Look Back, Look Ahead: New Year Observations

Goodbye ’13, Hello ’14! This is the time of year where we all take stock of the year just ended, and think about what the coming year may hold. This is that post for me, a personal reckoning of sorts.Professionally, it was a good year. In December I celebrated one year at my day job, where I work with 5 other great iOS developers in the electronic medical records space. At times it’s crazy madness, but generally it has been a great experience and I’ve learned (and I hope given) a lot. It’s always great to have colleagues available to you on a daily basis that “speak your language”.

My consulting work was steady but not overwhelming, for which I am quite thankful on both counts. I was pleasantly surprised to learn in December that a client had some new work to discuss for 2014. So the first quarter (at least) is looking good.

My own apps continued to deliver in 2013, with OuttaMyWay! continuing to lead the way in sales. A bit more than four years since its debut, and it continues to be popular. We did four updates this year, and conducted a successful pricing experiment: We tripled the price last January. As we expected, unit sales went down, but only by about a third. In the mean time, net revenue more than doubled. As apps go in the category of “fun with no social redeeming value”, it is very popular and well regarded with users. I am quite thankful for the continued support by users.

Two other apps, Flashcards! and WordHawk (neé WordWinder), each saw an update in 2013. Their sales numbers are far less impressive but still move some units each year. They’re due for more work this coming year, time permitting.

Project ideas came and went, too. Don’t they always? One new idea arrived late in the year that stuck, however, and I am now actively developing a new app around it. I don’t have to tell you that it is hard to make money selling apps. As a revenue stream, paid apps are a hard road to hoe. So I am developing this new idea with a different sort of revenue stream in mind that combines iAd advertising along with a third-party affiliation that should not run afoul of Apple’s policies (as the products don’t compete with Apple in any way.) We’ll see how it goes, but I am glad to be developing something new. And revenue stream or not, it will actually be a useful app, I think, to many. Stay tuned.

So looking back, 2013 was pretty good. I have high hopes that 2014 will be at least as good, and most likely better, for all of us.

Happy New Year!

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