A year later...
I started learning about mobile app development in January 2013, so that makes it a year since I started. Although I have had over 20 years of experience in professional software development, I still am finding it a challenge to develop something from the ground up and more importantly finishing it. From what I have read from other indie developer blogs, it is common to underestimate the amount of work in finishing up a sizable project.
Since the beginning, I chose to give up schedules, timelines, deadlines, etc. It was important for me to keep my time flexible since I would be working from home and wanted to have time for interruptions from my son or to just take time here & there to spend with my family. This part has worked out great, but I do have that feeling like I am behind where I should be.
When I look at the app in its current state, I can see that I still have a lot of work to do to finish it off, but I am very close to a testable beta build. In fact, I have already handed off a pre-beta build to someone for some private testing to get some initial feedback on what testing it is like while I continue to prepare the final beta build.
Another huge chunk of work that needs to get done is marketing. This is where I have long expected I will need help and already I can see that this work is beyond my expertise and just going to take way more time than I have myself, so I have started talking to people who I believe will be able to help me in one way or another. One person I met at a meetup.com event in my area, and we seemed to “click” right away. He apparently has some expertise in SEO/ASO and has been very encouraging both about my app and about helping me promote it. One of my relatives is also experienced in driving online traffic and has helped out a number of other people with their sites, and he has started helping me find some things I probably would have had trouble finding myself.
Even with this help, I can see that I will still need to invest significant time to promoting my app and keeping potential users’ interest levels up all the way from here until final release. This means I will be posting more regular updates to the development blog, as well as trying to get time to talk/interview with people and groups that have portals, podcasts or other online presences.
I know my target purchasers are going to be parents with small children, primarily. Finding them is going to be a challenge, as I have not found too many sites that cater to this and the ones that do look to be flooded with other apps. Since I am nowhere near releasing, I do have some time to sit in line, but I still need to get started right away. If anyone reading this has any tips for the best way to engage and find the types of customers I am looking for, please send them my way! Meanwhile, I will continue to dig online for engagement strategies and customers.
I have more updates and screenshots to share, so stay tuned!