Premium Pricing and Back Seat Driving

Posted on October 27, 2015

A friend of mine, Curtis Herbert, has been writing a series of articles (1, 2, 3) he calls Slopes Diaries about the development and pricing of version 2 of his app Slopes. Although I've found Slopes Diaries to be interesting, and while I agree with a lot of what he's written, a few things that he wrote in his most recent installment of the series struck me as wrong. Curtis begins Slopes Diaries #3 by quoting himself from Slopes Diaries #1, ...

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My Delivery Truck (2nd Delivery Attempt)

Posted on July 9, 2015

Since posting My Delivery Truck, I've gotten a lot of responses, both on Twitter and (in the best tradition of blogging) reply posts. Although many were supportive of my post, some developers took me to task. A lot of the same objections were raised repeatedly, so I'm going to concentrate on a blog post from Aleksandar Vacić titled Store your Love which nicely summarizes many of the objections that were raised. Aleksandar writes: ...

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My Delivery Truck

Posted on July 2, 2015

As tends to happen in regular cycles in our community, there has recently been another bout of handwringing over the difficulty of making it as an indie. Brent Simmons kicked this one off in his well written piece titled Love. And I don't mean to make light of his piece. If you haven't done so, I encourage you to read it. It encapsulates well a lot of the emotional angst that many independent developers are feeling about their businesses right ...

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Taylor Swift and App Development

Posted on June 21, 2015

If you had asked me yesterday which Swift would be the topic of conversation among iOS and Mac developers today, I would have put money on it being the programming language and not the music star. And I would have been wrong, because Taylor Swift set the world of Apple watchers abuzz today by airing complaints about Apple's new Apple Music service on her blog. In her post she lays out a well-reasoned argument that Apple Music's payment policy is ...

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The Indie Hustle

Posted on June 4, 2015

I was reminded recently of episode #216: The Hustle of David Smith's excellent Developing Perspective podcast. "Reminded" isn't really the right word, though. It's more that it's stuck with me since I originally listened to it in April. In that episode, David talks (among other things) about the importance of hustle for an indie developer. And he's right. Hustle is an essential part of indie life. As an indie, you have to always be on the ...

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The App Store and Form 1099-K

Posted on March 28, 2015

If you're a U.S. taxpayer with apps on the iOS or Mac App Store, you may have received from Apple a Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions, which reports to the IRS your gross revenue from App Store sales. You may have also noticed that the amount reported on your Form 1099-K doesn't bear much resemblance to the payments actually received from Apple. There are a couple different reasons the amount Apple reported might ...

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The Shape of the App Store, Redux

Posted on January 20, 2015

Since publishing my piece on revenue distribution in the App Store yesterday, I've gotten some feedback from readers asking how valid my extrapolated data is. Some have pointed out that I'm working with a limited data set from only one app that might not hold for all apps. Others have pointed out that the daily revenue data that Marco Arment provided did not include any data from the period when Overcast was at the top of the U.S. Top Grossing ...

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The Shape of the App Store

Posted on January 19, 2015

Every developer knows how tough it can be to make a living on the App Store. There's a lot of money being made there, but it's not spread very evenly. Those at the top of the charts make the lion's share of revenue, while the vast majority are left to fight over the scraps. But exactly how lopsided is it? And how does that affect an indie developer's chances of finding success? For a long time, I was resigned to never really knowing the answers ...

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