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Launching Your Indie App

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Talk given at Indie Dev Lab 2012.

Published in: Business, Technology, Design
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Launching Your Indie App

  1. 1. Launching YourIndie AppDan Grover @dangrover dan@dangrover.com
  2. 2. ABOUT ME✴ Worked as an engineer at several companies.✴ Wrote Mac shareware (ShoveBox, others), went full-time/independent in 2009.✴ Created Etude, iPad music learning platform. ✴ Sold to Steinway & Sons in 2011 ✴ Led new music tech team in building and releasing v2.0 with commercial music store.
  3. 3. AGENDA 1 THINK 2 BUILD 3 LAUNCH 4 GROW
  4. 4. THINK
  5. 5. SOFTWARE IS EATINGTHE WORLD - MARC ANDREESSEN
  6. 6. What can you control?1 The app itself. Idea and execution.2 How it appears on the App Store3 How it is published/launched: self-publish or work with publisher?
  7. 7. How do people find your app? Featured Rankings OTHER Category pages APP STORE Search Genius / Related PAGE Press Ads YOUR STORE YOUR Social WOM SITE LISTING APP Email
  8. 8. Your Goal:Start a feedback loop Better marketing platform/base More sales Better ranking Apple attention Press attention
  9. 9. BUILD
  10. 10. “Ninety percent of     . everything is crap.” - Theodore Sturgeon
  11. 11. Generating and Filtering Ideas✴ Write them all down, revisit them.✴ Define what would make them work, what it would take.✴ Prototype, investigate any dependencies.✴ Show it to trusted people, get feedback.
  12. 12. A Well-Executed App✴ Fits into iOS visual language.✴ Makes good use of software and hardware features.✴ Lets you do something new.✴ Icing on the cake: has novel, iconic visual gimmickery
  13. 13. LAUNCH
  14. 14. How do people get your app? Featured Rankings OTHER Category pages APP STORE Search Genius / Related PAGE Press Ads YOUR STORE YOUR Social WOM SITE LISTING APP Email
  15. 15. Example Launch Plan✓ App goes live, site goes live.✓ Emails, tweets to customers go out.✓ Press releases go out✓ Personal emails go out (who? what angle?)
  16. 16. How Rankings WorkBased on weighted movingaverage of unit sales over 3days (approx)You start with nothing, so theranking is more volatile andeasy to influence.Time your release carefully.
  17. 17. Tools for Monitoring Rank appFigures majicRank free/$4.99 per month free
  18. 18. Apple helps thosewho help themselves.
  19. 19. What’s in a listing?NameDescriptionKeywordsIconScreenshotsReviews
  20. 20. What’s in a press kit?Press release with critical detailsScreenshotsIconsLogosPhotos high res, print-readyVideo
  21. 21. Distributing Your PR✴ Wire services. PRWeb, PRMac, PRNewswire✴ Email addresses and forms for sites soliciting press releases.✴ Specific pitches to journalists ✴ Work your network. ✴ Offer promo codes. ✴ Work with a PR firm or consultant. But not hacky ones.
  22. 22. GROW
  23. 23. CODE
  24. 24. APPCODE
  25. 25. PRODUCT APP CODE
  26. 26. BUSINESSPRODUCT APP CODE
  27. 27. BUSINESS? PRODUCT? APP? OMGCODE!!1!
  28. 28. “Business” PRODUCT? APP CODE
  29. 29. Thanks!
  30. 30. Further ReadingCookie Cutter Guide to App Store Charting, Phill RyuThe Submarine, Paul GrahamMapping Out Your Web Startup, Jude GomillaPurple Cow, Seth GodinMarketing is Not a Post-Processing Step, Eric Sink

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