<< go to Part I
Points: Developer's Guide to App Business Value
How to bla blah blah
by Sonja Madsen
Make an app
Once upon a time you've built an app. Your app was utterly fantastic. You decided to tell the world how good it is. You've heard about a grand ball. All developers were invited.
On the day of the ball, your evil stepmother made a decision to support both Mac and Windows platform. Doubled the work for that day.
You managed to do all the work, but you didn't have time to buy new clothes for the ball. Exhausted and just about to give up, you opened a window. Sun was about to set. I'm too tired to go to the ball. Next time perhaps, you thought. Suddenly, through the window came a fairy godmother. Right into your room. She used her magic wand to transform your old geeky clothes into high-end fashion items. Now you had to go to the ball.
The ball was a blast. Unbelievable. Everybody that counts for something were there. The prince was there too and he was looking and smiling in your direction.
You got to dance with a prince and on the way from the ball, you dropped a shoe. The prince, who is by the way insanely rich, found your shoe and decided to buy your app.
Magic. Fairy godmother. A prince that buys apps...
I don't know about your world.
No fairy godmothers in my world.
Being a developer you probably understood this story as:
if (godMother is true) meet a prince and sell the app
Still, there are other good points to this story.
Here is a step-by-step walk through:
1. Make an app
2. Make a decision, tell the world
3. Beware of evil stepmothers
4. Open a window
5. Learn to dance
6. Go to the ball and drop your shoe
7. Happy End
Part III Make a decision
Make an app. I know that you've got a brand new idea waiting to be realized. I know that you are a developer and that's what you are good at.
Cool if you've already made an app. You made a lot of apps. You've got many downloads. But, you still work on other projects. You made an app, many apps, and it is not enough.
That's a shame. Not yours. The shame is that so many work hours spent on otherwise highly valued and payed work is not enough. Sometimes it is worth nothing or next to nothing. Still too many evil stepmothers in your life. Just one? Powerful one?
It's a shame. Countries, governments and institutions are not aware of hours spent on coding apps. Hours that could be used on something else. Like walking in the park or coding an app that will be used by millions.
It is not your shame. You are just being a developer. You do what you like in your free time.
Your free time has no price. It's free.
Play a game. Put the price on your time. Set the price. I dare you. Set the price to minimum wage. Like you were using those hours opening hotel doors to people or parking other people's cars. How much did it cost to make the app?
I know: "Much".
You don't want to park other people's cars in your free time. No. You don't set a price on your free time.
Well, your free time looks pretty much the same as your working hours. You code. You are doing the same work in your free time as you do at work. You just don't value it.
You are just being a developer. Developer for your wife or husband, family, employers, neighbors.
Your wife prefers to see you coding than drinking all night, going fishing and falling into water or doing even worse things. Your employer wants you to be a geeky developer and code apps, because you are learning new things, practicing for work. They don't want you to use your weekends and holidays on frenetic dangerous adventures, travelling to places such as San Francisco or French riviera. The App Store benefits of having a lot of apps. Many free apps. They all want you glued to the computer screen. Coding.
What a life! It looks like everybody gains something but you.
Really, what's your gain? You already work hard. Listen to everybody, stepmothers, some nice people too.
You made the app for a reason. Not because your wife doesn't like fish or because your employer wants you to. Are you just a good person that wants to help the App Store to get as many apps as possible? No?
I know, growing up is like getting on the train. Work, family, apps. You can't get off. You just want to make the train wonderful. Make it go fast. Install a pool, good wine and food, travel, people to like you...
Think about technology and platform providers. They all set value on having a great number of developers, so they can sell their expensive products and subscriptions.
You don't care for technology and platform providers? No. What is your reason then? You are a developer. What is your strategy?
Your family, employers, app store, technology providers, they are not against you making money. They are not evil. They are busy making money for themselves and you have to start doing that too.
It is simple as that. It is hard, I know.
It's not your shame. Something went wrong. Your app didn't bring you wealth. No happy end. The app still works. The mistake is not in code. Not in app functionality.
What went wrong? Not learning from your mistakes is just stupid. Find out what went wrong. Be honest. Brutally honest. Write it down.
Honestly, you can keep on coding apps even when you get old and retire. You only need to be able to move one or two fingers and look at the screen from time to time. By that time, they will be making giant screens. Even half-blind, you will be able to see your code.
Coding is fun. Spending your eternity slightly bowed above your laptop. Cool.
I must admit, being a developer ruined my outlook on eternity. I'm filled with anxiety when I think of forever. It is an infinite "while" loop that runs forever. It is a "no go" in programming. It can bring down a whole server.
Caught in a loop you don't like? Do a "break;" if you want out. Exit the loop. Make a new function if you want it to work better.
In developer's terms, your app, your code can build. No errors. Your go to market selling strategy returns "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" error.
You didn't implement all the variables. One of the methods returns null instead of revenue. Your return of investment is zero.
After step 1 (make an app), things you do have little or nothing to do with coding (development).
Selling and strategy is not your area? Nobody have taught you about selling strategy and business value. I know. I haven't been to all developer targeted events, but I've been to many. Events that focus on technology, code. New ways to do what you already are doing. Again and again.
Good places to get inspired. Excellent places to get immersed into new technology. Get it under your skin. Again and again. Caught in an infinite loop.
Coming soon Part IV