My name is Kenneth and I write cool Mac and iPhone software. This is my personal weblog where I post about stuff I find interesting. I usually write about Mac development, the business of shareware and the Mac community in general.read more →
Update: Please keep two things in mind while reading this article: 1. It’s focused on marketing. I did not mention that you obviously need a good product to market with. 2. It’s meant to be humorous. I do not own a Ferrari, Lamborghini or any other kind of sports car.
The key to becoming a
good rich successful Mac shareware developer.
We all want to be rich, don’t we? This is a guide on how to become a successful (ie. rich) mac developer. This is the process I used in my own app, Exces. It worked really well for me.
What you need
To start off, you need a
good decent application idea.
An important point to keep in mind is that you must focus on you target market’s needs, not yours. If you’re making an app that prints receipts, no one gives a damn that you own a shiny receipt printer, it’s gotta work with normal A4 Inkjets as well.
Also, when writing your cool new app, pay very close attention to the interface. The UI is what your users will see and work with.
Alright, that was the boring common sense part, here comes the fun!
Here’s where you start investing. Being rich is about taking risks. Taking the risk to put money into your unfinished app. You might lose that money, but if it’s a success, it’s totally worth it. Look at Wil Shipley and imagine yourself owning that same bright red sports car.
Alright, so you’ve decided to be a true brave Gryffindor and to take the risk? Start by getting yourself a good graphic designer. *poke* *poke*. But be warned, don’t start throwing up slugs when you see the number of zeros after the price! Now’s the point of no return, when you pull out your credit card and make the first real investment. I’ve emphasized the word “credit” because it’s a good option to borrow credit if you don’t have any of your own cash to spend. In fact, that’s what I did.
You might ask yourself what you need this designer guy for. Well, most important of all, you need him for an icon. I cannot stress enough how important the icon is. It’s probably the most important thing about your app. It’s the app’s public identity.
Nearly as important as the icon is the website. This is where users will read about your app, and in the end hopefully buy your app.. Get the designer to create that too. Go for a stylish but simple site, but definitely stay clear from getting inspiration from big company’s sites. They’re multi-billionaire companies, it’s all right for them to have sites with thousands of pages. But for you, small ISV (independent software vendor), it’s not. Huge complicated sites will scare customers away.
A few simple rules for your site
- If you need more than one click to get from the homepage to your product’s page, you gotta rethink your site
- If the buy link is not clearly visible on every page related to your app, you gotta rethink your site
- If it takes more than two steps to buy your product, you gotta rethink your site (I can’t recommend potionstore enough. It’s got everything a micro-ISV needs in a store, and it’s SIMPLE!)
- Make very sure that it’s clear what the customer’s buying and how it all works. Keep it as simple as possible and do not follow big sites like Amazon’s example
If you do not use a custom webstore:
If you do use a custom webstore:
Time to whip out your credit card again! You need hosting now, and a domain name. When you start you don’t need a 100% super-reliable host - yet. Go for something cheap, you can always change after a few months.
Right, everything ready for release?
What we need is some hype. Blog about that secret app of yours that’s coming out soon. Make a heavily hyped private beta (What I mean by that is making a private beta, but advertise it a lot so that people will be contesting for the few private beta-tester places. Ahem, do I need to point the finger? Disco and Flow, for instance, did this.) Set up a pre-ordering system. Another good idea is to get yourself interviewed by the Mac press.
If you succeed, you’ll have a lot of buzz and excitement around your app. And then… release your app! Add your app to MacUpdate, VersionTracker and so on. Send your press release to all major mac sites (find an already-made mail list for mac sharewares). Get your app reviewed by the press as soon as possible.
If you’re lucky, you’ll make up for the past months’ investments in the first few days.
After the first huge wave of noise and sales has calmed down, after a few weeks / months, get your app into promos such as MacZOT! or MacHeist. This will create continued interest in your app. Release updates from time to time, and post ‘em to MU / VT, they’re a big traffic income.
A big tool in helping you get traffic and attention is digg, use it.
From now on, everything will work out from itself, while you can enjoy your brand-new Lamborghini.
The key to becoming a rich mac-dev is to have good marketing for your good app. Simple, ay
This entry was posted on Sunday, August 5th, 2007 at 4:32 pm and is filed under Articles, Business, English. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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