Juggling Small Projects

In the previous post I introduced a new side project that I’ve been working on: a text editor – codenamed dogfood.

At the time I published that post, I had actually just started another, very small, side-project. This was/is an entirely new app, born from ‘market research’, which I submitted earlier today (yay!). Very much an experiment – I’ve spent around 20 hours over the last two weeks from start to finish – that I’ll write about soon.

And then there’s the App Store experimentation for Reminder+ (App Store link) that I’ve written about. First, the price increase, then, the changing of keywords.

I had a plan…

That might sound like I’ve been juggling small projects.

In fact, I’ve had a pretty cohesive plan that matched well with the time I’ve had available over the last month or so. And it’s been running smoothly.

Background tasks:

  • Change the price of the Reminder+ IAP
  • Small update to Reminder+ to change the keywords
  • After 6 weeks of the changed price, release the update with new keywords
  • Report on the price change, then, report on the keyword change

Primary task:

  • Work on dogfood; there’s no hurry

As I wrote above, this was progressing according to plan. It actually became more interesting when, whilst researching keywords1 for Reminder+, I stumbled upon what could be described as a (small) niche app opportunity.

I wondered: how would an app perform if, released into the wild with no ‘marketing’ other than being targeted at a specific keyword gap?

Aside from being appealing as an interesting experiment, I figured this project would fit nicely with this theme of App Store experimentation – so I set myself a target of 16 hours to complete the app and submit it.

Updated plan

So the plan became something like this.

Background tasks:

  • Change the price of the Reminder+ IAP
  • Small update to Reminder+ to change the keywords
  • After 6 weeks of the changed price, release the update with new keywords
  • Quietly release an experimental app with limited work
  • Report on the price change, then, report on the keyword change, then, report on the keyword-based app’s performance

Primary task:

  • Work on dogfood; there’s no hurry

Plan interrupted: App Store rejection

Unfortunately, there’s been a slight hitch. The update to Reminder+ that carried with it, the new keywords, was rejected.

This was a surprise as the only change to the application was a small bug fix; the issues (more than one) prompting the rejection were all in the previous version.

It’s a shame because it’s interrupted my nicely planned flow of reporting on these App Store changes. Of course, it also means that I’ve got more work to do if I want to get those updated keywords live.

What now?

  • I’ve submitted a new app today – so I’m going to pause for a moment.
  • I’ll write about what this new app is and what I’ve done. In a couple of weeks or so, I should be able to make initial comments on its success/failure.
  • My next task: I’ll respond to the Reminder+ rejection. Addressing the issues is non-trivial, which has confused matters somewhat. Dropping this app is a consideration.
  • Either way, I’ll update the Reminder+ numbers and, in the least, report on the price change experiment.
  • I’ll get back to working on dogfood; there’s no hurry. A fellow app developer suggested I look for some beta testers. With this app, I think that’s a great idea (thanks).

  1. Researching keywords: I have a post almost ready to go, explaining what ‘researching keywords’ involves for me.
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