As an independent software dev, it’s easy to feel like a small ship adrift in a vast ocean. In the mobile app world since the iPhone was launched, this quickly developed from being a vast, exciting new frontier where any developer could find buried treasure, to increasingly trafficked sea-lanes of commerce where large publishers rule, armed with formidable marketing departments and teams of social scientists to figure out how to get you to buy more corn for your virtual farm with actual money, over and over again.
More and more apps out there are seemingly designed to trick the user, or to piggyback off the success of another app by resembling its name, functionality, and look in the store (particularly in the games category). There are just as many developers, if not more, trying to make their “great idea” app and get it out there, but they are getting increasingly drowned out by the sheer mass of the big guys, and the numbers of the scammers….
And when you look at your app’s metrics every day, as I do under some kind of voodoo curse or maybe hope that today’s the day it will take off, you can easily lose sight of why you made something. It’s not about the ranking in the App Store. It’s how many people have found a use for it and love it. And if I remind myself that, then I know it’s worth it.
Judging on the reviews, I made an app that’s making people’s lives better, and doing it in a simple and enjoyable way that doesn’t burden them with overcomplicated UI or poorly-written code that results in crashing.
This morning’s sales numbers are inconsequential compared to the meaningfulness of the reviews I’m getting. I may not be making a lot of sales, but for every sale I make, I seem to get another 5-star review. That’s a pretty crazy ratio compared to almost any other app I’ve seen. The last 10 reviews were all 5 stars, that were all voluntarily contributed by people who just love the app. That’s pretty awesome, and makes it all worthwhile.
Sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to write a review.
With no further ado, here are the last 10 reviews:
AMAZING LITTLE APP — I do a lot of photography, so this app is a great resource to have on hand. Whether I need to know how much daylight is left, when the golden hour starts, or even planning in advance for a future sunrise, all the information is right there at my fingertips. On top of that, it’s so easy to use, and is visually stunning in its simplicity. All in all, an amazing little app. —Danial79, Australia
[APPLAUSE] —Ottima app con un bel design. —Cypol, Italy
TIME KEEPS ON SLIPPING — Fun app to keep you aware of most precious thing, time! I like to use it when the golden hour begins to ask myself did I laugh, cry, move and learn today? —Ccampagna, United States
VERY USEFUL & FUNCTIONAL APP — Helps to alert users of sunrise & sundown times with accuracy & style. I simply love the alarm feature. Awesome app… especially for Sabbath keepers. —Gabelho, Canada
CAN’T DO WITHOUT IT — Best app in the appstore to get a nice overview of the “golden hours”! A must have app for every photographer! —Jafu66, Netherlands
BRILLIANT APP — Excellent app, does what it’s made to do. Detailed and easy to use. Great interface. As an amateur photographer I love it. —Grrrrrrrrodi, United Kingdom
EXCELLENT APP – A brilliant little app that I use regularly. It works flawlessly every time (all app writers take note!). —Andy Keeble, United Kingdom
NICE APP — I have been using this app to plan my runs to coincide with the twilights. I love it. Visually this app is nice too. — AtticusBdG, United States
I LOVE THIS APP! — This is one of my top ten apps. So much of the day is determined with the sun. The temperature in the house, when I get up. It is also fun to see the various times in the day visually I set the alarm prior to the sunrise, and I only have that with SOL. This is a very well thought out app, and is easy to use. Thank you! —4bot, United States
GOLDEN HOUR PHOTOGRAPHY — I use this app to remind me when the sun is setting. It’s customizable, easy to use, and well designed. I use it multiple times a week. —Perfectance, United States.
There are 116 more 5-star ratings with great reviews that preceded those. Out of 160 ratings total—not too shabby. Most apps with 160 ratings and 116 reviews have 10 or 100 times as many downloads as our little app.
Forgive me if I sound too self-congratulatory, because I often just look at the daily sales metrics and ask myself: “Was making this app worthwhile?” The answer to that question, financially, so far, has been a resounding no. And it’s easy to let it get you down. But it’s not about profits, it’s about what you give to the world…. And what you get back. Thanks for the kind words! Glad you like the app.