The beautiful tragedy of being an independent app developer.

“I’m so indie I don’t wear plaid anymore. Say Rad anymore, like that band anymore. Cuz’ I’m too indie to be like that anymore, and you can find me in the vinyl at the second hand store.” – Transit, Rap artist

I’m not really an independent app developer. I think that’s a step up from where I am. I’m a hobbyist developer. I build apps because it’s fun to do in my spare time. I have almost no spare time lately, like other husbands out there in the real world I’m finishing a basement. Instead of being knee deep in code, or app updates or even writing new questions for my apps, I’m knee deep in drywall compound and sanding dust.

In my real job I get the chance to travel around and speak to students. This weekend I was out at a youth retreat called Re-Charge at a summer camp called Bellevue Lodge. Most teenagers think it’s pretty cool that I have my own line of apps.¬†Generally when I speak I like to give my apps away for free. This weekend I made Ask Me Anything for Teens free. The beauty of that is I get to advertise my apps for no actual cost.

The tragedy is that I totally completely forgot to say anything about my apps. Usually, in my last session I talk about my apps. I show off the app running on an ipad and I get a few “oohs and ahhs,” and a few laughs. This weekend I said nothing. LOL.

That is the beautiful tragedy of being an independent app developer. The whole thing revolves around you and rises and falls because of you. I have Facebook. I have a website. I have a blog. I instagram. I use twitter. It’s all there for me to use to market my apps. What I don’t have is thousands of dollars to spend on marketing, or advertising. I can’t afford an iAd. I’m not sure there’s much value in facebook ads yet. That’s the reality of it. You’ve got to spend money to make money and I am just not yet willing to bet the farm on my hobby.

So, instead, Ask Me Anything will remain my hobby. I love it. Every single month I get a cheque from apple and every single month I think to myself, “I am getting paid, by Apple, to keep doing my hobby.” That’s pretty cool.

Thanks for the downloads. Have a great day.