I went to a new conference called Release Notes. These are my notes. The conference was about building a sustainable business doing Mac and iOS development. Every one of the talks was not only good but applicable. I spent most of the time not tweeting (a good sign for any conference, in my view), so I didn’t share many of my thoughts along the way. Thus, I want to share one key action or idea I took away from each talk here on my blog. These aren’t by any means the only key takeaways one could have from each talk nor am I claiming they’re the most central to each talk, but they’re mine. I have no doubt everyone came away with a unique set of applicable ideas—the conference was abundant with them.

Myke Hurley: Keynote

Take risks and have faith; making it as an indie is possible.

Georgia Dow: Flow

“Flow” isn’t just an awesome state for your own personal productivity—it’s a state you can help create for your users by being intentional about your app’s design.

Peter Omvlee: The Great Pretender—Pretend to Be More than an Indie

The first step to becoming a more professional business is to pretend to be one—not just to your users, but to yourself.

Rob Rhyne: 30 Minute Dissection of the New Star Wars Trailer (“Actually a Talk About Motivation”) [Actually actually an incredible talk about business finance that may or may not have had a real title??]

If your business isn’t growing, it’s shrinking—so measure and mind your growth.

John Saddington: Business Stories

For successful marketing, devote half of your project’s time to it, experiment with unique approaches for each project, and tell your project’s story in a way that connects with your audience’s emotions.

Chris Liscio: Playing the Long Game

Sell to a niche market, not to everyone; listen to feedback about your product, not your pricing; diversify your income; make friends in the press; and stay sane in the meantime by exercising, planning, and doing some of the stuff now that you want to be doing when you’re retired.

Rachel Andrew: Make Time for your Project

Make your project a first-class citizen in your life: schedule a regular time slot for it if you can, and set specific internal release dates.

David Smith: A Superhero with a Compass

Explicitly define a single, specific goal for your business—your definition of “success"—and use this goal as the sole heuristic—your compass—for all of your business decisions.

Daniel Pasco: The Joys of Quality Assurance

The real purpose of QA is to assess the risk of shipping your product, and should be done in tight feedback with development.

Jean MacDonald: Smart Sponsorship—Grow Your Community and Grow Your Business

When you sponsor podcasts, really get to know the podcast and provide them with your sustained support and publicity; treat the relationship as mutual and bi-directional rather than as a one-way purchase of an advertising slot.

Jim Dalrymple: Hiring the Right People

Make decisions for the right reasons, and don’t be crippled by fear.

And, of course…

Thank you to Joe Cieplinski and Charles Perry for putting together this incredible lineup and sweating every detail to create such a fantastically polished event—it showed.

Thank you as well to all of the speakers—as I hope is apparent here, you gave me ideas I’m really excited to work on and concepts I’m really excited to apply.