Tag Archives: versions

Podcasts, showing up every week, and why 2.0 succeeds

When I went to Open Coffee Club during SXSW week, I met several company founders and investors in Austin, and one was also an iOS developer. I usually do a poor job of promoting my own work in person, but I somehow managed to plug my Core Intuition podcast.

He hadn’t heard of the show before, and when he pulled it up to subscribe his comment was something like: “wow, you’ve been doing this for a long time”. It’s true. Daniel and I started the podcast in 2008. We only have 225 episodes, because we published episodes less frequently back in the old days, but I’ve always been proud of our consistency with the show format going back to the very beginning.

And it made me wonder: is there another Mac or iOS developer-focused tech podcast that has such a long history? Or really, many tech podcasts at all? The ones that come to mind are The Talk Show, which started in 2007, and This Week in Tech, which started in 2005.

It’s another reminder to me that a big part of success is consistently showing up to work. If you’re always starting over, you can’t build on anything and take it further. The secret with the “version 2.0” of most apps isn’t that it has new features; it’s just that it exists at all.

In a couple months, just as WWDC is about to roll around, we’ll celebrate our 8th anniversary of recording Core Intuition. Our audience keeps growing, which is amazing, but there are still a lot of people who have never heard of the show. If you like what we’ve been doing, consider telling a friend, or posting a tweet or blog post about the show.

We expanded to 2 sponsors per episode this year because we wanted to grow the podcast — to commit more time and resources to both recording and to companion web sites like the jobs site. I think 2016 will be a great year and I’m happy that Core Intuition is a key part of helping me stay independent. Thanks for your support!

Panic 2015 updates

There’s a lot of great stuff in Panic’s 2015 report, but I’m especially struck with how well they executed on updates. This is something that successful companies get right, and which I still struggle with: continuing to make each app just a little better, with bug fixes throughout the year, instead of getting completely sidetracked with new projects. Cabel writes:

“Not only did we release great things, but I feel we demonstrated dramatic dedication to our apps — we released the most high-quality, bug-free updates in our history.”

The product update grid that accompanies the report really underscores this:

Panic versions

Congratulations, Panic. I’ve been using the new Coda for iOS on my iPad Pro and it’s excellent.

Requiring the latest OS

Brent Simmons has a pair of posts on dropping support for older OS releases and how the upgraded percentage goes up quickly:

“When making decisions like this, I don’t think about what conditions are were I to ship today — I think about what conditions will be like when I actually do ship, and I think about conditions six months out as we do support, testing, and maintenance releases.”

Good advice. And remember, very few developers actually ship on time. Even if you think your app is going to ship before the next major version of the OS does, your app will probably be late. More people will be able to run it than you first expected.

Acorn 3

On a “recent Core Intuition”:http://www.coreint.org/2011/03/episode-38-the-impression-of-standing-still/, Daniel and I talked about version numbers and the message you send by going to 2.0 or 3.0. The version is as much about marketing as it is about technically tracking the release.

I can think of no better example of this than “Acorn 3”:http://flyingmeat.com/acorn/. The app started simply enough — first as just a new FlySketch, then as a simple image editor, then becoming more advanced with each iteration — but it has really hit its stride with 3.0. The landmark feature, layer styles, alone warrants the bump to 3.0.

Combine with the overall maturity of the app and you get a blockbuster release. Acorn made the top grossing list and was outselling all other non-Apple software. My Twitter stream lit up with good things about the app.

The version number is a part of that. This isn’t a 2.5. The 3.0 is saying: this is big news, and anyone who has maybe heard of Acorn but never tried it needs to give this version a shot.

I’m particularly happy for Gus because he’s earned this success over years. From the archives in 2005, “Gus’s post on being an indie”:http://gusmueller.com/blog/archives/2005/12/25.html:

“Just plan, set realistic goals, meet those goals, diversify, save up, add four cups of patience, and have fun. And most importantly- work your ass off. It’s not difficult, it’s just not easy. It takes time and patience and hard work.”

One of the first great blog posts about working for yourself writing Mac software.