The app market is becoming a mature, developed industry, with vastly increased commoditization compared to its early days. Competition is ubiquitous, relentless, and often shameless, even in categories that were previously under-the-radar niches. Standing out requires more effort than ever, yet profits are harder to come by than ever.
Full-time iOS indie developers — people who make the majority of their income from sales of their apps, rather than consulting or other related work — are increasingly rare.
The struggle of the indie developer is real. It all points to the burst of a bubble we’ve been enjoying the past few of years. I for one, hope those of us who work hard to create quality work can survive the impact.
The quality of shows that Moisés Chiullan produces is by far one of the best. He’s an expert moderator, and his passion for the topics really shines through.
In this episode of Giant Size, they talk about Captain America. The panel, consisting of Moisés, John Gholson, Brad Graeber and Amanda Schuckman, gives such a detailed backstory helping me understand the character a lot better.
Give it a listen. In fact, listen to all the ESN shows.
Amazon and HBO have signed an extensive, multi-year agreement that will bring many of the premium channel’s greatest shows including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and The Wire to Amazon Prime Instant Video. The deal also includes “early” seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood. Newer shows like Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will eventually be made available to Prime subscribers, but not until three years after they’ve first aired on HBO. And other hits like Game of Thrones aren’t even mentioned as part of the deal, so HBO may be holding at least some popular content away from Amazon’s on-demand streaming.
Big move by HBO. Their first deal that doesn’t require a cable subscription; a move I never thought possible considering their parent company is Time Warner.
However, the deal doesn’t include new shows. HBO’s back catalogue is great, but most people are hungry for their latest shows. But let’s say we’re ok with getting older episodes, how long are we supposed to wait? “Three years after they’ve first aired on HBO.” Ridiculous. While this is progress, they need to do better.
On April 8th we did a more official launch where we did live broadcasting for eight hours, and it was one of the funnest things I’ve done in a long time. We finally got to see this thing that we’ve planned and worked on for months, in the wild. The best part? People seemed to like it.
Goodstuff is by no means a huge network. However, we saw from the beginning that we have a core of amazing people who listen to our shows. I can’t tell you how grateful I am about that. If you listen to our shows, a heartfelt thank you to you.
So what are we doing? What are we trying to accomplish? What makes us different?
Those are great questions. We want to produce entertaining and educational content spanning technology (of course), culture, news, and more. As time goes by, we’d like to do shows that cover the different niches of these topics better, but we’re doing a fantastic job for a one month old network.
What makes us different? That’s actually quite simple: we’re a group of nice people working hard to make great content. Unfortunately, that’s becoming a big differentiator nowadays.
If you like what we’re doing, and would like to help us out, you can do that in couple of ways:
Follow us on Twitter. Twitter is what we use to notify everyone of shows recording live, recently published episodes, and shows we’ve added to our network.
Sign up for our newsletter. Chris does some really fun things with the newsletter. He updates you on the latest episodes, Goodstuff news, and more. In fact, I owe him some behind-the-scenes content about Fullscreen.
Share your favorite episodes. If you really enjoyed an episode of a show, or like the whole show in general, share it with people. Word of mouth recommendations are the best and are usually trusted a lot more.
Rate and Review in iTunes. This we really appreciate. We don’t really understand the black magic that is the iTunes podcast directory, but we hear that ratings and reviews don’t hurt. Plus, hosts love to see reviews of their shows. The review doesn’t have to be positive, but it should be useful and constructive. You can find the iTunes page for our different shows here.
Check out our sponsors. We really appreciate our sponsors. They give us money to do something we all love doing. But, they also give us money in the hope to reach you. That’s the reality of advertising. However, because we care about both sides, we only advertise things we like and use. This way, instead of it being advertising, it’s more of a friend-to-friend recommendation.
Bonus: Buy a T-shirt. You’ve got about five hours left to get a Goodstuff t-shirt. A huge shoutout to Steve for making us such a rocking logo.
In closing, thank you so much for supporting my projects. I can’t tell you how excited I am, to finally be doing this with people I love to work with. It’s the first time I’m part of a founding team, and actually enjoy it. In a short time, we’ve built a company and network that I feel fortunate and proud to be part of.
I had just seen an app called Hush that turns off notifications on your Mac. It allows you to toggle notifications or specify a period of time in which to disable them. Turns out, it’s baked into Mac OS X. As Sven points out, this is a great way in which Apple brought a feature in iOS, “back to the Mac.”
You won’t have to do a thing. I’ve redirected the feed to the new one on 5by5. If you’re not currently subscribed, and you’d like to, the new feed is feeds.5by5.tv/eastwing
I’ll be recording a more in-depth state of the union for The East Wing later, but I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for listening to the show, supporting the show by sharing it, reviewing it, and checking out the sponsors. It means a lot to me, and I hope you stick around for this new era of the show!
When I wrote the first post, there were a couple of apps and services that I was using. In case you don’t want to go read the previous post, the gist was that I was using Feed Wrangler to power the backend, Mr. Reader on the iPad, and ReadKit on the Mac.
Since this post, the backend hasn’t changed at all. I’m very happy with Feed Wrangler. David Smith has done a great job with it. He’s constantly working on it to make it better, and I believe only one outage in the six months of use. That’s pretty darn good.
Plus, the Smart Streams and Filters are great. I have all of my content filtered very well into separate folders, and as you’d assume, they sync across all the devices I use. I’m more than happy to pay $19/year for this.1
What Has Changed
I’m no longer using Mr. Reader or ReadKit. Mr. Reader became frustrating with time. I didn’t like a lot of the gestures, the sounds are a bit jarring, and the interface didn’t appeal to me. Thankfully, the icon was updated to something less creepy, but I decided to go another way.
I’m now using Reeder 2. After moving away from it because updates weren’t ready for when Google Reader shut down, I’ve come back.
The new iPad app is gorgeous, using the native swipe gestures wonderfully, and elegantly. It’s one of my favorite apps on iOS, as the interface clearly follows the new guidelines, yet clearly exerts its own opinion on certain interface elements. The social and read later integration is great too.
I’ve also ditched ReadKit on the mac. I’ve said this previously, although I can’t remember where, that I don’t do much reading on my Mac. If I really want to read something, I usually save it in Pocket and then read on my iPad. Still, I decided to get ReadKit to manage RSS on the occasion that I needed it.
For me, it’s been a bit of a disappointment. It runs quite slow, and is buggy. However, I’ve heard a lot of people swear by it, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
That’s the new setup in a nutshell. If you’re barely starting with RSS, or getting back into it, I hope this helps.
It might also be important to note that Feed Wrangler hasn’t been doing some of the shady things that Feedly has had its hands in. ↩
The increased prevalence of nondisparagement agreements is part of a corporate culture of risk management that would have us say nothing if we can’t say anything nice. And yet it occurs to me that if a company isn’t strong enough to be reproached, then it simply isn’t strong enough, period.
…there’s no sense in just listing the things that have transpired in a year without taking full account of why they were and are important. If you can’t determine what you’ve learned, whether good and bad, then you’re missing the chance to improve your life — and believe me, there isn’t much life to go around.
I love it when Paul writes. Hell, I love it when he writes, thinks, talks, whatever. He’s got a wisdom about him and a sincerity that is difficult to find. He talks about some of the things he’s learned this past year and also gives sound advice.
One of the most common questions I’m asked about design is how to get the work you really want to do. Students often bring up the fact that they feel so far away from their dream projects. Even experienced agencies make excuses like “gotta make payroll” and “we’re too busy right now.”
First off, I’m honored to be mentioned in this post. I like both of Dan’s suggestions, but especially the second one. Seemingly obvious advice, yet can have such a huge impact on the work you do.
For the last four years I’ve had this daft rule: I don’t work with agencies.
Why was I doing this? I was really just attributing a few dodgy practices to all agencies—and minimizing my potential to work with great people. By a basic definition, an agency is just a collective that produces work for clients. If I worked with one more person, I could be an agency. Now I’m feeling a bit silly for discriminating for so long.
Great advice for independent contractors. Laura’s perspective has definitely changed the way I look at the issue.
It’s 2014. I can’t believe I’m writing that. It seems like yesterday that I published this post.
2013 was an interesting year. It was riddled with both success and failure. Thankfully, the year ended on a high note. This was the first year that I accomplished all of my goals, except one.1
My goals for 2013 were:
Pay Attention to the Relationships that Matter
Speak on Design
This is quite an accomplishment! I spoke at two events last year: MinneBar, and Blend Conf. I talked about the benefit of side projects, and people seemed to enjoy the talk.
In May, I quit my job at Rocket Lift, and decided to do Anythin’ Goes full-time. This has been really good for me. I’ve had the opportunity of working with some great clients, and the flexibility of managing my own schedule. I’ve also tried spending less time in front of my desk, and more time with family, friends, or other activities.2
This year, I travelled a little too. I went to New York City in the summer and the fall. I had the chance to walk Central Park the second time, which was absolutely beautiful, and the weather was perfect. I went to Charlotte, North Carolina to speak, and San Diego, California to visit my folks.
So what do I want to accomplish in 2014? Here are my goals for this year:
I know this is a repeat, but I seriously want to tackle this. I know things that are bad for me, but I don’t really know what I should be eating. I want to dedicate a bit more time into planning my menu every week, which I think will allow me to grocery shop effectively, and help me learn how to cook new dishes.
I know I can’t possibly learn Rails in one year, but I want to get very comfortable with it. At the moment, I can build a simple application with Rails, but I’d love to get into more complex things, and start implementing best practices like tests.
Collaborate with Friends Adam Clark and I have been talking about working together on something for the longest time. I’d love to finally take a project where we can work on it together. I’d also love to work with other people. 2013 was full of projects that I worked on alone, I’d like to be in a position to assemble teams for projects this year.
Mentor a Student
Similar to Laura Kalbag, I’d like to guide a student through a project. I’m at a point where I can teach someone how to manage a project, and I should do my part in paying that knowledge forward.
Running my own business allows me to work from anywhere. There is no need for me to work from my studio 80 percent of the year. I need to start taking advantage of the flexibility I have.
Those are my five goals for 2014. What do you want to accomplish?
With a fresh year, comes a fresh design. I had some serious issues with the previous version’s typography, which I’ve mostly addressed with this redesign. It still needs refinement, but this is a good starting point for the year.
If you normally read in your RSS reader, take a look at the site today. I’d love to hear what you think.
Nick Cox writes an excellent article in the last A List Apart issue of the year. In “A Moment to Breathe”, he tells the story of how he realized he was working too much, and what he forced himself to do, to correct it.
What I find so fascinating about stories like this, is that because we’re all so passionate about our work, it can be difficult to listen when our body is telling us we need a break. But story after story (Nick’s included), we see that the world won’t end if we step back, work less, and sleep eight hours.