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Lessons Learned From
Being An Indie Developer
Michael Szumielewski
Why listen to me?
• Successful Indie App
Developer since 2013
• 18 apps on the App Store
• 5 million downloads
• Featured ...
Define what you want to
achieve before you start
• What kind of an app developer do you want to
be? (Full-time? Part-time? ...
Your chances of success
are slim…
• 50% of app developers earn <$500/month
• 75% of app developers earn <$5,000/month
• Yo...
Build a great product
• Build something that you will use yourself
• Focus on doing one thing really well
• Focus on long-...
Time is your most valuable
asset
• Evaluate every product decision based on time
spent vs expected result
• Being busy != ...
Learn App Store Marketing
• App Store visibility is a big problem
• Learn ASO (App Store Search Optimization) to
get more ...
Don't reinvent the wheel
• Programming: use frameworks, best practices,
don’t build it yourself if somebody else already
d...
It's not too late
• New opportunities arise periodically (examples:
new iOS versions; new iPhone features; Apple
Watch; Ap...
Build your network
• Look out for possible business opportunities
• Learn from other developers and product people
• Go to...
Work-Life Balance
• The goal is to get a nice passive income stream,
have more time and actually have a life
• Have hobbie...
Don't give up
• Always be realistic & honest with yourself
• Don’t give up if you have a promising product
with some tract...
Thanks!
Michael Szumielewski
mail@visualhype.net
http://visualhype.net
@visu
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Lessons Learned From Being An Indie App Developer

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Michael Szumielewski talks about his experiences and lessons learned from being an indie app developer for more then 3 years.

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Lessons Learned From Being An Indie App Developer

  1. 1. Lessons Learned From Being An Indie Developer Michael Szumielewski
  2. 2. Why listen to me? • Successful Indie App Developer since 2013 • 18 apps on the App Store • 5 million downloads • Featured on the App Store & Apple.com
  3. 3. Define what you want to achieve before you start • What kind of an app developer do you want to be? (Full-time? Part-time? Portfolio building? Just for fun? Experimentation/learning?) • Different goals demand different approaches • Assumption for this talk: All-in, one-person team, non-game apps, only source of income
  4. 4. Your chances of success are slim… • 50% of app developers earn <$500/month • 75% of app developers earn <$5,000/month • You can make it, but you probably won't...
  5. 5. Build a great product • Build something that you will use yourself • Focus on doing one thing really well • Focus on long-term app ideas • Focus on user retention • Avoid building something nobody wants (do market research, talk to users, get feedback)
  6. 6. Time is your most valuable asset • Evaluate every product decision based on time spent vs expected result • Being busy != Being productive • Cut unsuccessful features/processes/products
  7. 7. Learn App Store Marketing • App Store visibility is a big problem • Learn ASO (App Store Search Optimization) to get more organic downloads • Befriend Apple employees & press people („It’s not about who you know, but who knows you“)
  8. 8. Don't reinvent the wheel • Programming: use frameworks, best practices, don’t build it yourself if somebody else already did it for you • Business: emulate your competition, learn from their mistakes
  9. 9. It's not too late • New opportunities arise periodically (examples: new iOS versions; new iPhone features; Apple Watch; Apple TV) • Update your old apps for new iOS features (Delight your users; Apple loves to feature apps that make them look good)
  10. 10. Build your network • Look out for possible business opportunities • Learn from other developers and product people • Go to meetups ;)
  11. 11. Work-Life Balance • The goal is to get a nice passive income stream, have more time and actually have a life • Have hobbies that have nothing to do with your work • Stay healthy (eat well, work out, go outside)
  12. 12. Don't give up • Always be realistic & honest with yourself • Don’t give up if you have a promising product with some traction • If you get it to work, Indie App Development is one of the best jobs on the planet
  13. 13. Thanks! Michael Szumielewski mail@visualhype.net http://visualhype.net @visu

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