cool," in a way that

00:29:21   I'm never taking things away or trying to create these moments of disappointment or

00:29:25   sadness because it's a different kind of disappointment if you see a cool feature and you say, "Oh,

00:29:31   oh wow, it costs something, versus the disappointment

00:29:34   of going to check your steps in a day

00:29:35   and they're just like not there.

00:29:37   Like that's a very painful, different kind of

00:29:40   just sort of discouragement that I chose to avoid

00:29:42   and maybe I'm leaving some money on the table

00:29:43   but I will leave that money on the table

00:29:45   and walk away happy as a result.

00:29:47   - And sleep at night.

00:29:48   - Exactly.

00:29:50   - Thanks for listening everybody

00:29:51   and we will talk to you in two weeks.

00:29:53   - Bye.

00:29:53   [