The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try

2,101 views
2,020 views

Published on

My app, Grades, was featured by Apple and did pretty well. Through telling the story I weave in many of the lessons I wish I had known at the start. Skip to slide 75 to get to the iPhone specific stuff.

This is NOT about me - I hope it inspires you to start getting curious and build awesome stuff.

Published in: Technology, News & Politics
2 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total views
2,101
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
243
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
16
Comments
2
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try

  1. 1. The Grades Story Jeremy Olson @jerols - gradesapp.com - skookum.com
  2. 2. WARNING
  3. 3. NOT
  4. 4. Get rich quick
  5. 5. IS
  6. 6. Long Term
  7. 7. IS
  8. 8. AboutYOU
  9. 9. THE STORY If there were a subtitle, it would be here!
  10. 10. 4 Chapters
  11. 11. 4 Chapters Get a Monkey
  12. 12. 4 Chapters Get a Monkey Get an Idea
  13. 13. 4 Chapters Get a Monkey Get an Idea Get a Voice
  14. 14. 4 Chapters Get a Monkey Get an Idea Get a Voice Worth it!
  15. 15. Chapter 1 Get a Monkey
  16. 16. The Bad Guy
  17. 17. The Bad Guy Why waste your time? No way it’s gonna make money.
  18. 18. Big Revelation...
  19. 19. Success ≠ Money
  20. 20. Be curious, learn stuff, build stuff...
  21. 21. Do your best to make it profitable.
  22. 22. It will probably fail.
  23. 23. It doesn’t matter.
  24. 24. Let me prove it.
  25. 25. 2000
  26. 26. FENCING MASTER
  27. 27. Money Made...
  28. 28. Wait for it...
  29. 29. $0
  30. 30. Web Design
  31. 31. I was a natural... (not)
  32. 32. Off to a great start!
  33. 33. $0
  34. 34. BLOGGG!
  35. 35. Oh yeah!
  36. 36. -$100
  37. 37. APPPS!
  38. 38. What is a database?
  39. 39. Me thinking $15/hr is pretty neat
  40. 40. A few bucks
  41. 41. College.
  42. 42. What’s a Skookum?
  43. 43. It pays to be curious.
  44. 44. WRONG
  45. 45. Will this make money right away? NOT
  46. 46. Is this a worthwhile investment?
  47. 47. Money ≠ Success
  48. 48. It pays to be curious. It pays to be curious.
  49. 49. Get a monkey
  50. 50. Chapter 2 Get a product
  51. 51. THE POSSIBILITIES!
  52. 52. FAIL
  53. 53. Curiosity not enough
  54. 54. A good idea motivates you to learn what is required to build it
  55. 55. Scratch your own itch
  56. 56. Is there a gap in the market?
  57. 57. Is it a ?
  58. 58. Sketch it
  59. 59. Talk to folks
  60. 60. Prototype it
  61. 61. Talk to folks
  62. 62. Do people immediately “get it”?
  63. 63. Are people excited about it?
  64. 64. Will enough people be willing to pay for it?
  65. 65. Refine it
  66. 66. Know your limits
  67. 67. My design skills were not good enough to make that concept work.
  68. 68. If the skill isn’t there, stick simple. Don’t go crazy.
  69. 69. Speaking of Design...
  70. 70. Use an iPhone or iPod every day
  71. 71. Invest LOTS of time in the design
  72. 72. Apple says:
  73. 73. Learn design.
  74. 74. WWDC Videos http://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2010/ Watch the ones on design and on making successful iPhone apps
  75. 75. HIG Search “iPhone human interface guidelines”
  76. 76. No time? Hire or partner with an amazing designer.
  77. 77. Beyond usable. Fun.
  78. 78. Programming the thang.
  79. 79. Native VS Web-based Objective-C Cocoa HTML/CSS/Javascript Phone Gap Appcelerator Titanium
  80. 80. Native VS Web-based + More familiar to web developers + Multi-platform - Slower - Easy to make an app that doesn’t follow conventions - Sometimes limiting + More valuable skill + More control + Fewer limits - Hard - Not multi- platform
  81. 81. Learning Native iPhone Programming
  82. 82. http://developer.apple.com/iphone
  83. 83. Download the SDK for free $100/year to submit apps to the store and test them on actual devices (otherwise use the simulator to test) Only works on a Mac
  84. 84. Google “Learn Objective C” (1st result)
  85. 85. Search “stanford iPhone” in iTunes Store Do the assignments! (At least the first few)
  86. 86. New programmer? Introductory programming courses or books = good idea. This is not lightweight stuff. Not impossible either.
  87. 87. Grades 0.1 = Hodgepodge of tutorials twisted to do my will
  88. 88. After a few months, stuff started clicking
  89. 89. Scratch. Rewrite.
  90. 90. Polish. Polish. Polish.
  91. 91. Grades 1.0 1 year - start to finish
  92. 92. DEMO
  93. 93. We got a product.
  94. 94. Halt.
  95. 95. Step back a bit.
  96. 96. A product is no good if nobody knows about it
  97. 97. Chapter 3 Get a voice
  98. 98. If you don’t have a voice, you are nobody.
  99. 99. If you’re a nobody, who is going to know about your stuff?
  100. 100. Don’t wait til launch to work on marketing!
  101. 101. Getting a voice takes TIME! Lots of it.
  102. 102. Day 1, I was nobody.
  103. 103. I read
  104. 104. “If you think leadership is only for other people, you’re wrong. We need YOU to lead us.”
  105. 105. Twitter
  106. 106. Market by sharing/ teaching/leading
  107. 107. Market by adding value to people’s lives
  108. 108. It worked!
  109. 109. Some of the most successful iPhone developers out there were reading my blog!
  110. 110. It’s not about eyeballs
  111. 111. I never “pitched” anybody
  112. 112. It’s about connections
  113. 113. It’s about relationships
  114. 114. Don’t Spam
  115. 115. “@taptaptap Hey, you should check out the iPhone app I’m building - it is really awesome” WRONG
  116. 116. “Check out @taptaptap’s latest app, Voices - it is a perfect example of going beyond usable and into the realm of fun.” RIGHT
  117. 117. Engage people outside the context of your app.
  118. 118. If they like you, they will check your stuff out.
  119. 119. What about PR? Make it a last resort. Cold calling is usually not very effective.
  120. 120. The Power of Social Media
  121. 121. Viticci
  122. 122. [redacted]
  123. 123. Ken Yarmosh
  124. 124. My Job
  125. 125. If you have a voice, people care.
  126. 126. Chapter 4 Worth it!
  127. 127. LAUNCH!
  128. 128. Hundreds of Twitter followers, blog readers, and beta testers got the ball rolling.
  129. 129. Launch!
  130. 130. Launch!
  131. 131. Launch!
  132. 132. Launch!
  133. 133. Launch!
  134. 134. Launch!
  135. 135. Launch!
  136. 136. Launch!
  137. 137. Launch!
  138. 138. Launch!FTW!
  139. 139. How to get featured • Good idea • Great design • If you can use features unique to the iPhone or that show off technology from the most recent IOS update • Make your own splash by starting marketing early
  140. 140. How much?
  141. 141. Didn’t you learn anything?
  142. 142. Much more than a $1k. Much less than $100k. But it really doesn’t matter!
  143. 143. I’m worth 500% more than a year ago.
  144. 144. Contribute to respected blogs Got to interview the creators of RedLaser
  145. 145. Contribute to respected blogs Got to interview the creators of RedLaser
  146. 146. Next? Who knows.
  147. 147. I’m not special.
  148. 148. Get a monkey.
  149. 149. Get a product.
  150. 150. Get a voice.
  151. 151. It’s worth it.
  152. 152. THE END Twitter: @jerols Grades: gradesapp.com Company: skookum.com Email: jeremy@skookum.com

×