News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

My app failed and makes no money

The more we fail, the more we grow and the more knowledge we gain to increase our chance of future success.

So I had an idea once. It was awesome€, in my opinion. I thought it would be cool to create a gaming app where you could flick around icons from other popular apps. The challenge would be keeping them from hitting the bottom of the screen and they would fall down with gravity. That’€™s not it – we’d also use icons from some of the most popular apps on the App Store, there would be power ups and there would be unique bonus levels throughout the game! That sounds great doesn’€™t it? I thought so

To get this crazy little idea (€˜the next Angry Birds€™ as I called it) off the ground, I spoke with a developer that I found after sifting through a sea of probably over 50 developers who didn’€™t want to work with me on a profit-sharing basis (this is another story that I won’€™t get into). If you’€™ve read my article about persistence or my open letter to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, you probably know that I don’€™t quit very easily.

During development of the app, I went through the App Store and analysed thousands of app icons like an employment agency seeking out specific skilled workers (I couldn’€™t come up with a better simile). I must have looked at well over 2,000 app icons and contacted about 100 app developers who had app icons that I liked. Almost all didn’€™t reply but I got about 25 responses and I eventually got permission to use 18 icons from kind developers, including the Temple Run developer.

After over 6 months and over 100 hours of development, testing, speaking up my app and finding app icons to include, Gravityicons was born.

I was so excited to launch “the next Angry Birds”€™ and was so sure that it would be successful. I had previously created, launched and marketed 3 apps that were in the top 100 on the App Store and I expected this to be another huge hit.

I launched it! It failed! worse than I could have ever expected. In fact, it has made less than $1,000 to date. It failed so bad that I have made it free and I actually get about 30 downloads a day now.

People in general like it and it gets 5 star reviews but people won’€™t pay to download it. I should probably be looking into a different revenue model.

p.s. I wonder how many people are thinking “so this guy wrote an article about persistence and now he is talking about how he failed and he isn’€™t even trying a different revenue model with a product that his customers like, he is an idiot”€.

My response: some things are worth pursuing like your life depends on it and other things are not, when your time could be utlised more effectively in other activities. I feel like my time is better spent in other areas instead of trying to revive an app that is pretty much in it’s grave.

What do you think? Download Gravityicons for free from the App Store and please give it a good review if you like my app or me. And no there isn’€™t an Android version, stop asking!

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