I read a blog posts by Derek Sivers about how easy it was for him to become an entrepreneur after accepting the facts of living as a a musician. This got me started thinking about how there are things that are similar, but that you implement very differently.
If you make a song or an album, most of the time you’re trying to say that it’s unique or at least new and fresh from whatever the prospective fan/music listener has ever heard before. You’d never do that with an application or a car. Imagine how stupid it would sound if you tried to sell an iPhone app only by telling that it is “new, fresh, and you’ve never used anything like it before”
When you made an app, you know that this is not the end, it’s rather the beginning of the life of the app. You now need to tell the world that it exists. As loudly and proudly as you can. Music often travels a very short way from the artist. Just adding it on the Internet does not make it spread. Not many songs are viral, not even the hit’s you hear on radio.
When someone tells you that you’re app doesn’t work on blah blah blah, you listen to them and try to fix the bug. When someone tells you that they don’t like you’re music, you possibly hate them and call them poseurs. What if you listened to their critique as if it was a bug and then (if you want them as costumer) tries to fix it next time. It could be that the super loud snare really isn’t all that great.
If someone critiques your music, it’s often to late to change anything, and if you do have the time to change stuff you think real hard about if you want your song to move the way that where suggested. If you’d apply this on app-making instead of adding every single feature asked for you might end up with a better app.
As a musician it could be that you only send you’re songs to some record companies and hope they will like it enough to give you money. This would be as if an app developer only sent their application only to (apple, google) and hope that they press “show in market”. That would be stupid, send it everywhere.
If you’re making an app, you might try to act all corporate and hide behind a web-page. If you are a rock ‘n roll band you put your faces on the front page and tell everyone what you’re favorite food is. If you’re a small company you might as well act as rock stars, it’s less douche.
I’m sure there are more, but I want to go take a bath now, if this at all resonates with you, feel free to think about it and utilize it as you like.
Very well put.
I know many music tech & app companies are so scared of showing some personality online. They don’t want the risk of a potential customer getting offended by something little (oh no, that developer prefers cats to dogs!) that they’d rather not express anything about themselves.
However, a certain number of people will always be fickle yet if you put yourself out there with honesty, integrity and passion those who *do* appreciate it will have a far stronger connection to yourself, your brand and your products.
And, as you note, the same applied to application features. It is *okay* for a product to focus, and not try to do everything. There is no “one size fits all” solution (except for the Zappa album). Diversity and freedom of choice are vital for any healthy industry and a good product will always survive even if it doesn’t take 100% of the market. I would argue that no product should ever take 100% of the market, as that stifles innovation and experimentation.
Enjoy your bath. 🙂
This article made me think of books as software. Today they are closer than ever. It used to cost a million dollars to print and publish a book. So, then you spellcecked that book up and down and sideways, before it hit the shelves. But a book on Kindle costs nothing to publish. So modern books will have more spelling errors in the first revision. But it will be updated and fixed as soon as it’s noticed.
In the Appstore, there is a direct link to the developer of every application, allowing quick and easy feedback and fast updates. But on the Amazon Kindle store, there are no such channels to authors.
When I found a confusing spelling error in the book The Silver Serpent I had to Google the author and track him down on his personal webpage. David responded within a few hours. I dont think there’s any way to automatically update the book I’m reading, but future readers should be free from the bug.
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