#48: Rubber Duck Expense Reporting (part 1)

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Today we begin a conversation about expenses, particularly discretionary expenses, and how we justify them. We start by discussing the value of travel and socializing, and the sometimes intangible benefits that we derive from them. We take a look at hardware purchases and consider how important it is to have the latest and greatest gizmos that Apple offers. Finally, we close by discussing the importance of balancing income and expenses, along with some of the tax benefits of owning a business.
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#47: Icky Is a Good Way to Describe It

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Today we look at the controversy surrounding the game Threes! and the many inferior clones of that game that have appeared in the App Store. We start with a brief recap of the Threes! saga to bring those listeners who may not be familiar with the controversy up to date, then we discuss what the developers of Threes! could have been done to prevent this situation. We consider if a quality product is necessary for App Store success (Spoiler: No.), what we can do to give our own apps the best chance for success, and the culpability of the developer of 2048, the most notable of the Threes! clones. Finally, we talk about what Apple could have done to prevent this sort of rip-off, whether Apple is damaging its ecosystem by allowing cheap clones in its App Store, and what lessons other developers should take from this saga.
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#46: A Good Reason From Their Perspective

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Today we have a wide ranging discussion about collecting customer data. We talk about privacy policies, whether anyone actually reads them, and Apple’s sensitivity to privacy issues. Then the conversation turns to a discussion of what kind of information is acceptable for a developer to collect, what information should be out of bounds, and some of the difficulties of properly securing that information. We talk briefly about analytics services and how they use the data they collect, and then consider the question of what exactly customers consider an invasion of their privacy when so many are already accustomed to being tracked on the Internet.
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#45: Justin Williams (part 2)

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We’re joined again by special guest Justin Williams of Second Gear Software for the conclusion of our conversation about his acquisition of Glassboard and his experience as an indie software developer. We talk about making data-driven decisions and his choice to drop support for some underperforming platforms. We discuss his aversion to venture capital, the role of taking calculated risks in achieving success, and his exit plan in case everything goes pear-shaped. Justin also shares some of the lessons he’s learned in his seven years as an independent developer, including the importance of delegation, hiring experts, and balancing “profitable” against “new and fun.” We close by talking to Justin about his experience with Windows Azure, which he uses for Glassboard’s backend.
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#44: Justin Williams (part 1)

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This week we’re joined by special guest Justin Williams of Second Gear Software, purveyor of fine software products like Glassboard and Elements. We cover a lot of topics this week, starting with Justin’s experience with selling entire software products to other developers when he no longer has the time or interest to properly maintain them. We discuss why you should consider it, typical transaction prices, and the exchange of a SKU from one developer to another from the App Store’s perspective. Next we discuss Justin’s private messaging service, Glassboard, and how Justin came to acquire it. We talk about the current state of Glassboard, the challenges it faces, and Justin’s future plans for the product. Justin shares some of the difficulties he faces in keeping Glassboard profitable, and how he’s cutting expenses to turn it around. Finally, we talk about how selling software as a service differs from selling a standalone app, the challenges of converting Glassboard users into paying customers, and some of the ideas that Justin has for accomplishing that feat.
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#43: Too Many Tendrils

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Today we explore in a little more depth the dangers of relying on third party dependencies. Specifically, we discuss the problems that Charles has been dealing with as he prepares for the shutdown of his backend provider, StackMob. We discuss the reason for the shutdown, the problems that this has caused for Charles, and his search for a new backend provider. Charles shares the qualities that he’s looking for in a new backend service, and why he’s looking for a higher-level backend-as-a-service (“BaaS”) provider instead of something closer to the metal like Windows Azure or a “roll your own” solution. Finally, we discuss why Charles avoided iCloud for his backend, and the importance of keeping any third-party service at arm’s length.
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#42: Which Makes Me Sort of Worried About…Me

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Today we talk about gaming the App Store, and where exactly the fine line is that separates ethical from unethical behavior. Should developers feel uncomfortable in steering only their happy customers towards leaving a review? Is it unethical to incentivize customers to download a free app in the hopes of it climbing the charts? Listen as Charles and Joe struggle with tough questions and make it clear that they should have taken a philosophy class or two while in college.
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#41: Manton Reece

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Today we’re joined by Manton Reece of Riverfold Software who speaks with us about his experience as an independent iOS and Mac developer. We talk about creating products vs. services, changing products from free to paid, and the advantages and challenges of subscription pricing. Manton also shares his experience in creating apps like Sunlit that build on top of other services like Twitter and App.net, his recent foray into freemium pricing, and the launch of the new Core Intuition Jobs Board.
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#40: The Pain Threshold

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Today we use the recent Flappy Bird saga as a jumping off point for discussing criticism and how we as developers can deal with it. We talk about the dangers of taking negative comments too personally, extracting a little bit of good from even the negative reviews, and keeping a healthy sense of perspective when dealing with the negativity that’s rampant on the App Store. We close the show by considering our own role as critic. How can we provide useful and sometimes critical advice to other developers in a way that’s not too painful? Are different responses appropriate in different circumstances? We consider these questions and more.
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#39: The Tax Man Cometh

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In this episode we discuss taxes. We start by reflecting on our individual workflows for tracking expenses and receipts, and Joe’s inexplicable love of spreadsheets. Then we turn our attention to income tracking and some of the difficulties that it can present. We next talk in depth about the 1099-K tax forms that Apple has been sending out, and more importantly how to make sense of the numbers on those forms. We close the show by considering when it’s time to hire a professional to prepare your taxes, the importance of issuing 1099-MISC forms in a timely manner, and the inappropriate use of whisky as a medium of exchange.
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