032 : Building an app business not just a product with Dan Counsell

Dan Counsell Realmac SoftwareWhat is one of the biggest mistakes made by aspiring app entrepreneurs? Confusing a product with a business. If you build and release an app, you’re selling a product. What happens when sales dwindle? Do you have a plan for sustainable revenue?

Dan Counsell is the founder of Realmac Software, creators of applications such as RapidWeaver, Ember, and Clear. He’s been in the software business for a while now, and has learned some extremely valuable lessons along the way. In this episode, he shares the story of his very first piece of software, and his shock when people started sending him money for it.

He also walks me through the design, development, and launch of his most recent app, Clear (which I personally use every single day). The app is available for both iOS and an OS X, and he talks about why all developers should be targeting both App Stores.

This episode is about creating an app business, not just a product.

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031 : How to raise money to fund your app with Hunter Gray

Hunter Gray from KlutchIn 2011, Hunter Gray turned his app idea into the capital needed in order to get the product built. In this episode of the podcast, he shares exactly how he pitched his idea for the original version of Klutch to investors, and how the venture capital world has changed in just a few short years. Not everyone will be able to turn their ideas into cash, but Hunter explains the methods that worked for him and talks about what might work for you, too.

There’s so much discussion of bootstrapping today (and for good reason, it works), but it’s nice to have a different perspective on building an app business. If you’re dying to get your app idea in front of investors, Hunter explains exactly what you need to do to make that interaction as successful as possible.

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030 : A carefully crafted app launch with Jeremy Olson

Jeremy Olson TapityIt’s easy to look at somebody like Jeremy Olson and think, “wow, this guy came out of nowhere and just dominated the app scene!” His created his first app, Grades, while still in college, and it won him Apple’s prestigious Design Award in 2011. From there, he founded Tapity, an app development company that just launched its newest app Hours. He’s also the co-author of the popular App Design Handbook.

But creating a beautiful product is only one step in the process of releasing successful apps. In this interview, Jeremy takes me back to the beginning, and shares how he used a journal-like blog to make industry connections and build an audience before he even knew what he was doing. He also talks about turning app releases into launch events, which explains why Hours was covered by almost every major tech news website.

With over a million apps in the App Store, app success really is all about the launch. Jeremy shares exactly how he does it.

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029 : Novice No Longer goes back to apps

Ask a Developer on Novice No LongerI was still working retail when I truly felt what it was like to be a novice. I was just starting the second chapter of a book on Objective-C (after two other books and a video course couldn’t help me) and the words were beginning to sound like gibberish. I just couldn’t make it any farther in my journey to learn programming.

Each of these resources contained a small disclaimer in the intro: some prior programming experience required. At that point in my life, I had done a little HTML and CSS, and figured that experience was a solid foundation for learning more advanced programming with the right guidance.

But nothing made sense. And it wasn’t a matter Googling terms I didn’t understand — I didn’t even know what I should be Googling or how to determine a helpful answer. Everything I read went over my head, and it was impossible to sort the helpful information from the advanced stuff that I really wasn’t ready for yet.

That’s when I discovered Programming in Objective-C by Stephen Kochan. It taught a language I was interested in learning, and didn’t require any prior programming experience. I didn’t need to learn C before tackling Objective-C. The book simply started from the beginning. It was for novices like me.

Programming teaches you a new way to think. Yet even after finishing that book, I still remembered what it felt like to be in the dark. When I talked to other people interested in learning to code, I saw them in the same place I was years before…and I wanted to help.

That’s why I launched Novice No Longer, to help people build apps even if they had no prior programming experience. I launched the podcast in order to further this goal. Over time, the podcast drifted away from this vision, and became more a business/entrepreneur/lifestyle design podcast. It’s been amazing, and I’ve had some amazing guests on the show, but it’s time to get back to the original vision.

I’m taking a break from the podcast for a short while for the revamp. When we return, we’re going to have some top app developers on the show, like Jeremy from Tapity and Dan Councell from Realmac Software.

Is there someone you’d like to see on the show? Let me know.

I’m also introducing a brand new segment to the show, called Ask a Developer. Each week, I’m going to play a question asked by you, the listener, and my guest and I will do our best to provide an answer. It’s a chance to get your biggest questions answered by the masters.

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027 : Growth hacking Guides.co with Franco Varriano

Franco VarrianoThe growth tactics you use when your company is just starting out are different from when the company is a few months old. They change even more as the company grows to handle more and more users. Applying the wrong growth tactics, at the wrong times, can be just as bad as not acting at all.

Today, I have Franco Varriano of Guides.co on the show. He shares how Guides.co started as a company called Startup Plays, and the exact moment when it grew into its current form. As the company gained momentum, Franco has been there to guide its progress — fostering communities of both guide authors and users. He shares some of his insights on this week’s episode.

Even if you just have an idea, Franco has insights about how to collect the most valuable feedback. This is a great episode for entrepreneurs of all levels.

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