033 : Bestselling indie games with A Dark Room’s Amir Rajan

Amir Rajanawake. head throbbing. vision blurry.

So begins one of the most unique games to ever hit the App Store. What follows is an experience that takes the player through a dystopian world that starts with the simple gathering of wood and slowly grows in scope to places you’d never expect.

Amir Rajan discovered the original web-based A Dark Room (developed by Michael Townsend) on Hacker News and knew it needed to be on mobile. He negotiated the rights to create the iOS app and began his journey into RubyMotion and Objective-C development. He shares how he promoted his app and what it felt like to have a meteoric rise to the top of the App Store.

You should listen to this episode if you’ve ever wondered what it takes to have a best-selling app.

NOTE: It’s highly recommend that you finish A Dark Room before listening to this episode!

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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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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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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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Why massive web traffic is mostly worthless

The other day, I was browsing Reddit when I stumbled upon a question in r/blogging:

reddit-blogging-question

I got this! I got this! — I thought. I shared my story: how I managed to use my old personal blog to escape the retail world and get a staff writer job at Laptop Magazine.

I got a few upvotes out of it…but more importantly, there were a lot of great questions. One of the things I saw asked, time and time again, is how bloggers can get more traffic to their website.

The problem is: this is the wrong question to be asking. Continue reading