falling off my chair

Raven Zachery posted the following on twitter late this afternoon:

Steve Demeter just announced his Trism revenue at Mobilize during VC panel Q&A: $250,000 since July 11th.

I about fell of my chair when I read that. I know a lot of folks have nice sales with the iPhone applications, but that just completely blows through any sort of expectations I ever had. As far as I can tell, Trism is pretty much one person’s extremely intensive work on a very innovative game. Boy howdy, that shit sure paid off!

Part of me is instantly jealous and kicking myself for writing something as lame as a “bus application”, when I “could have” been writing something like Trism and then spending the next year traveling around Europe with Karen or something. (Ok, the reality is that I’d likely be far more conservative with the income than that…) Then I sit back, applaud this dude’s really effective work, and realize that I probably wouldn’t have done it at all. In fact, I clearly didn’t.

For me – well, I need a driver. Something to really motivate me for making the application. Seattle Bus was something that I wanted to have myself. That made all the difference to me in developing it. In truth, I never expected to see as many sales as I’ve received to date (sorry, not posting numbers on the blog…)

Even at dinner tonight with Vas I was surprised when Vas said, “You know, if you really put some more work into it…” and went on to describe the things he really wanted in Seattle Bus. I’ve gotten far more suggestions and ideas for things that people would like in the application that I ever originally conceived. Frankly, I think updates to Seattle Bus could keep me solidly busy for the rest of the year (if not more)!

Since I’ve just uploaded an update to Seattle Bus (pending approval now), I’m very curious as to how an update release will effect sales. In a desktop application, there’s usually a spike of increased sales that falls off (after some amount of time) back to a previous or potentially slightly elevated sales level. Seattle Bus is cruising along at a reasonably consistent sales level, so I’m curious if the same thing happens when your distribution outlet/platform is the iPhone App Store. Obviously, I rather hope so.

That quote is still rattling around in my head, even hours later. It makes me think I also need to take some more time and spend a little bit of it diversifying and getting another application out there. My moleskine isn’t short of ideas – I’ve been chucking them in there with carefree abandon (had to buy more ink today, in fact).

What comes next is some consolidation of the ideas, and taking a good hard look at the ideas to see what gets me the most motivated. The iPhone applications are a side deal for me, so I’ve got to get my motivation from just making the app – not just betting on a handy bit of cash that it might generate.

3 thoughts on “falling off my chair

  1. hehe – I’m in pretty much the same position as you, and was similarly chair-dislodged when I read that tweet..

    From my experience (2 apps in store, one has had 4 updates, second about to get update #1) I get a big spike of sales every time I release an update – I’m assuming this is because my app hits the numerous RSS feeds out there and people see it that way?

    I’ve also noticing a spike every saturday – possibly because people are at home loading apps on their newly-purchased phones.

    One thing that did surprise me: my first app is localized into 15 languages, but when I got my month-end sales results, about 95% of my sales were from english-speaking countries (N. America, UK, Australia/NZ) – so I would question the amount of work involved in localising .vs. the return in sales..

    Like

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