Another project update! Whee! Well, where do I start? As I said in the last project update, I've worked on my new app these last 2,5 days. And it went great! I've made a decent progress. The core component is now ~99.6% done, I would say. I want to make it 100% before I move onto the next part, but I am pleased with how it's working. There is a dynamic parallax effect and it's looking exactly how I envisioned. In fact, it's better, because I can actually see it and play with it on a real device. There is only so much the imagination can do.
But since I don't have that much to talk about when it comes to what I was doing these last three days, I want to make something different today. I want to talk a bit about two fascinating videos I've recently seen.
1) Learned helplessness (video)
This video was created by the guy who runs Veritasium (one of the most popular science channels on YouTube). It has just 9 minutes and I guarantee it's really worth watching.
If I should sum it up real quick, it touches on the matter of how people have these artificial constraint that can and often do prevent them from achieving their goals. Some studies on dogs were made that showed that animals in general can be conditioned to loose hope after being repeatedly hurt and not being able to do something about it. And it takes a lot to 'unlearn' this learned helplessness.
This also touches on an interesting thought I recently had:
Even if this might be hard to admit, in reality, we are the ones creating limits for ourselves.
Sure. There might have been people and events that made you believe less in yourself, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't strive for more. I know it's hard, but trust me. You can achieve and do much more than you think you can. Once you realize this, there comes a natural and quite optimistic consequence:
If I am the one creating those limits for myself, I am also the one who can push them. Question them, and dismantle them. One by one.
The client work that I struggled with so much and that I talked a lot about in the first couple of project updates had a profound effect on the development of this idea. I turned this anger and disappointment over it into a push, a motivation to do it much better then next time. If I have to take on client jobs, I might as well do it my way. Be much more picky. And charge what the average iOS freelancing rate in the world is. I am just sick of how it was going up to now, and this last client job was the last drop in the bucket of my patience.
I would wrap it up with this:
You can turn bad experiences into something good. Use your anger as an engine to positive change. To really do something with your situation.
2) iOS App Marketing For Small Developers (NSConference talk)
Today, I was very pleased to find out that the session videos from this year NSConference are now available for free on Vimeo. I've looked around a bit and found this gem.
This amazing talk by Marco Arment is the best thing on app marketing I've seen. Ever.
In case you didn't know, Marco is a well known and respected member of the iOS community. He is the author of a podcasting app called Overcast and one of three people that do Accidental Tech Podcast.
In these 36 minutes, he shares his idea of what marketing is and how he approached marketing when building Overcast. It probably doesn't make much sense to try to paraphrase it here. I would just say that if you are into making apps, you've really got to see it!
When I was watching it, I was glad that some of the things he recommended to do I was already doing. And the other things - they make so much sense. I definitely want to revisit this again, take notes and adjust my marketing plan for the new app accordingly.
What was also really encouraging was the part when he talked about differentiation. He showed the screenshot - and yeah, Overcast did look different than the others, but it still uses very similar basic blocks of UI. What's cool about the app I am building is that it's just 180° different. It's unlike anything else. And people will see this from the first screenshot. And it also has this positive mission statement:
Helping people from around the world optimize how they spend their time, and in effect, lead a better and more fulfilled life.
If that sounds compelling to you, you can sign up to be notified by email when this app launches, here: Glimsoft Newsletter.
Now back to the talk: if there is just one thing I would pinpoint from the whole talk, it's the part where he talked about how there is no correlation between the effort put in and the success (or failure). I've kind of came into terms with this fact some time ago, but it was once again reinforced by this talk. There is this notion that "If I work hard and put in all this effort and polish, I have to be successful, right?", and it's just not true at all. In fact, as Marco rightly says - nobody cares how much work you've put into it.
I've distilled it into a compact quote that gets the message across clearly.
Your effort doesn't mean sh*t.
It's sad and it might even seem unfair, but it's true. And the sooner you realize this the better. For me, it took several years before I realized it. And I believe it is a huge step forward. Now, not to be too blunt about this - I still believe in effort. It's just that people don't judge your product based on it.
Well, this will be it for today. Let me know how you liked this format in the comments. As I said, I want to experiment with these posts. The only thing that is non-negotiable is the frequency. Twice a week. No excuses. Everything else may and most likely will change and evolve over time.