Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Music and Lyrics

My second solo iOS app isn’t doing very well.

I spent a grand on advertising and made 5 dollars of revenue. A trip to vegas would have been more successful though probably more hazy. With software development you can remember the exact steps you made which makes it the opposite of a hangover.

The first mistake I made is that I believe I missed the product niche. Making your own iBook is nice, but if you want to build a quality one you would use a pro tool like in design or ibook author. If you just want to send your friends photos you can do it from the camera app, or the Facebook app, or instagram, or hipstamatic, or iMessage etc. Low end sharing is pretty well solved. That doesn’t even go into companies like Flickr or Shutterfly who are desperately trying to state relevant.

The second mistake I made is that app wasn’t playful. At no point (other than flicking pages which was all apple) did the app feel fun or cute. I believe that if you can’t say something true, say something funny.

So to combine the two is to say that I made a product that people weren’t clamoring for and weren’t thrilled to use, which is a bit like saying I wrote a song whose only problems were the music and the lyrics.

The hard part is that I really like my own app. There are some great parts - like a chorus that works even if the rest of the song doesn’t. I think I will be right in that the ePub market is going to take off and there weren’t any great low end tools for it. That changed when Apple launched iBooks Author last month.

After that elephant wandering into the room, I have tried my best, solicited as many opinions about the first as I could, and push several updates to the store to try to make the app more appealing, but I have only ever received one book made with my app which was from my brother. He never used the app again.

I feel I have made the google+ of ePub apps.

And so I am left trying to figure out a new song. I think being entirely indie is too hard for me. It is a bit like trying to be Prince and play all of the instruments on a given record. I know that I good at some parts and that I should keep slugging away at the next new thing.

And I guess if that doesn’t work, I should consider vegas.