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 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.