It Never Gets Easier In my career I’ve done 4(ish) startups, and each one has required from the get-go a huge leap of faith: A belief that we know what the future holds, and that our new idea will push it further and faster in that direction. In other words, a belief that we could truly change the world—an easy thing to say but a hell of a thing to do. But each time, that belief gets harder to sustain, because every time you start over you’re cursed with the knowledge of how hard it was previously: The absurd challenges you faced. The places where you got it wrong and had to reboot. The hurdles you had to jump. The diving saves. The constant rejection. And worse of all, the times when you didn’t quite pull it off. For all the talk about our culture of celebrating failure, the truth is that failure, when it’s yours and you own it, fucking sucks.
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The big question: How much does an iPhone app cost?
This is a very common question that I’m asked by a lot of my business-oriented friends and non-tech savvy clients. Without fail, every single time I gave my initial estimation before even locking down the specs, I received that shocked expression because of the unexpected (high) quotation.
Yet, none of my quotations has even came close to the range being discussed in this StackOverflow thread, in which the development cost of Twitterific app is discussed. Despite the fact that the original question was asked in 2008 and the best answer (by one of the Twitterific developers) was in 2010, it is still accurate today in Jan 2012 and I can foresee that it will still be true atleast until the end of 2012.
So, with the hype of businesses wanting to have an iOS app continues into 2012, I thought it would make a good post trying to explain why the cost is high by breaking down the steps and variables involved. I hope it will benefit both the non-iOS developers and business people who need to make decisions or just want to understand the process. The ideas in this post are not restricted to just iOS, they are also applicable to other mobile platforms (Android, Windows Mobile, maybe Blackberry) to a large extent.
“If your service is digital, than every component of it is the product. It goes much deeper than the engineering and the visual design, even the text that the lawyers write has a place.”—The QofC Interview: Luke Wroblewski
“Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me — they’re shy and they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone — best outside of corporate environments, best where they can control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don’t believe anything really revolutionary has ever been invented by committee… I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take. That advice is: Work alone… Not on a committee. Not on a team.”—Steve Wozniak. ”Woz on Creativity: Work Alone.”
“Above all, designer founders should be experts at finding the right problems to solve. That means sometimes building usable products that are ugly, or prototyping with a spreadsheet, and not getting trapped into making something beautifully useless that will not scale. Designer founders need to be able to do a lot, and it’s not easy.”—
Have these executives not learned anything from the music industry? Why are they so happy to play along with the cable companies to determine viewing habits.
Back in November, HBO co-president Eric Kessler stated to industry leaders that HBO shows would not ever be available to non-HBO subscribers on digital platforms.
At that time, Kessler also said his company sees cable-cutting as no more than a temporary austerity measure that will cease as soon as the economy takes a turn for the better.
Kessler thinks HBO’s current model will succeed in the long run.
Your newer, younger, digitally savvy consumers are talking to you and if you choose to not listen them, then the same consumers will find other ways of accessing your beloved content. Just like they did with their music.
“To be successful an incubator has to do two things. First, create companies that are actually fundable, second, get them an audience with investors interested and able to fund. That’s it. That’s all. Connect the dots. Success.”—incubators are a ghetto
… jump on the bandwagon to only use facebook connect, twitter, foursquare, etc for registration and signing in.
Creating a login and registration level for the socialize.it app has been a nightmare; planning for all the different scenarios and data collection is just taking time away from the core product.
I’ve separated my app into four levels
Create an event level
And in all fairness all four of these can and seem to be an application in itself.
For my next startup I’m going to create a world class login/registration SDK for app/website publishers to allow user to register and sign up. A plug and play buffet of social network sign ups (facebook connect, foursquare, twitter, linkedin, etc) with all scenarios really though through and well documented.