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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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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009 : Speaking Tech, the required language of the future with Vinay Trivedi

Vinay headshotWhen you come from a non-technical background, listening to developers speak can sound a lot like FDJKFJ CJ KCDJK REJISJ KLSSJ K  SKD.

Fortunately, my guest this week is here to help. Vinay Trivedi is the author of How to Speak Tech: The Non-Techie’s Guide to Technology Basics in Business. In this episode, we talk about specific things that non-technical people should learn in order to remain relevant in the workforce.

When you’re a novice, sometimes you don’t even know what questions you should be asking. Vinay helps lay a solid tech foundation so that you’ll be able to use where ever your learning takes you in the future. If you’re ready for developers to stop sounding like they’re speaking in tongue, it’s time to listen up.

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004 : Conquering the niche app and reaping the rewards with Massimo Biolcati

NNL PodcastSome entrepreneurs spend their entire lives trying to build the Next Big Thing, but there’s another much more successful group of business owners: lifestyle entrepreneurs. The best part about being in the latter group is that there is practically no luck involved, just skills that can be practiced and learned. Follow a fairly simple formula and you’ll find success.

On this weeks episode of the podcast, I talked to Massimo, the creator of iReal Pro, an amazing music app that helps musicians practice and prepare for gigs. Massimo has been absolutely killing it with his niche app since 2008, and it doesn’t look like things are slowing down anytime soon.

I really respect Massimo because he had an idea for a useful app, taught himself how to code, and went on to build a product that absolutely dominates his niche. He shares his tactics for getting recurring revenue through in-app purchases, and why he has no fear of larger companies like Apple and Google.

If you want a reliable formula for creating income-generating apps, you’ll want to listen to this episode.

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003 : Building the ultimate roommate finder with Ajay Yadav

NNL PodcastWhat would you do if you came back to your apartment after a trip abroad to find out that your roommate had disappeared with the deposit, the locks had been changed, and your stuff was missing? I know my response would involve a large number of guttural screams and a healthy amount of crying.

Ajay, on the other hand, used it as inspiration to build Roomi, an app that helps people find ideal roommates. List or browse apartments, describe your lifestyle, and never get stuck with a nightmare roommate again.

After a ton of research, Ajay built Roomi from scratch — learning Objective-C in a few months using free online resources, hiring a designer, and creating a minimum viable product (MVP). He’s learned from past mistakes and really did it right this time.

If you’re still struggling to figure out your best next move, listen to this episode and follow in Ajay’s steps. You’ll come out with an awesome product.

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