Alex Bosworth's Weblog

developing software, living the expat life in beijing, other fun stuff!

previous projects: alchemy, swik, open source stuff, now adylitica.
Our App: Do It (Tomorrow) has reached 265,000 downloads and we are trying to figure out what lessons to take away on what factors are important to reaching the iPhone App market.
The biggest lesson is that you must, must get to be listed in Apple’s various lists to drive downloads, in order of importance:
Top Overall - the biggest driver by far, 10x as big as category.
New and Notable - luckily for new app developers this is a very big driver
What’s Hot - after new and notable fades, you can wind up here, which is about 1/2 as big a driver.
Category Top - very hard to stay there without the other lists
Staff favorite - unknown, we didn’t end up here.
Surprisingly to us, it required zero marketing to reach 260k downloads. We followed a naive plan of build it, write a description, publish, done. 
The big thing we did focus on is keeping it small and focusing on design. The actual code was not the major part of the project, the big time sinks were the icon and the overall design polish. 
Now that we are out of Apple’s New and Notable section and only in What’s Hot, we can see the end of the road for the App. Getting out of that list knocked us from #1 productivity app in 38 countries to #1 in only 16 countries, overnight - but we had a nice run.

Our App: Do It (Tomorrow) has reached 265,000 downloads and we are trying to figure out what lessons to take away on what factors are important to reaching the iPhone App market.

The biggest lesson is that you must, must get to be listed in Apple’s various lists to drive downloads, in order of importance:

  1. Top Overall - the biggest driver by far, 10x as big as category.
  2. New and Notable - luckily for new app developers this is a very big driver
  3. What’s Hot - after new and notable fades, you can wind up here, which is about 1/2 as big a driver.
  4. Category Top - very hard to stay there without the other lists
  5. Staff favorite - unknown, we didn’t end up here.

Surprisingly to us, it required zero marketing to reach 260k downloads. We followed a naive plan of build it, write a description, publish, done. 

The big thing we did focus on is keeping it small and focusing on design. The actual code was not the major part of the project, the big time sinks were the icon and the overall design polish. 

Now that we are out of Apple’s New and Notable section and only in What’s Hot, we can see the end of the road for the App. Getting out of that list knocked us from #1 productivity app in 38 countries to #1 in only 16 countries, overnight - but we had a nice run.

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