Hiltmon

On walkabout in life and technology

TimeToCall - After One Month

TimeToCall is a simple, universal iOS application I developed to help people choose the best time to call when calling internationally. This is a follow-on to a 10 part (and growing) series I wrote about the thinking and work done. My goal is to share just how much effort it really does take to craft an iPhone app and ship it. I hope this series helps you to understand why it costs so much and takes so long to create beautiful software. Start at part 1 first.

At the one month mark, TimeToCall has a few sales, a few changes and it’s first update has just been released.

Sales & Revenue

After one month on the App Store (with no real marketing other than this blog), app sales have stagnated, as expected:

| Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Total :—— | :—: | :—: | :—: |:—-: | —–: Sales | 125 | 34 | 12 | 7 | 179 Revenue | $87.11 | $23.67 | $8.21 | $4.66 | $123.75

There was buzz on the first week, mostly thanks to Brett Terpstra and Gonny van der Zwaag (@gonny), but then interest tapered off as no new stories went out.

Most days there are a few trickle sales as people find this web site, read the articles and purchase the app. I am hoping the video helps, it went up a few days ago.

From what I can tell, though, this left-skewed chart, with big sales on release and buzz, followed by a sharp taper off and flattening sales seems ‘normal’ for the App Store. I guess that’s why most app developers spend a lot to get a big launch, knowing that post launch things get very quiet.

Support

One thing I am totally grateful for is the wonderful messages and emails I am getting back from some of my customers. They contain lovely ideas, some of which are in v1.0.1, others are coming soon. People seem to have adopted this product and want it to grow and get better.

Also pretty chuffed that I only had 2 bugs reported in v1.0, both have been squashed in v1.0.1.

Finally, it seems there is some network effect starting to happen. A friend in Australia sent me a message that a friend of theirs in Japan had seen the product and pointed it out to them. My Aussie friend gained kudos when she told her Japanese friend that she knew the developer.

Updates

Version 1.0.1 hit the App Store last night after a week in review. It contains bug fixes (all releases do) as well as a new way to use the slider to set the time to call. Looks like 18% of my users have already upgraded overnight, but no feedback yet whether the new slider works better for them or not.

Marketing

Now that sales have stabilized, and the video is up, time for the next experiment. I intend to create a PR style email over the next few days and send it off to some press site’s public tip lines to see if any of them will run it. This is a learning experiment for all of us, so lets see how well this works before I try something else.

Follow the author as @hiltmon on Twitter and @hiltmon on App.Net. Mute #xpost on one.

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