Release Notes

Release Notes

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The Business of iOS and Mac Development
270: Some French Guy Named Bezier
Jul 16 • 44 min
Today we return to a topic that we’ve discussed before: Pricing. We talk about about pricing for the value you provide, the pro vs. prosumer vs. consumer markets, and why both Charles and Joe feel so strongly that Affinity Designer for iPad is way, way…
#269: Ken Wallace (part 2)
Jul 9 • 26 min
Today we continue our discussion about masterminds, with Ken Wallace of Mastermind Jam, a service that helps people form mastermind groups. Today we talk to Ken about the natural lifespan of a mastermind group, strategies for starting or joining a…
#268: Ken Wallace (part 1)
Jul 2 • 31 min
Today we’re talking about masterminds, which are groups of like-minded entrepreneurs that periodically discuss the details of their business. It’s sort of like a business support group. To help us learn more about masterminds, we brought on Ken Wallace of…
#267: The Magic Spreadsheet
Jun 25 • 40 min
If you’re anywhere near social media you may have recently seen lots of posts along the lines of, “By age 35 you should have X saved for retirement.” Today we take a look at that advice, and discuss what exactly we need to do to plan for retirement. We…
#266: Andrew Culver (part 2)
Jun 18 • 33 min
Today we continue our conversation with Andrew Culver, founder of SaaS products like Bullet Train and Churnbuster. We talk to Andrew today about his new product Bullet Train – what it is, how it came to be, marketing, risks, and more. Mailing List Every…
#265: The Cupertino Mafia
Jun 11 • 45 min
This week Charles talks to Joe about his time in San Jose at WWDC, and we chat about some of the changes that were announced. We talk about the event itself, some of the technology announcements that were made, and why we think some of the most important…
#264: Andrew Culver (part 1)
Jun 4 • 34 min
We’re joined today by Andrew Culver, founder of SaaS products like Bullet Train and Churnbuster. We talk to Andrew today about how he got into entrepreneurship, his start at Borrowed and Blue, and how his experience at Borrowed and Blue led to his first…
#263: Don’t Compete With Llamas
May 28 • 27 min
Today we discuss different ways that we can help foster a sense of community within our development community and help make things better for those who come after us. We talk about Developers Union, mentoring, and the importance of meeting new people with…
#262: This Isn’t Middle School
May 21 • 41 min
Today we’re talking about Twitter’s newly announced pricing structure for access to their API, and we use that as an excuse to to talk more generally about the risks and benefits of building your business on a “platform.” Mailing List Every month there…
#261: Hope Not to Break Things
May 14 • 33 min
Today we talk about Charles’ adventures in implementing automated testing in his WordPress-based client portal. We talk about why Charles has resisted unit testing, his epiphany about feature testing/integration testing, how he implemented automated…
#260: Luckily, I Have Very Sharp Elbows
May 7 • 35 min
Today Charles talks about his recent experience at MicroConf in Las Vegas, and then we dive deeper into networking events and discuss our “elevator pitches” – how we explain to others what it is we do in just a sentence or two. Mailing List Every month…
#259: Peers
Apr 30 • 31 min
Today Charles and Joe reflect on their recent trip to Peers Conference. We talk about the great community and give a quick rundown of a few of our favorite talks. Mailing List Every month there are more great articles and content about the business of Mac…
#258: I Felt Like I Was on a Hamster Wheel
Apr 23 • 34 min
Today we have a quick update on Apple’s preparations for GDPR which are soon going into effect, as well as a discussion about Charles’ first hire on UpWork. Mailing List Every month there are more great articles and content about the business of Mac and…
#257: The World Backup Day Pledge
Apr 16 • 35 min
Backing up your computers isn’t sexy, but it’s important for the long-term health of your business. So today we (once again) discuss our backup strategies, and in particular how they have changed since we last spoke about the topic. We talk about…
#256: The Pied Piper of Conferences
Apr 9 • 34 min
Today we talk about Charles’ recent trip to Darmstadt, Germany to attend FemtoConf, a conference for indie/bootstrapped/self-funded entrepreneurs. We talk about what it’s like to attend a conference with only 30 attendees, navigating a new conference…
#255: Not a Fly-By-Night
Apr 2 • 39 min
After a few months of talking and learning about business websites, we wrap up this series with a real-life example. Joe takes a look at Charles’ new RelaNet website and does a live tear-down of what he likes and what he would change. Mailing List Every…
#254: They Can See Everybody’s Cookies
Mar 26 • 35 min
Today we continue our series on business websites with a discussion on analytics and maintenance. We talk about how we measure who’s coming to our website, where they are coming from, the tools we use to maintain our website and save it from link rot, and…
#253: I Hate It When They Do That
Mar 19 • 35 min
Today we continue our series on business websites by talking about testing. We share some of our favorite tools for testing for correct markup and CSS, how our sites look on mobile devices, the speed of our sites, and even automating some of this testing.…
#252: My Tools are Not the Reason My Code Sucks
Mar 12 • 35 min
Continuing our series on websites, today we talk about the software tools that we use to develop our websites. We discuss IDEs, text editors, image editors, and more. Mailing List Every month there are more great articles and content about the business of…
#251: I Chose Poorly, or You Got Lucky
Mar 5 • 47 min
Today we continue our series on websites and landing pages by talking about the technology that underlies those sites. We discuss hosting options, content management systems, and more. Mailing List Every month there are more great articles and content…
#250: Justin Jackson (part 2)
Feb 26 • 36 min
We’re joined again today by Justin Jackson, founder of MegaMaker and professional online marketer. Today we continue our conversation about landing pages, doing a deep dive into what makes a great landing page. We talk about the structure of an effective…
#249: Justin Jackson (part 1)
Feb 19 • 35 min
We’re joined today by Justin Jackson, founder of MegaMaker and professional online marketer. Today we tap Justin’s experience to learn more about landing pages. We talk about using landing pages for market research, using landing pages for product…
#248: Click the Big Orange Button
Feb 12 • 37 min
Today, in part 4 of our series on business web sites, we talk about landing pages. We discuss what landing pages are, customizing landing pages for your audience, and how the design of landing pages differs from the design of a home pages. Mailing List…
#247: An Elephant Rabbit Hole
Feb 5 • 29 min
Continuing our series on webpages, today we talk more about home page design. We discuss appropriate use of color, controlling file size (and with it download time), as well as calls-to-action. Mailing List Every month there are more great articles and…
#246: Animal Husbandry
Jan 29 • 40 min
We’re continuing our series on webpages, by today looking at the design of homepages. We start with a discussion of why you might not want to hire a pro to handle the design of your website. For all those DIYers out there, we also discuss the design…
#245: I’m Not That Handsome
Jan 22 • 39 min
Today we’re starting a series of episodes about business websites. In this episode, we tackle the do’s and don’ts of home pages. We talk about the goal of a home page, its audience, why you should consider writing your home page last, and the role of…
#244: They Don’t Fit Down the Tubes
Jan 15 • 35 min
Today we’re talking about the relatively new phenomenon of “cashless” brick-and-mortar storefronts, that have started appearing in New York where Joe lives. We use that as a jumping off point to talk about how flexible we should or shouldn’t be with our…
#243: That’s Going to Take a While
Jan 8 • 38 min
Today we’re talking about what we want to achieve in the new year. We discuss our goals, and how we want to achieve them. We also have an announcement about our conference in 2018. Mailing List Every month there are more great articles and content about…
#242: 100,000,000 GB of RAM, Approximately
Jan 1 • 37 min
Today we share our take on some Apple news and rumors that have recently come to light. We discuss some changes to the App Store Review Guidelines that will affect white label apps in the iOS App Store, how those changes might affect other non-white label…
#241: Brute Force Customers (part 2)
Dec 25, 2017 • 28 min
In this episode we continue our conversation about Charles’ efforts to attract new RelaNet customers using cold email outreach. Today we talk statistics: response rates, positive response rates, rates of closing the sale, and more. Mailing List Every…
#240: Brute Force Customers
Dec 18, 2017 • 38 min
Today we talk about Charles’ efforts to attract new RelaNet customers using cold email outreach. We talk about his source of email addresses, his vetting process, the email scripts he uses, how he tracks which emails are opened, and how he’s using data to…
#239: 7 is a Lot Closer to 10 than 1
Dec 11, 2017 • 32 min
Today we chat with Charles and get an update on his new business, RelaNet. We talk about how he almost (but not quite) reached his 2017 goal, his struggles with taking on a sales role, learning from real customers, and dealing with rejection. Mailing List…
#238: If You’re Free, Go to the Party
Dec 4, 2017 • 30 min
Through his freelance design business, Joe has had clients for many years. Charles, on the other hand, is new to managing client relationships. So today we talk about how to handle those client relationships as we head into the holidays. Do you send a…
#237: Ian Landsman (part 2)
Nov 27, 2017 • 30 min
Today we’re again joined by Ian Landsman, creator of HelpSpot and co-host of the Bootstrapped podcast. Ian has been building and running his self-funded helpdesk product HelpSpot for 13 years, and along the way he’s learned a lot of lessons about running…
#236: Ian Landsman (part 1)
Nov 20, 2017 • 31 min
Today we’re joined by Ian Landsman, creator of HelpSpot and co-host of the Bootstrapped podcast. Ian has been building and running his self-funded helpdesk product HelpSpot for 13 years, and along the way he’s learned a lot of lessons about running a…
#235: Might Want to Pep That Up a Bit
Nov 13, 2017 • 36 min
Today we start wrapping up the year by talking to Joe about how he’s done this year. We talk about his his goals for the year, what progress he made on them, and his plans for the future. Mailing List Every month there are more great articles and content…
#234: Tapdancing Lessons
Nov 6, 2017 • 41 min
One of the nice things of being indie, is that it affords you the opportunity to travel without having to worry about vacation time or other concerns that employed folks have. So today we’re talking about the role that travel plays in our lives and some…
#233: Maybe They’re Talking Behind Our Backs
Oct 30, 2017 • 35 min
Today we’re sharing a recording of part of our Release Notes 2017 conference post-mortem. We talk about what went well, what could have gone better, and why we made some of the compromises that we made. Mailing List Every month there are more great…
#232: Man, These People Really Need Help
Oct 23, 2017 • 29 min
A few weeks ago, Charles announced that he was shutting down MetaTax, his reference product for tax preparers. Today we talk about why he made that decision and the mechanics of shutting down a product. Mailing List Every month there are more great…
#231: Pike’s Peak, or Wherever
Oct 16, 2017 • 31 min
In today’s episode we discuss some of the recent security problems that have come to light with High Sierra and it’s interaction with the new APFS filesystem. We talk about the bug itself, but also why Charles hasn’t upgraded to High Sierra yet, and the…
#230: Apple Got its AWS Bill
Oct 9, 2017 • 33 min
Today we tackle a variety of topics including the removal of some Games sub-categories in the App Store, some follow-up on the recent change to the App Store Review Guidelines that prohibit white label apps, and an apparent crackdown on apps that use…
#229: You’re Still Going to be Broke
Oct 2, 2017 • 31 min
A few episodes back, we mentioned in passing a change to the App Store Review Guidelines that seemed to outlaw white label apps. Turns out we aren’t the only ones that noticed this. The events industry relies on white label apps, and this change has…
#228: Is That What We’re Calling Them Now? Ears?
Sep 25, 2017 • 45 min
Today we talk about the recent Apple Keynote. We talk about the new Apple Watch, new 4k AppleTV, and of course the new iPhones, including the new iPhone X. We talk about the hardware announcements, of course, but we also reflect on how we think those…
#227: Dave Rodenbaugh (part 2)
Sep 18, 2017 • 33 min
Today we have part two of our conversation with Dave Rodenbaugh, a self-funded entrepreneur who has been selling WordPress plugins since 2009. He’s also one half of the Rogue Startups podcast. Today we talk about his experience with the WordPress plugin…
#226: Dave Rodenbaugh (part 1)
Sep 11, 2017 • 35 min
We’re joined today by Dave Rodenbaugh, a self-funded entrepreneur who has been selling WordPress plugins since 2009. He’s also one half of the Rogue Startups podcast. Dave talks to us today about how he got his start in entrepreneurship, a few hard won…
#225: I Want to be Driving a Lamborghini
Sep 4, 2017 • 35 min
Today we (finally) discuss CrashPlan’s exit from the consumer market. We talk about what CrashPlan did right with this transition, why Charles doesn’t consider BackBlaze a suitable alternative to CrashPlan, and CrashPlan’s baffling decision that kept…
#224: More Like a Fisherman
Aug 28, 2017 • 31 min
Today we’re talking about conferences (again). Joe recently spoke at 360|iDev, and Charles had his first experience sponsoring a conference at a recent Indiana CPA Society conference. We discuss future trends in conference-going, what it was like being at…
#223: Jean MacDonald
Aug 21, 2017 • 41 min
We’re joined today by Jean MacDonald who talks to us about founding App Camp for Girls, growing the program, and then stepping away and handing off the reins of the program to another leader. We chat about AC4G’s new Chicago program, finding good help,…
#222: It’s Kinda Like…Squishy
Aug 14, 2017 • 31 min
In this episode, Joe gives a preview of the talk he’s giving today at 360|iDev about the idea that it’s not just salespeople that are in sales—everyone is. No matter your position or role in an organization, you have to sell a customer, a boss, a…
#221: Shaving That Yak Pretty Good
Aug 7, 2017 • 38 min
Today we talk about Charles’ efforts to acquire new customers for RelaNet, his business for tax preparers. In particular, we talk about Charles’ efforts with cold emails. Topics include targeting potentials customers, the line between cold email and spam,…
#220: At That Point, You’re the Jerk
Jul 31, 2017 • 35 min
Today we talk about Panic and their new update to Transmit, their FTP client for the Mac. We discuss the seven year (!) gap between paid updates for the product, speculate about why Panic might have removed Transmit from the Mac App Store, and then segue…
#219: I’m Not Saying It’s Logical
Jul 24, 2017 • 37 min
Today we talk about 1Password, the password manager create by AgileBits. We discuss AgileBit’s recent push to encourage customers to use the cloud version of their product, the backlash from the security community, and our take on the change. Release…
#218: It Rains Whenever it Feels Like
Jul 17, 2017 • 32 min
Joe’s on the road spending a few weeks in San Francisco, so we’re using that as an excuse to talk about travel and how that affects our work. We talk about how our choice in hardware and software changes with our work environments, and how we get work…
#217: What’s the Opposite of Risk?
Jul 10, 2017 • 43 min
Today we talk about pricing tiers, and specifically about some of the decisions that Charles made when creating pricing tiers for RelaNet. And Charles tells the story of how he shamelessly threw Apple under the bus. Release Notes 2017 Release Notes 2017…
#216: So I’ve Got These Clients…
Jul 3, 2017 • 34 min
Charles has a new client and realized that he has a lot to learn, so today he asks Joe about how he manages communication with his clients. Release Notes 2017 Release Notes 2017 is SOLD OUT! Release Notes 2017 will be happening October 16-18, 2017, in…
#215: The RelaNet Charity Drive
Jun 26, 2017 • 32 min
Today Charles shares the good news about attracting his first RelaNet customer, how he’s using email marketing with RelaNet, why he likes the email automation service Drip so much, and why he recently removed a blog post which spelled out his email…
#214: Charles’ Therapy Session
Jun 19, 2017 • 39 min
Today we continue our series of mid-year business check-ups and talk to Charles about how his different products are doing this year. We get a quick update on Benjamin and it’s revenue, we discuss MetaTax and get Charles’ post-mortem on why he thinks it…
#213: Almost an Onion Article
Jun 12, 2017 • 31 min
Today we talk about WWDC and announcements that were made in the Keynote and State of the Union. Joe gives his impression of San Jose as a venue, and we talk about some of the key announcements that we think might affect our business. Release Notes 2017…
#212: Joe’s Therapy Session
Jun 5, 2017 • 28 min
Today we talk about the current state of affairs of Joe’s different business ventures. Joe tells us about Bombing Brain’s plans to convert his bread-and-butter app to a subscription model, future plans for their up and coming app Setlists, and some…
#211: Curtis Herbert (part 2)
May 29, 2017 • 29 min
We’re joined again today by Curtis Herbert, the developer behind Slopes and one of our speakers at Release Notes 2017. We talk about freemium, the relative benefits of subscriptions over paid up front business models, and the importance of not surprising…
#210: Curtis Herbert (part 1)
May 22, 2017 • 36 min
We’re joined today by Curtis Herbert, the developer behind Slopes and one of our speakers at Release Notes 2017. We talk about his pricing experiments with Slopes and his experience taking Slopes from a paid up-front model to an annual subscription model.…
#209: Jared Sinclair (part 2)
May 15, 2017 • 36 min
We’re joined again today by Jared Sinclair who joins in a free-wheeling conversation about development in the iOS ecosystem. We talk about getting started as a developer today in iOS, side projects, our experience with analytics and ads, as well as a…
#208: Jared Sinclair (part 1)
May 8, 2017 • 28 min
We’re joined today by Jared Sinclair who talks to us about Stormcrow, his new Twitter client for tweet storms. Stormcrow isn’t his main job, though, so we talk to Jared about his experience balancing his day job with his side project, and how that…
#207: Our Big Announcement
May 1, 2017 • 28 min
Today we get to share everything that we’ve been working on for Release Notes 2017! We have details about the speakers, venue, hotel, and more. Tickets are on sale right now, so go to 2017.releasenotes.tv and get your ticket today! Release Notes 2017…
#206: Bait, I Guess
Apr 24, 2017 • 40 min
Today we chat about some product launches we’ve recently prepared. Joe talks about why he didn’t spend much time on launching the update to his app Fin, Charles talks about some of the email sequences he’s planning for RelaNet, and we both chat about the…
#205: Ben Scheirman (part 2)
Apr 17, 2017 • 37 min
Today we’re joined again by Ben Scheirman, who leads the team that builds the 5 Calls iOS app that encourages its users to engage with their elected representatives. Today we talk about measuring what’s really important, why 5 Calls is careful with its…
#204: Ben Scheirman
Apr 10, 2017 • 28 min
Today we’re joined by Ben Scheirman, who leads the team that builds the 5 Calls iOS app that encourages its users to engage with their elected representatives. We talk to Ben about what it’s like to work on an app with a team of volunteers, how they…
#203: Negotiating with Review Terrorists
Apr 3, 2017 • 37 min
Last week Apple made a major change to the App Store to allow developers to respond to reviews. Today we talk about this change, consider how helpful it will prove to be, and discuss how we plan to use this new tool to help our individual businesses.…
#202: We All Need a Dream Crusher
Mar 27, 2017 • 36 min
Today we talk about updates: When should you release a minor update and when should you save up those small changes for a bigger release? This conversation morphs into a strategy session for Joe’s app Fin. We talk about Fin’s target market and how that…
#201: Never Write Your Own Encryption Code (part 2)
Mar 20, 2017 • 39 min
Today we continue our discussion of security, concentrating this week on our own security. We talk about our use of two-factor authentication, password managers, full-disk encryption, backups, and Charles’ recent experiments with a VPN. Release Notes 2017…
#200: Never Write Your Own Encryption Code (part 1)
Mar 13, 2017 • 32 min
In light of the recent WikiLeaks disclosure of CIA hacking tools, we talk about computer and network security from a developer perspective. We talk about the responsibility we have to our customers to protect their private data, designing products with…
#199: We Basically Stopped Researching
Mar 6, 2017 • 36 min
Today we share the story of the day our email stopped working and how we fixed it in a hurry. (Spoiler: We threw money at the problem.) We weigh the advantages of free services versus paid services, and talk about what to do when you discover that you’ve…
#198: Craig Hockenberry (part 2)
Feb 27, 2017 • 34 min
We are joined again today by Craig Hockenberry of The Iconfactory, makers of Twitterrific, Linea, great icons, and more. Today, we continue talking to Craig about Project Phoenix, The Iconfactory’s Kickstarter to relaunch Twitteriffic for Mac. We also…
#197: Craig Hockenberry (part 1)
Feb 20, 2017 • 44 min
We are joined today by Craig Hockenberry of The Iconfactory, makers of Twitterrific, Linea, great icons, and more. Craig talks to us about the start of The Iconfactory, working as a part of a distributed team, the benefits of growing slowly, and of…
#196: The Answer is Slowly
Feb 13, 2017 • 34 min
Today Joe talks to Charles about his new business, RelaNet. We discuss Charles’ new business, the value of specializing in one market vertical, and why Charles seems to be migrating his business efforts away from standalone iOS apps and towards web…
#195: Probably is Better than Definitely
Feb 6, 2017 • 39 min
Today we talk about a potentially unpleasant topic: rejection. Specifically rejection in the context of business. We talk about how we deal with hearing “no” in general, and then dive into a few specific situations including pitching your contracting…
#194: Oh, This Guy is an Idiot
Jan 30, 2017 • 33 min
The first beta for iOS 10.3 dropped a few days ago, and this new version includes several changes that will affect your business: a built-in app review interface, new options for deep linking to the App Store, and the ability for developers to respond to…
#193: Farmers and Fishermen
Jan 23, 2017 • 38 min
Today we tackle a variety of topics including our recent announcement of Release Notes 2017 and its move to Chicago, the scourge of tax time and preparing Forms 1099-MISC (for U.S. tax payers), and finally managed services and Charles is moving his…
#192: Manton Reece
Jan 16, 2017 • 41 min
Today Manton Reece joins us to talk about Micro.blog, the new microblogging service that he’s developing. We talk to Manton about why he thinks a new microblogging service is needed, the importance of owning your own content, and his successful…
#191: Allen Pike (part 2)
Jan 9, 2017 • 29 min
Today we continue our conversation with Allen Pike of Steamclock Software. We talk about consistency in blogging, building a consultancy, and balancing internal products with contract work. Mailing List Every month there are more great articles and…
#190: Allen Pike (part 1)
Jan 2, 2017 • 34 min
Today we talk to Allen Pike of Steamclock Software about how he started Steamclock Software, building a music app that refuses to play Nickelback, what to do when Apple’s API is insufficient, and selling into a semi-pro market. Mailing List Every month…
#189: The Tyranny of the Timeclock
Dec 26, 2016 • 35 min
Today, just in time for the end of the year, we discuss end-of-year activities that we should be undertaking in order to wrap up 2016 and prepare for 2017. We talk about taxes, planning, setting goals, and more. Mailing List Every month there are more…
#188: Holiday Recommendations, 2016 (part 2)
Dec 19, 2016 • 26 min
Today we’re continuing our list of gift ideas for you and the geeks in your life. Mailing List Every month there are more great articles and content about the business of Mac and iOS development than we have time to discuss on the show. If you’d like to…
#187: Holiday Recommendations, 2016 (part 1)
Dec 12, 2016 • 33 min
Need a last minute gift idea for the geek in your life? We’ve got you covered. And best of all, all these gift ideas are still easily gotten in time for Christmas. (Unlike the NES Classic. 😥 ) Mailing List Every month there are more great articles and…
#186: A Prudent Business Decision
Dec 5, 2016 • 41 min
On today’s show we talk about our computer setups and how Apple’s release of new MacBook Pros has affected our computing choices. We talk about what computers we are or are not buying, the reasons behind our choices, and our experiences with using Apple…
#185: I Have a Romance with Making Money
Nov 28, 2016 • 30 min
Today we discuss Setapp, MacPaw’s new Netflix-like service for high quality Mac apps. Last week (episode #184) MacPaw’s CEO Oleksandr Kosovan talked to us about the service. Immediately after that interview, Charles and Joe discussed what we heard, and…
#184: Oleksandr Kosovan
Nov 21, 2016 • 36 min
Today we talk to Oleksander Kosovan, founder and CEO of MacPaw, makers of products like Devmate and CleanMyMac. Today we talk to Oleksander about a new product called Setapp. Setapp gives its customers access to dozens of high quality apps for a low…
#183: Lobster – Market Price
Nov 14, 2016 • 38 min
Today Charles interrogates Joe about his recent experience porting his iOS app X2Y to macOS. We talk about Joe’s reason for taking X2Y to the Mac, similarities and differences between UIKit and AppKit, Mac App Store versus self-distribution, pricing, and…
#182: Elia Freedman (part 2)
Nov 7, 2016 • 37 min
Today we continue our conversation with Elia Freedman of Infinity Softworks, and talk about how he transitioned his mobile software business from the PalmPilot days to the iPhone. We talk about lessons learned, lessons forgotten, and how he had to change…
#181: Elia Freedman (part 1)
Oct 31, 2016 • 35 min
Today we’re joined by Elia Freedman of Infinity Softworks. Elia has been building and selling mobile software since the days of the Palm Pilot, and has learned a lot about the business of selling mobile software along the way. We talk to Elia about his…
#180: I Want to See the Stickers (part 2)
Oct 24, 2016 • 30 min
Today we continue our discussion of iMessage sticker packs, diving deeper into intellectual property issues and app review troubles that surround sticker packs. In particular, we discuss Joe’s guitar-themed sticker pack and possible intellectual property…
#179: I Want to See the Stickers (part 1)
Oct 17, 2016 • 34 min
Today we talk about about iMessage sticker packs and Joe’s experience with them. We talk about building a custom sticker pack, sticker packs as impulse buys, reusing and re-monetizing sticker pack assets, terms of use for sticker pack intellectual…
#178: An Unofficial Wink and a Nod
Oct 10, 2016 • 41 min
Today we catch up on a few news items that cropped up while we were busy putting on Release Notes 2016. We talk about Dash being pulled from the Mac App Store, managing business risks, and Omni’s new method of offering free trials in the Mac App Store.…
#177: Thousands of Colons
Oct 3, 2016 • 35 min
In making preparations for the Release Notes conference that is just past, we paused to reflect on the role that our preparations play in ensuring a successful launch – whether that launch is of an app update, a new product, or even a conference. Mailing…
#176: Dermot Daly
Sep 26, 2016 • 37 min
Today we’re joined by Dermot Daly, founder of Tapadoo and co-founder of Úll, Ireland’s Apple-related conference. We talk about how he founded Tapadoo, how found himself organizing Úll, and the the business side of running a conference. Mailing List Every…
#175: Rich Siegel (part 2)
Sep 19, 2016 • 29 min
We’re joined again today by Rich Siegel, founder of Bare Bones Software and Release Notes 2016 speaker. Today we talk to Rich about the value of providing excellent customer support, why indies might want to consider building and selling professional…
#174: Rich Siegel (part 1)
Sep 12, 2016 • 34 min
We’re joined today by Rich Siegel, founder of Bare Bones Software and Release Notes 2016 speaker. We talk to Rich about how he got started with BBEdit, how he’s using free apps and trials with his products, and even get an update on how things are going…
#173: Won’t Get Fooled Again
Sep 5, 2016 • 38 min
In today’s episode we discuss the recent changes to the App Store Review Guidelines that were announced last week. We look at the announcements, how we think we’ll be affected by them, and what we think the affect will be on the App Store as a whole.…
#172: Buffaloes Notwithstanding
Aug 29, 2016 • 32 min
In today’s episode, recorded live and in person at 360iDev, we reflect on the great time we had in Denver and some of the great talks we heard and lessons we learned while at the conference. Thanks to John and Nicole Wilker for putting on such a great…
#171: Supertop
Aug 22, 2016 • 41 min
We’re joined this week by Oisín Prendiville and Pádraig Kennedy of Supertop. Supertop recently released a new version of their podcast player Castro, so we chatted with them about the new release, monetizing through the patronage model (and why they moved…
#170: Sarah Hatter
Aug 15, 2016 • 33 min
We’re joined today by Sarah Hatter, founder of CoSupport and speaker at Release Notes 2016. Sarah talks to us about her work with CoSupport, the difference between “customer support” and “customer service”, and strategies that indies and small teams can…
#169: Another Purple Zeppelin
Aug 8, 2016 • 39 min
Today we chat about Charles’ recent adventures in naming things and the process he uses when coming up with a name for a new product or business. We discuss trademarks, choosing the right domain name, and using a .com domain versus other top level…
#168: Ariel Michaeli (part 2)
Aug 1, 2016 • 29 min
We’re joined again today by Ariel Michaeli, co-founder of AppFigures and speaker at Release Notes 2016. Today Ariel shares how he has gained needed expertise, his experience in hiring his first employee, advertising, and more. Release Notes 2016 If you’re…
#167: Ariel Michaeli (part 1)
Jul 25, 2016 • 31 min
We’re joined today by Ariel Michaeli, co-founder of AppFigures and speaker at Release Notes 2016. Ariel shares the story of how AppFigures started, his earlier history launching iOS games and other businesses, and lessons learned from watching his…
#166: Guilty of Being Stupid (part 2)
Jul 18, 2016 • 31 min
Today we continue our conversation about our efforts in email marketing. We talk about generating regular content, stealing ideas from competitors, email frequency, automated email campaigns, and more. Release Notes 2016 If you’re serious about your…
#165: Guilty of Being Stupid (part 1)
Jul 11, 2016 • 32 min
It’s generally accepted that a strong mailing list is an indie’s best friend when it comes to marketing your products. Today we talk about some of Charles’ recent experiments in email marketing, how he is starting to use email automation, and whether it’s…
#164: Ruin it with Math
Jul 4, 2016 • 37 min
At WWDC this year, Apple announced iMessage apps in two varieties: stickers and interactive messages. Today we talk about the business prospects of iMessage apps, why Joe is building a sticker pack, and why Charles isn’t as excited about them. Release…
#163: That Ship Has Sailed
Jun 27, 2016 • 38 min
In this episode we talk about WWDC 2016 and Joe’s experience there. We talk about how Joe spent his time in San Francisco without a WWDC ticket, the technical announcements that we are most excited about, and dig a little deeper into the App Store changes…
#162: David Sparks (part 2)
Jun 20, 2016 • 37 min
We’re joined again today by David Sparks, Release Notes 2016 speaker, lawyer, and co-host of Mac Power Users. We talk about his screencast business, professional networking, giving up profitable work in order to maximize happiness and diversify income…
#161: David Sparks (part 1)
Jun 13, 2016 • 34 min
Today we’re joined by David Sparks, Release Notes 2016 speaker and co-host of Mac Power Users. We talk about his history podcasting, his career as a lawyer specializing in technology, and his new life as an indie. Release Notes 2016 If you’re serious…
Special Episode: Mostly Neutral-ish
Jun 9, 2016 • 63 min
Yesterday Apple sat down with a number of journalists and, through them, announced some fairly major changes to the App Store, including an expansion of the subscription pricing model for apps and the introduction of ads in the App Store. In this special…
#160: I Don’t Want to Learn More Than Once
Jun 6, 2016 • 37 min
Today Joe declares his love for coffee and Comply foam tips, Charles talks a little about his recent trip to UIKonf, and we both talk about what we hope to see at WWDC in just a few days. Release Notes 2016 If you’re serious about your business, Release…
#159: Questions and Answers
May 30, 2016 • 42 min
Today we take some time to answer questions we received from listeners. Questions cover making money outside the App Store, the benefits of localization, the future of indie development and more. Release Notes 2016 If you’re serious about your business,…
#158: Coffee:Charles::Paper:Joe
May 23, 2016 • 41 min
Today we’re taking a break from iOS business news to talk about some of the gadgets and tools we use to make our day a little more enjoyable. Topics range across coffee, stationery, headphones, and more. Release Notes 2016 If you’re serious about your…
#157: Jaimee Newberry (part 2)
May 16, 2016 • 32 min
Today we continue the conversation with Jaimee Newberry that we began last week. This week Jaimee talks to us about her history as a freelancer, the importance of side work, and the hustle it takes to make it as an indie. Release Notes 2016 If you’re…
#156: Jaimee Newberry (part 1)
May 9, 2016 • 32 min
We’re joined today by Jaimee Newberry, who will also be joining us as a speaker at Release Notes 2016. Jaimee shares with us how she got into design and technology, what exactly she does as the Chief Operating Officer of MartianCraft, and that time she…
#155: It’s a Flea Market, Basically (part 2)
May 2, 2016 • 29 min
Last week we discussed how we might be affected if Apple instituted paid App Store search results, as has been rumored. Today we continue that discussion. We talk about adapting to new business realities in our ecosystem, learning from developers on other…
#154: It’s a Flea Market Basically (part 1)
Apr 25, 2016 • 35 min
There’s a rumor going around that Apple may institute paid placement for search results in the App Store. We consider this rumor today and think about how paid placement would affect our apps and the App Store in general. Release Notes 2016 If you’re…
#153: Our Big Speaker Announcement
Apr 18, 2016 • 30 min
We use today’s episode to announce the speakers that we have lined up for Release Notes 2016. We’re really pleased that all these speakers agreed to join us, and we think they are going to help us put on a fantastic event in September. For more details on…
#152: Hey, Why Did My Price Go Up?
Apr 11, 2016 • 37 min
On today’s episode we discuss the recent changes with TextExpander and their customers’ response to those changes. We ponder the nature of recurring payments, try to construct a theory of when recurring payments are acceptable to customers, and examine…
#151: Our 2.0.1
Apr 4, 2016 • 35 min
Tickets for Release Notes 2016 are now on sale, so today we share some of the details of what we have planned for the conference this year. We talk about the venue, travel, the dine around, our partnership with App Camp for Girls, and of course the…
#150: A 5-Year-Old BMW
Mar 28, 2016 • 38 min
After chatting about Joe’s recent speaking engagement at mdevcon, we dive into the recent product announcements Apple made in their town hall event. We discuss the role customer feedback plays in Apple’s products, markets that may find the new (and…
#149: Most Press is Good Press
Mar 21, 2016 • 29 min
On today’s Release Notes we discuss Press Kits – what format they should take, what to include in them, and how to make them available to the press. We also talk about encouraging the press to write about your product, and pursuing the right kind of…
#148: A B2B Situation
Mar 14, 2016 • 36 min
On today’s show we talk about a new subscription app maintenance service called AppCare which was recently launched by Fifteen Jugglers Software. We go on to consider the role of sales in an app business, lessons iOS and Mac developers could learn about…
#147: To Quote Spock, I Guess
Mar 7, 2016 • 42 min
Today we discuss shipping code. We talk about weighing the bugs and incomplete features that exist towards the end of a project and how we decide whether those problems are significant enough to delay a launch, the role that beta feedback plays in making…
#146: Cool, I Got a Sticker!
Feb 29, 2016 • 36 min
Today we talk about Just Landed which was recently removed from the App Store by its developer. We use Just Landed as a jumping off point to discuss some of the special challenges that certain App Store categories face, whether there are certain…
#145: Do-si-do
Feb 22, 2016 • 41 min
Today Joe talks to Charles about his app MetaTax and the change in strategy that Charles is preparing for. We spend some time analyzing the performance of MetaTax, consider some theories for why MetaTax didn’t meet expectations, and discuss what Charles…
#144: I Shipped It, Is What I Did
Feb 15, 2016 • 36 min
Today we talk about juggling all the different responsibilities that we have to balance as indies. We discuss the challenges of balancing different roles (such as development, design, and QA) within a project, as well as the challenges of balancing…
#143: Regular Humanitarians (part 2)
Feb 8, 2016 • 30 min
Today we continue our conversation about the shutdown of Parse and third-party dependencies in general. We talk about the opportunity costs of running your own backend, about balancing risk and opportunity, and about making contingency plans. Save the…
#142: Regular Humanitarians
Feb 1, 2016 • 31 min
Today we’re talking about the shutdown of Parse that was announced a few days ago. We talk about what we know, the impact on our community, and what other options exist for developers who have been affected by the shutdown. Save the Date! If you enjoyed…
#141: They Could Burn $100 Bills
Jan 25, 2016 • 35 min
Today Charles asks Joe about his recent experience at the Apple TV Tech Talks in New York. We discuss the format, the talks, and some of the lessons Joe learned while there. Save the Date! If you enjoyed Release Notes this year (or just wish you had been…
#140: Like Watching Paint Dry
Jan 18, 2016 • 33 min
Last week Charles moved his blog from his company site to a new domain in order to separate his blog posts aimed at other developers from the messages he’s trying to communicate to his professional customers. Today we use that as a jumping off point to…
#139: Looking Back and Ahead (part 2)
Jan 11, 2016 • 31 min
Today we continue reflecting back on 2015 and looking forward to 2016. Joe talks about his music, we share some financial figures, we look at how we did on our goals from 2015, and share what we’d like to get done in the new year. Save the Date! If you…
#138: Looking Back and Ahead
Jan 4, 2016 • 29 min
Today we’re taking a look back at 2015 and forward to 2016. We talk about products we shipped, conferences we attended, and the pleasure of catching our breath after an iOS 9 release with few major changes. Save the Date! If you enjoyed Release Notes this…
#137: 9,000 Fireplace Apps
Dec 28, 2015 • 34 min
Today we talk about grabbing fortune by the horns and taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves: Unexpected App Store features, new hardware, and holiday publicity. Save the Date! If you enjoyed Release Notes this year (or just wish you…
#136: More Lists
Dec 21, 2015 • 33 min
Today we discuss attention, motivation, distraction, and other mental obstacles to getting work done. Along the way we talk about Star Wars, Twitter, strategies for staying productive, and how we maintain balance. Save the Date! If you enjoyed Release…
#135: Sorta Cool, Sorta Creepy
Dec 14, 2015 • 35 min
Today we talk about advertising apps to potential customers and some of the recent advertising efforts that Charles has performed in support of his new app MetaTax. We discuss email advertising, Facebook advertisements, targeting advertisements to…
#134: You Have to Fluff Your Chest Hair
Dec 7, 2015 • 42 min
Today we discuss the Mac App Store and Bohemian Coding’s recent announcement that they are removing their hit app Sketch from the Mac App Store. We talk about what it means for customers, what it means for developers, and what it means for Apple. Save the…
#133: It’s Still Not Right
Nov 30, 2015 • 34 min
This week we talk about how we back up our business data. Joe relates his story of keychain woe, Charles shares his multi-tiered backup strategy, and then we discuss the important difference between backing up and syncing and International Verify Your…
#132: David Barnard (part 2)
Nov 23, 2015 • 32 min
Today we continue our conversation with David Barnard of Contrast. We talk about target demographics, the role that search plays in an app’s success, and lessons learned with App Store preview videos. Save the Date! If you enjoyed Release Notes this year…
#131: David Barnard (part 1)
Nov 16, 2015 • 33 min
We’re joined today by David Barnard of Contrast. David shares with us the story of how he got into app development, what he’s learned as a successful indie who doesn’t program, and his strategy for developing financially successful apps. Mailing List…
#130: It’s a Giant Distraction Box
Nov 9, 2015 • 36 min
Today we’re talking about the Apple TV and the new App Store that’s available for it. We discuss the current state of sales, setting developer expectations, App Store search, and app discoverability. Mailing List Every month there are more great articles…
#129: Postmortem
Nov 2, 2015 • 34 min
Today we’re talking about the postmortem that we recently completed on our just-finished conference, and the importance of reflecting on progress and performance both during and after a project ends. We talk about what went well, our awesome staff, and…
#128: Jeremy Olson (part 2)
Oct 26, 2015 • 28 min
Today we continue our conversation with Jeremy Olson of Tapity, makers of fine apps like Hours and Grades. Jeremy talks more today about Tapity’s private crowdfunding campaign, the dynamics of business-to-business software sales, and the Slack channel he…
#127: Jeremy Olson (part 1)
Oct 19, 2015 • 35 min
Today we’re joined by Jeremy Olson of Tapity, makers of fine apps like Hours and Grades. Jeremy talks to us today about some of his history in launching Tapity, Tapity’s journey to self-sufficiency, and their recent experiment with a private crowdfunding…
#126: That’s My Starting Price
Oct 12, 2015 • 32 min
While Charles’ new app, MetaTax, isn’t yet on the App Store (darn you App Store Review!), he is ready to start talking about it. So in this episode, we talk about MetaTax, why Charles chose this app instead of many others, pricing, and why he decided to…
#125: The Slow Build
Oct 5, 2015 • 34 min
Today we’re talking about launching new apps. How important is launch day? Under what circumstances is it not so critical? How has our approach to launches changed as the App Store has matured? We talk about all this and more in today’s Release Notes.…
#124: Happiness is my Default Position
Sep 28, 2015 • 40 min
Today we tackle the difficult topic of motivation. In the short-term, how do we remain motivated to continue making progress on our apps? In the long-term, how do we avoid discouragement in the face of difficult odds and continue to pursue the dream of…
#123: Georgia Dow
Sep 21, 2015 • 36 min
In this episode we’re joined by Georgia Dow, who shares her background in technology, and her experience starting her small business. Georgia also tells us a little about the psychology of pleasing your customers and the talk she’ll be giving at Release…
#122: Way Too Intuitive
Sep 14, 2015 • 41 min
In this episode we discuss the business implications of the recent Apple Event and announce a partnership between our conference and App Camp for Girls. Conference We’re planning a conference! Release Notes will be held October 21-23, 2015 in…
#121: Eleven Topics
Sep 7, 2015 • 39 min
Today we are excited to announce the topics that each of our eleven amazing speakers will be addressing on stage at Release Notes in October. We chose these speakers for Release Notes because of their background and experience in building successful…
#120: Go Down to Costa Rica
Aug 31, 2015 • 40 min
Today we talk about our recent trip to 360|iDev where we both presented. We talk about some of our favorite talks that we witnessed, give overviews of our own talks, and share some of the lessons we learned during our time there. Conference We’re planning…
#119: John Saddington
Aug 24, 2015 • 38 min
Today we’re joined by John Saddington, who will be speaking at Release Notes this October. John is the creator of the app Desk, which helps its customers publish to their blogs. John speaks to us today about his background in entrepreneurship, getting…
#118: An Overbloated Monster
Aug 17, 2015 • 37 min
Got an idea for an app? When you look in the App Store, chances are you’ll find someone already beat you to it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t pursue your idea. Today we discuss under what circumstances it’s wise to take on…
#117: Chris Liscio (part 2)
Aug 10, 2015 • 42 min
This week we continue our discussion with Chris Liscio about the lessons he’s learned in his ten years as an indie selling products like Capo and FuzzMeasure. We discuss pricing, the Mac App Store, selling to businesses, marketing, and more. Hear more of…
#116: Chris Liscio (part 1)
Aug 3, 2015 • 33 min
Chris Liscio is a long-time indie with award winning apps like Capo, Capo touch, and Fuzz Measure, and this October he’ll be joining us on stage at Release Notes. Today Chris joins us on the podcast to talk about his background as an indie, the niche he’s…
#115: The Special Sauce is Applied with Tweezers
Jul 27, 2015 • 39 min
Today we follow up on last week’s discussion about trials in the App Store, before shifting gears to discuss marketing. What’s ethical? What’s tasteful? Does it matter? How far dare we push our marketing message before we actually start driving customers…
#114: Handing Out Flyers in Dirty Nightclubs
Jul 20, 2015 • 36 min
Apple doesn’t make it easy to do free trials of App Store apps, and in at least some cases forbids them by policy. Today we look at free trials, how Joe’s team has implemented them in their new app, what others have done, and how we can stay on the good…
#113: The Brains Behind Bombing Brain
Jul 13, 2015 • 46 min
A lot of indies work alone, but what happens when you have someone to help share the load? To explore the dynamics of partnerships, we’re joined today by Tim Cochrane and Gene Whitaker, Joe’s business partners in Bombing Brain Interactive. We talk about…
#112: Flippin’ Burgers for the Man
Jul 6, 2015 • 40 min
There’s been a lot of talk this week about the App Store and its role in the success (and failure) of indie app developers. Today we add our two cents to the conversation and share our view of today’s App Store. We reflect on how the App Store has changed…
#111: Someone Less Comfortable Than You
Jun 29, 2015 • 45 min
During our recent trip to WWDC we had the chance to meet lots of new friends and again see lots old ones, so in this episode we’re chatting about mingling and professional networking. We talk about why you should try to meet new people, concrete…
#110: Anything That Can Go Wrong
Jun 22, 2015 • 36 min
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or so the old saying goes. Today we’re talking about how we deal, and how we’ve dealt, with unexpected setbacks in our business and in our plans. We talk about the viewing party that we unexpectedly threw at…
#109: A Monetizational Way
Jun 15, 2015 • 34 min
Live from WWDC (sort of), we present our first impressions of the changes that were recently announced and how we think they will affect our plans and our business. Conference We’re planning a conference! Release Notes will be held October 21-23, 2015 in…
#108: It Did Pique My Interest
Jun 8, 2015 • 35 min
Today we’re talking about cross-platform development. What other platforms are worth considering? Android? PC? Does Microsoft’s introduction of a “Universal Windows Platform Bridge” that allows developers to compile iOS apps into Windows apps change the…
#107: I Can’t Really Infer What That Means
Jun 1, 2015 • 34 min
A few weeks ago, Apple (finally!) released the app analytics in iTunesConnect that they promised at WWDC last year. Today, Charles and Joe jump in and take a look at what we got – the good, the bad, and the ugly. We talk about what it does well, what’s…
#106: Michael Simmons (part 2)
May 25, 2015 • 43 min
Today we continue our conversation with Michael Simmons of Flexibits, maker of Fantastical. Michael discusses the reasons he sells Fantastical for Mac through his website as well as through the App Store, and the pointlessness of obsessing over App Store…
#105: Our Annual WWDC Tips
May 18, 2015 • 36 min
This is our annual WWDC Tips & Tricks show, in which we share our favorite things to do in San Francisco while at (or at least near) WWDC. We talk about WWDC, Layers, AltConf, and we share details of The Viewing Room that Release Notes will be running…
#104: Michael Simmons (part 1)
May 11, 2015 • 39 min
We’re joined today by Michael Simmons of Flexibits, maker of Fantastical. Michael talks to us about how he got into Mac and iOS development, the origins of Fantastical, and why Flexibits decided to take on Apple in the calendaring space. He also shares…
#103: Catching Up
May 4, 2015 • 47 min
It may not seem like it to you, but it’s been a while since we recorded an episode, so we took this opportunity to catch up a little bit and talk about what’s been going on: our travels, our impressions of Úll and NSNorth which both Charles and Joe…
#102: Greg Pierce
Apr 27, 2015 • 34 min
We’re joined today by Greg Pierce of Agile Tortoise, the maker of fine apps like Drafts and Tally. It’s no secret that Charles and Joe have been lukewarm on the idea of Apple Watch development, so today we decided to bring in an outside voice to get a…
#101: It Turned Out To Be The Segway
Apr 20, 2015 • 31 min
Today we talk about secrecy. We talk about whether it’s a good practice share new products and features before they are ready, and if so, how widely they should be shared. We talk about the motivations behind secrecy, when it’s actually useful, and why we…
#100: Jean MacDonald
Apr 13, 2015 • 30 min
We’re joined today by Jean MacDonald, founder of App Camp for Girls, and a speaker at Release Notes. Jean shares some of what she learned about marketing and public relations during her time as a partner at Smile Software, her experience in founding App…
#99: Learning to Play Poker
Apr 6, 2015 • 36 min
Today we continue the discussion of app pricing that we began in episode 95. We talk about premium pricing, the importance of differentiating your product from the competition, and using a “freemium” strategy to provide free trials to customers. Then we…
#98: Ben Scheirman
Mar 30, 2015 • 47 min
Today we’re joined by Ben Scheirman, who recently left his day job to go indie with his company NSScreencast. We talk about his background in programming, the start and growth of NSScreencast, how he planned his transition to his new indie career, and…
#97: Eleven Amazing Speakers
Mar 23, 2015 • 23 min
Today we’re finally able to share the exceptional group of indie developers, journalists, entrepreneurs, and leaders from the iOS and Mac development community that will be speaking at Release Notes this October. We’re really proud of this lineup, and we…
#96: Unadulterated Good News
Mar 16, 2015 • 32 min
Today we look at the recent Apple event and reflect on what lessons from the newly rolled out Apple Watch can be applied to our own products. We talk about why Joe is excited about getting an Apple Watch and Charles is holding off for now. We also look at…
#95: $22.96
Mar 9, 2015 • 34 min
“Sustainable pricing” is a phrase that’s tossed around a lot in indie circles, and it has recently bubbled to the top of many developers’ minds, so today we take a look at what exactly we mean by “sustainable pricing” and how we can apply that concept…
#94: Turning Pro
Mar 2, 2015 • 36 min
Today we discuss the the book Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield which deals with the development of a “pro mentality” among artists, authors, makers, and entrepreneurs. We talk about what separates pros from amateurs, dealing with fear, the concept of…
#93: Alex Solonsky and Vadim Shpakovski
Feb 23, 2015 • 35 min
Today we’re joined by Alex Solonsky and Vadim Shpakovski, the team behind the personal finance app Saver 2. Alex and Vadim recently released Saver 2 as a separate SKU from Saver 1, with the intention of moving their side business from a “hobby” to their…
#92: Especially Since I Can’t Juggle
Feb 16, 2015 • 37 min
We’ve all heard the time honored advice that you shouldn’t “put all your eggs in one basket,” but that’s exactly what many independent developers do. They have their entire business riding on the success (or failure) of one app, or maybe just a couple…
#91: The Height of Gauging
Feb 9, 2015 • 34 min
Today we take a moment to talk about all the cool things there are to do in Indianapolis when you visit for the conference this October, then we dive into our main topic: communicating with customers, and some of the problems we have in that regard. We…
#90: The Acute Elbow (part 2)
Feb 2, 2015 • 38 min
Today we continue our discussion of Charles’ analysis of the distribution of App Store revenue, and the implications that it holds for indie developers. We talk about making a living, setting expectations, and achieving goals. We also consider what advice…
#89: The Acute Elbow
Jan 26, 2015 • 37 min
It’s been widely known for some time that very few top apps take home most of the revenue in the App Store. There’s been some uncertainty, though, about exactly how few apps are involved. Today we talk about an analysis of the distribution of App Store…
#88: They’re Still Your Babies
Jan 19, 2015 • 42 min
If you’ve been a developer on the App Store for any length of time, you’ve probably faced the difficult decision of killing an app. Maybe it’s just not making as much money as you’d hoped. Maybe its codebase has, through neglect, gotten too old to bother…
#87: 2-hr. Discussion of Coat Racks
Jan 12, 2015 • 30 min
Today we continue our look back at 2014 and discuss our hopes for 2015. In this episode, we discuss professional accomplishments for the year, our companies’ financial results, and goals for 2015. Conference We’re planning a conference! Release Notes will…
#86: Surprised How Smoothly It Went
Jan 5, 2015 • 26 min
It’s a new year, so we take a moment to pause and evaluate how things are going. We both reflect on our respective businesses, and review what when well, what could have gone better, and plans for the future. We also take a look at financials, and…
#85: Rob Rhyne (part 2)
Dec 29, 2014 • 29 min
We continue our discussion with Rob Rhyne, concentrating this week on building apps for professionals. Rob shares his thoughts on pricing models, maximizing revenue, and selling to fewer higher-quality customers. Along the way, we compare the iOS and Mac…
#84: Rob Rhyne (part 1)
Dec 22, 2014 • 41 min
The Apple Watch is coming, and independent developers need to decide how to prepare for it. We already gave our opinions on developing for the Apple Watch, but we wanted to get a slightly different perspective, so we brought in Rob Rhyne, managing partner…
#83: They Really Kinda Don’t
Dec 15, 2014 • 34 min
App Store development is full of risks, and one risk that eventually bites every developer is an App Store rejection. Today we talk about some recent high profile app rejections that have become public and consider how we should react when we (inevitably)…
#82: How Many Legs Are We Up To?
Dec 8, 2014 • 37 min
WatchKit was recently announced to permit apps to be developed for the Apple Watch, so today we discuss what we got and what business opportunities might now be available to us. We discuss why Joe’s excited for the Apple Watch and Charles isn’t, business…
#81: We’re Doing a Conference
Dec 1, 2014 • 38 min
Today we finally get to announce Release Notes, a conference about the business of iOS and Mac development. Release Notes will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA on October 21-23, 2015, and we hope that you’ll plan to join us. In this week’s episode we…
#80: I’ve Got Some PowerPoints to Sell
Nov 24, 2014 • 36 min
Today we take a look at Merchant Consumer Exchange (MCX) and CurrentC, the contactless payment system that is positioned as a competitor to Apple Pay. We use MCX and CurrentC as a lens to examine our own behavior and customer hostile behavior. What…
#79: Justin Williams (part 2)
Nov 17, 2014 • 36 min
We’re joined again this week by Justin Williams to continue our postmortem of Glassboard, the messaging service that he recently shut down. This week we talk about the importance of solving customer problems with your product, paying attention to business…
#78: Justin Williams
Nov 10, 2014 • 38 min
Understanding why products fail is often just as valuable as knowing why they succeed. To help us with that, we’re joined today by Justin Williams who recently shut down the Glassboard service which he owned. We conduct a postmortem on Glassboard and try…
#77: So Was the Cube
Nov 3, 2014 • 30 min
Joe recently returned from speaking at the inaugural CocoaLove, held in his old stomping grounds of Philly. Sadly, Charles wasn’t able to attend, so we use this opportunity to let Joe share his experience at the conference. We discuss the conference…
#76: James Dempsey
Oct 27, 2014 • 39 min
James Dempsey of James Dempsey and the Breakpoints joins us today to talk about his history working at Apple, his transition to life as an indie contractor and trainer and, oh yeah, his new hit album Backtrace. Backtrace is the #1 comedy album on iTunes…
#75: Figure Out What the iPad Is… Then Tell Us
Oct 20, 2014 • 34 min
With stories of declining iPad sales in the headlines, Apple last week announced its refreshed iPad line-up as well as some other new hardware. Today we discuss this event, the absence of a coherent iPad use story from Apple, and the future of iPad…
#74: Safe and Boring Money
Oct 13, 2014 • 31 min
Every year, just like clockwork, Apple releases new features for iOS. And every year, just like clockwork, developers have their apps rejected from the App Store for using these new features in ways that Apple didn’t anticipate. So today, we discuss the…
#73: Convince All My Friends to Buy One
Oct 6, 2014 • 33 min
Today we look at the new iPhones, our reaction to them now that we’ve actually held them, and how we think the new display sizes will affect what and how we develop. We consider the nature of the iPhone 6 Plus, our predicted demise of separate iPhone and…
#72: Matthew Bischoff
Sep 29, 2014 • 27 min
Today we talk to Matthew Bischoff about his iOS studio, Lickability, and its founders’ goal of building Lickability into a full-time job. Along the way, Matthew shares the story of Lickability’s start on Broadway, reflects on balancing client work with…
#71: A Belt and Suspenders Kinda Guy
Sep 22, 2014 • 35 min
Today we discuss the trials and tribulations of supporting new features and new operating systems. We start by recapping the recent problems with the roll out of iOS 8, particularly those surrounding iCloud Drive and the code signing of iOS 8 extensions.…
#70: Is it $350 Easier?
Sep 15, 2014 • 35 min
Today we discuss the recent Apple event in which we learned about Apple’s new products and got a free lesson in spoken Chinese. We start by talking about the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and Joe’s disdain for the larger form factors, as well as how the…
#69: All the Hipster Banjo Music You Want
Sep 8, 2014 • 30 min
Today we talk about Joe’s recent trip to 360|iDev and the talk he gave about the video app previews that are coming soon to the App Store. Joe tells us what he’s learned about app previews, their format, what’s allowed, and what’s not. Then we talk about…
#68: What I Do, and What I Should Do
Sep 1, 2014 • 30 min
Today we continue the market research discussion that began last week, and explore a few tangents along the way. We talk about reusing code in new apps, researching competitors, and being a student of apps. We consider possible responses to new…
#67: I Don’t Know What An MBA Would Call It
Aug 25, 2014 • 35 min
Today we take a look at market research and “market driven development” as a means of increasing an independent developer’s chances of success in the App Store. We discuss strategies for choosing a group of people to target with a new app, picking…
#66: The Tab That’s Never Been Good
Aug 18, 2014 • 41 min
Today we discuss the upcoming changes to the iOS 8 App Store and how we’ll be affected by them. We consider the new Explore tab and how it will affect app discoverability, app bundles and what you can and can’t do with them, video previews and their…
#65: An Indie State of Mind
Aug 11, 2014 • 35 min
Today we reflect on the state of being indie, particularly in light of the discussion that we had last week with Jared Sinclair. We start, as every good argument should, by defining our terms and taking a look at what exactly we mean when we call someone…
#64 Jared Sinclair
Aug 4, 2014 • 44 min
You probably know Jared Sinclair from his app Unread and his recent tell-all financial post that’s been making waves in the iOS development community this past week. Today Jared joins us to explain why exactly he shared Unread’s financial results, his…
#63: Competing with Kim Kardashian
Jul 28, 2014 • 30 min
Today we look at the partnership that was recently announced between Apple and IBM. We discuss what it means for the iPhone and iPad, what it means for Apple, and what it means for independent software developers. We talk about why enterprise is such a…
#62: Makes it More Huggable
Jul 21, 2014 • 39 min
Today we take a look at the 2014 Apple Design Award winners, and discuss what lessons we can draw from the winners to apply to our own apps. We consider the importance of polish, creating atmosphere, and delivering “surprise & delight.” We talk about…
#61: Apple Kremlinology
Jul 14, 2014 • 34 min
Today we take a look at the new iOS 8 size classes that were introduced to the world at WWDC, and what they might mean for the future. All indications are that larger iPhones are coming this fall, and there are other rumors of a split-screen iPad. If…
#60: Difficult for Whom?
Jul 7, 2014 • 35 min
Today we’re talking about iCloud Drive and the advent of a filesystem on iOS. We discuss whether the benefits of introducing a filesystem to iOS users is worth the complications that it brings, compare notes on our plans for supporting iCloud Drive, and…
#59: Solve the Problem with Math
Jun 30, 2014 • 38 min
The universal experience of all independent developers is that there’s never enough time. Today we take a look at how we plan to use our limited time between now and when iOS 8 is released to the general public. What iOS 8 technologies are absolutely…
#58: David Smith (part 2)
Jun 23, 2014 • 28 min
Today we’re continuing our conversation with David Smith. We start by discussing David’s recent talk at the NSNorth conference in which he encouraged the audience to engage with our community of developers. David then turns the tables by asking us a…
#57: David Smith (part 1)
Jun 16, 2014 • 30 min
We asked David Smith to join us today because he’s found a different path to success in the App Store. Instead of concentrating his efforts on one or two apps as Charles and Joe have done, David has a diverse portfolio of over 70 apps that support him in…
#56: Felt Like an Episode of Oprah
Jun 9, 2014 • 32 min
We’re back from WWDC and today we take a look at the enormous number of changes that were announced during the conference and how we think that those changes will affect our businesses. We start with our general impressions of the WWDC, then quickly move…
#55: Brit Young
Jun 2, 2014 • 31 min
We’re joined today by Brit Young, now of New Relic, who shares her story of going indie. Brit’s story is particularly interesting because in the midst of running a successful consulting business, she and her partner had the realization that a consulting…
#54: You’d Better Start in October
May 26, 2014 • 32 min
We start today by raving about our recent trip to the NSNorth conference, which was held in Ottawa, Canada. Then we change gears and jump into our main topic: WWDC. We don’t cover all the hints and tips we gave in our WWDC episode from last year, but…
#53: No Major Hiccups
May 19, 2014 • 35 min
Today, Charles and Joe discuss the recent version 3.0 releases of their respective apps. Charles discusses his transition of backend providers and some of the problems and unexpected benefits that came up during the process. He also describes some of the…
#52: A Bizarre Omission
May 12, 2014 • 28 min
We continue last week’s discussion of changes that we’d like to see in iOS 8 from our perspective as developers and business owners. We look at what we’d like to see change with App Store ratings and search results, discuss a possible way that developers…
#51: Buttons with Borders
May 5, 2014 • 37 min
In this episode, we begin making a wish list for iOS 8. First up: Problems that we experience as users. We share tales of woe connected to the keyboard, autocorrect, music player, and Siri. Then we take a broad look at some rough edges that were never…
#50: Any Monkey Can Crash an App
Apr 28, 2014 • 32 min
Today we’re talking about beta testing. We start with the beta strategy that Bombing Brain Interactive is using for their upcoming release of Teleprompt+ 3.0, and discuss the merits of giving a testing checklist to members of your beta pool. We consider…
#49: Rubber Duck Expense Reporting (part 2)
Apr 21, 2014 • 27 min
We continue our conversation on discretionary spending by taking a closer look at conferences and other sorts of social events. We calculate the real cost of attending WWDC, and look at a few conferences that we recommend if you can’t bankroll a trip to…
#48: Rubber Duck Expense Reporting (part 1)
Apr 14, 2014 • 28 min
Today we begin a conversation about expenses, particularly discretionary expenses, and how we justify them. We start by discussing the value of travel and socializing, and the sometimes intangible benefits that we derive from them. We take a look at…
#47: Icky Is a Good Way to Describe It
Apr 7, 2014 • 36 min
Today we look at the controversy surrounding the game Threes! and the many inferior clones of that game that have appeared in the App Store. We start with a brief recap of the Threes! saga to bring those listeners who may not be familiar with the…
#46: A Good Reason From Their Perspective
Mar 31, 2014 • 36 min
Today we have a wide ranging discussion about collecting customer data. We talk about privacy policies, whether anyone actually reads them, and Apple’s sensitivity to privacy issues. Then the conversation turns to a discussion of what kind of information…
#45: Justin Williams (part 2)
Mar 24, 2014 • 31 min
We’re joined again by special guest Justin Williams of Second Gear Software for the conclusion of our conversation about his acquisition of Glassboard and his experience as an indie software developer. We talk about making data-driven decisions and his…
#44: Justin Williams (part 1)
Mar 17, 2014 • 34 min
This week we’re joined by special guest Justin Williams of Second Gear Software, purveyor of fine software products like Glassboard and Elements. We cover a lot of topics this week, starting with Justin’s experience with selling entire software products…
#43: Too Many Tendrils
Mar 10, 2014 • 32 min
Today we explore in a little more depth the dangers of relying on third party dependencies. Specifically, we discuss the problems that Charles has been dealing with as he prepares for the shutdown of his backend provider, StackMob. We discuss the reason…
#42: Which Makes Me Sort of Worried About…Me
Mar 3, 2014 • 42 min
Today we talk about gaming the App Store, and where exactly the fine line is that separates ethical from unethical behavior. Should developers feel uncomfortable in steering only their happy customers towards leaving a review? Is it unethical to…
#41: Manton Reece
Feb 24, 2014 • 34 min
Today we’re joined by Manton Reece of Riverfold Software who speaks with us about his experience as an independent iOS and Mac developer. We talk about creating products vs. services, changing products from free to paid, and the advantages and challenges…
#40: The Pain Threshold
Feb 17, 2014 • 37 min
Today we use the recent Flappy Bird saga as a jumping off point for discussing criticism and how we as developers can deal with it. We talk about the dangers of taking negative comments too personally, extracting a little bit of good from even the…
#39: The Tax Man Cometh
Feb 10, 2014 • 38 min
In this episode we discuss taxes. We start by reflecting on our individual workflows for tracking expenses and receipts, and Joe’s inexplicable love of spreadsheets. Then we turn our attention to income tracking and some of the difficulties that it can…
#38: A Mac of Some Sort… On My Person
Feb 3, 2014 • 38 min
Today we take some time to geek out over equipment. Specifically, we talk this week about the equipment we use every day to stay productive and healthy. Desktop or laptop? Seated or standing desk? Dual monitor or single? How can I avoid a repetitive…
#37: You Can’t Xerox a Xerox
Jan 27, 2014 • 35 min
Today we’re talking about trademarks – what they are and why they’re important. We start with a general discussion of what trademarks are and how to get them, as well as a discussion of the differences between common law trademarks and registered…
#36: Jim Dalrymple (part 2)
Jan 20, 2014 • 28 min
Today we’ve got part two of our conversation with Jim Dalrymple of The Loop Magazine. In today’s conversation, we talk about whether, given the chance to do it over again, Jim would make The Loop Magazine a Newsstand app or just a regular Springboard app.…
#35: Jim Dalrymple (part 1)
Jan 13, 2014 • 29 min
Today we’re joined by special guest Jim Dalrymple who shares with us his experience developing The Loop Magazine which appears in the iOS Newsstand. We talk about why he wanted to build an app, the difference between the content that appears in The Loop…
#34: Feels Slimy, Doesn’t It?
Jan 6, 2014 • 33 min
Today we take a look at App Store Optimization or “ASO.” We consider the sorry state of App Store search that makes many developers feel that some sort of ASO is necessary, and discuss the fine line between effective and unethical uses of ASO. Then we…
#33: It’s on Sale!
Dec 30, 2013 • 34 min
Today we explore the the phenomenon of holiday sales on the App Store. We start by looking at the lessons that can be learned from sales on physical goods in brick and mortar stores, and consider the value of sales in today’s Apps Store. We talk about…
#32: They Had Money, and I Wanted It
Dec 23, 2013 • 39 min
Today we’re talking all about feature requests. We start by discussing how to handle feedback that we receive from customers and how that fits into the idea of building “opinionated software.” Next we turn to our methods of tracking and responding to…
#31: You’re Basically Giving it a D or a C-
Dec 16, 2013 • 36 min
Today we address the kerfuffle surrounding apps prompting for App Store reviews, and the campaign to rate these apps with only one star. We catch up on the backstory surrounding the controversy, share our opinions on the campaign, and consider whether…
#30: I’m Suggesting Things That I Want
Dec 9, 2013 • 36 min
Today we’re sharing all the best Christmas gift ideas we have for geeks like ourselves. So whether you’re buying for the geek in your life, or you’re just wanting to drop some hints for yourself, this is the episode for you! Show Notes & Links Book Arc…
#29: Luc Vandal
Dec 2, 2013 • 38 min
Today we talk to Luc Vandal of Edovia Software about his experience developing for iOS. Luc shares the story of how a feature from Apple helped launch his first app, what he’s learned by killing off underperforming products, and his success in convincing…
#28: What’s in a Name?
Nov 25, 2013 • 36 min
Charles and Joe catch up after a few weeks off. Joe talks about his trip to the Devoxx conference in Belgium and the presentation that he gave while there. Charles talks about his legal troubles, trademark disputes, changing his company’s name, dealing…
#27: Going Off Into A Meadow Somewhere
Nov 18, 2013 • 37 min
Today we’re talking about inspiration and how we conceive of and evaluate app ideas. We start by discussing how we each get ideas for new apps, the value of intentionally seeking out new ideas, and the role of a product roadmap in determining which ideas…
#26: Jonathan Rhyne
Nov 11, 2013 • 37 min
Today we’re joined by Jonathan Rhyne, a lawyer who specializes in representing independent mobile software developers. We talk to Jonathan about all things related to law, but especially about a lawyer’s role in helping an indie build his software…
#25: Put It in a Sentence
Nov 4, 2013 • 35 min
Today we’re talking about Joe’s new app, Fin, and the challenges he faced as a fairly new developer. Joe shares his experience implementing VoiceOver for the first time, as well as some of the difficulties he had to overcome in making the gesture-based…
#24: Location, Location, Location
Oct 28, 2013 • 36 min
In today’s episode, we discuss how the location we live affects our businesses. We compare our experiences on the coasts with those in the Midwest of the U.S. and consider the different cultures and resources that those locations can offer an indie…
#23: Jiva DeVoe
Oct 21, 2013 • 36 min
Today we’re joined by Jiva DeVoe of Random Ideas Software, who shares his thoughts on running and building an App Store business. Jiva shares his thoughts on returning to business fundamentals and why today’s indies could learn a thing or two from Mac…
#22: I’ll Gladly Pay You Tuesday (part 2)
Oct 14, 2013 • 31 min
Today we conclude our discussion on app pricing that began in the last episode. We discuss charging for app updates, and try to learn from the experience of companies like Realmac Software (maker of Clear) and The Omni Group (maker of OmniFocus) who have…
#21: I’ll Gladly Pay You Tuesday (part 1)
Oct 7, 2013 • 32 min
In this episode, we add our two cents to the ongoing conversation about app pricing. We start by asking if paid apps are really dead, or if there’s still a place for paid apps in the App Store. Next, we discuss the future of premium priced apps, and…
#20: Greg Pierce
Sep 30, 2013 • 34 min
Today we’re joined by Greg Pierce of Agile Tortoise who makes such fine apps as Drafts and Terminology. Greg shares with us his experience in the App Store, what he was thinking about as he updated Drafts for iOS 7, and some of the history behind the…
#19: In Service of Customers
Sep 23, 2013 • 30 min
Today we chat about our experience at the recently held 360iDev conference, and some of the best presentations we saw while we were there. Then we dive into the topic of Joe’s 360iDev presentation: customer service. Joe makes the case that excellent…
#18: Product Websites (part 2)
Sep 16, 2013 • 39 min
Today we conclude our conversation about websites for products and businesses. We start with a discussion of features that every website should have, and which of those features are most often overlooked. Then we consider how prominently to feature your…
#17: Product Websites (part 1)
Sep 10, 2013 • 30 min
In this episode we begin a conversation about the websites that we use to promote our products. We discuss the role of the website when all purchases have to happen in the App Store and the all-important first impression that your website makes. We talk…
#16: Shane Crawford
Sep 2, 2013 • 30 min
Today we talk to Shane Crawford of Blue Lightning Labs about his experience as an indie in the App Store. We talk about the secret to his success, the first-mover advantage, the importance of creating a portfolio of apps, and building a brand for your…
#15: Trend Follower
Aug 26, 2013 • 38 min
Today we take a look at design trends in iOS and how developers and designers should react to them. We consider trends in iOS 7 like flat design and deference to content, and discuss how they will affect our upcoming app re-designs. We also talk about…
#14: Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Aug 19, 2013 • 36 min
Lots of indie developers depend on revenue from multiple apps to keep their ship afloat. But when you have several apps, all in need of your attention, how do you decide what to do next? How do you keep all the balls in the air? In this episode we compare…
#13: Accessibility
Aug 12, 2013 • 33 min
This week we discuss accessible apps and technologies like VoiceOver. We start by first considering what exactly it means for an app to be “accessible” and why we as business owners should care about it. Then we dive into Apple’s VoiceOver technology,…
#12: Homeward Unbound
Aug 5, 2013 • 38 min
Working from home is an experience that most indies have enjoyed… or suffered through. In this episode, we talk about the ups and downs of working from home and explore some of the workspace options that exist for independent developers. Along the way, we…
#11: Hackintosh
Jul 29, 2013 • 34 min
This week we talk about the extended downtime that the iOS and Mac developer portals have experienced. We discuss the security breach that caused it, Apple’s response, and whether it was sufficient. Then we use Apple’s woes as an excuse to reflect on our…
#10: Third Party
Jul 22, 2013 • 29 min
In this episode we talk about the advantages and disadvantages of integrating third party services and code into your app. We consider why you might want to rely on others, the risks in doing so, and our experiences integrating third party services into…
#9: Developers and Designers
Jul 15, 2013 • 27 min
Developers and Designers need each other, but how do you find a good partner to work with? In this episode we look at how indies can find a good designer, how they can recognize a good one when they find one, and what each side should expect from the…
#8: Catch-22
Jul 8, 2013 • 32 min
On this, the fifth anniversary of Apple’s launch of the App Store, we consider the the current state of affairs for businesses that rely on it for distribution. We react to recent reports of downsizing, look at what monetization strategies are working and…
#7: Launch
Jul 1, 2013 • 37 min
This week we’re talking about product launches and how to get the most attention possible for your new apps. We start off with a discussion about generating pre-launch buzz around your app, and making effective use of your mailing list. Then we talk about…
#6: Sisyphus
Jun 24, 2013 • 31 min
Charles and Joe return from WWDC to discuss the iOS 7 announcement and its impact on your app business. We talk timeframes, prioritizing your work in the lead-up to release, and the importance of having your apps ready for iOS 7 on day one. Then…
#5: Branching Out
Jun 17, 2013 • 34 min
This week, a reader question prompts us to talk about whether or not “branching out” into new fields, new talents, is worthwhile for indie developers. Can you afford to spend time working on new skills when you barely have enough time to finish your…
#4: I Can’t Buy Something I’ve Never Heard Of
Jun 10, 2013 • 29 min
In this episode we discuss ways to foster communications with customers — both current and potential. We talk about social media, message boards, mailing lists and why it’s important to be conspicuously active on these channels. We consider ways to…
#3: WWDC 101
Jun 3, 2013 • 31 min
With so many people attending WWDC for the first time this year, we thought it might be fun to share our version of a “WWDC First-timer’s Guide.” In this episode, Joe shares his local knowledge of San Francisco and particularly the area surrounding the…
#2: Going Indie
May 27, 2013 • 37 min
In this episode, we share our own stories of going indie and consider whether it’s better to gradually transition to indie development or to just jump in head first. We talk about the importance of saving money while you can, developing a business plan,…
#1: Conference Junkies
May 16, 2013 • 33 min
In this, our pilot episode, Charles and Joe discuss the importance of conferences to your business and to the Apple developer community in general. We answer the question of whether you should attend a conference (spoiler: Yes, you should!), the role of…