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Independent Software Development

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Modified on 2012/07/01 02:20 by Ben Fulton Categorized as Uncategorized

Independent Software Development

My notes on the keynote speech by Nick Bradbury (@nbradbury) at CodeStock 2012.

It's not a myth: working for yourself is hard.

His first game got good reviews, yet flopped. He gave up on development for a while, drawing a comic strip, but then fell back into development when he found something he needed to support his site. Point: Build something you need. (Which is a fine idea unless you're making software for X-ray machines or something - bf)

Support

Build something you can support. His support channel went from email, to a faq page, to online forums. Support your customers and they will support you; but keep in mind that some customers just suck. (They're used to being sold crap and having their complaints ignored. Or, they may not be unhappy with you so much as unhappy in general. Give 'em a refund and move on)

Marketing

Marketing is free. A blog. (TODO - resurrect blog - bf) Trust is everything. If people believe in your blog then they will believe in you. A blog with a bogus voice doesn't do any good. Learn how to write.

Nobody reads your help file. It might be better to redesign the feature if it needs that much explanation. Don't try to be cool. Don't add features just to gain attention. Don't show off.

Features

If you get a fair amount of users, some will be power users. They will make requests for all kinds of weird features with barely any use cases, and complain when you drop rarely used options. But, don't worry about them. It's a lot more important to make the application simpler for the regular users. It's difficult because, as developers, we *are* power users. (so what about building for yourself? - bf)

Embrace change. Stay relevant, unless you want to spend your time maintaining legacy code.

Someone asks: is advertising your best business model? Probably not unless you have a large user base.

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