Slopes network effect

Curtis Herbert has a great blog post about starting an Android version of his app Slopes. Adding social features made it more compelling to support multiple platforms:

In any given group of friends the odds of a mix of both Android and iOS users is very high (not to mention Europe is a big potential market for me, and Android is much larger over there than in the states). If someone on iOS loves Slopes, but their friend group ends up using one of my competitors because it supports both platforms and therefore the entire group can join in on the in-app fun, that’s going to go poorly for Slopes.

What I find so interesting about this decision is that Curtis seems to be intentionally expanding the scope of Slopes. Everything he writes about with Android makes sense if you first assume that the social features will be an important selling point and grow the audience for the app. Other indie developers might instead choose to keep the app focused on iOS and solve a more narrow set of problems, and that’s fine too.

I’m thinking of my discussion with Daniel Jalkut on last week’s Core Intuition about whether we should try to change the world (which often means bigger apps and more platforms to reach the most people) or focus on just building an app that’s really good at what it does (but might not be revolutionary).

Micro.blog would benefit from an official Android version, so a lot of Curtis’s post resonated with me. Luckily the third-party app Dialog (and upcoming app Gluon) can help fill that void in Micro.blog in a way that isn’t possible with non-platform apps like Slopes.

Manton Reece @manton
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