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The Grades Story
Jeremy Olson
@jerols - gradesapp.com - skookum.com
WARNING
NOT
Get rich quick
IS
Long Term
IS
AboutYOU
THE STORY
If there were a subtitle, it would be here!
4 Chapters
4 Chapters
Get a Monkey
4 Chapters
Get a Monkey
Get an Idea
4 Chapters
Get a Monkey
Get an Idea
Get a Voice
4 Chapters
Get a Monkey
Get an Idea
Get a Voice
Worth it!
Chapter 1
Get a Monkey
The Bad Guy
The Bad Guy
Why waste your time?
No way it’s gonna
make money.
Big Revelation...
Success ≠ Money
Be curious, learn stuff,
build stuff...
Do your best to make it
profitable.
It will probably fail.
It doesn’t matter.
Let me prove it.
2000
FENCING MASTER
Money Made...
Wait for it...
$0
Web Design
I was a natural...
(not)
Off to a great start!
$0
BLOGGG!
Oh yeah!
-$100
APPPS!
What is a database?
Me thinking $15/hr is pretty neat
A few bucks
College.
What’s a Skookum?
It pays to be curious.
WRONG
Will this make money
right away?
NOT
Is this a worthwhile
investment?
Money ≠ Success
It pays to be curious.
It pays to be curious.
Get a monkey
Chapter 2
Get a product
THE POSSIBILITIES!
FAIL
Curiosity not enough
A good idea motivates you
to learn what is required
to build it
Scratch your own itch
Is there a gap in the
market?
Is it a
?
Sketch it
Talk to folks
Prototype it
Talk to folks
Do people immediately
“get it”?
Are people excited about
it?
Will enough people be
willing to pay for it?
Refine it
Know your limits
My design skills were not
good enough to make that
concept work.
If the skill isn’t there, stick
simple. Don’t go crazy.
Speaking of Design...
Use an iPhone or iPod
every day
Invest LOTS of time in
the design
Apple says:
Learn design.
WWDC Videos
http://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2010/
Watch the ones on design and on making successful
iPhone apps
HIG
Search “iPhone human interface guidelines”
No time? Hire or partner
with an amazing designer.
Beyond usable. Fun.
Programming the thang.
Native VS Web-based
Objective-C
Cocoa
HTML/CSS/Javascript
Phone Gap
Appcelerator Titanium
Native VS Web-based
+ More familiar to web
developers
+ Multi-platform
- Slower
- Easy to make an app
that doesn’t follow
...
Learning Native iPhone
Programming
http://developer.apple.com/iphone
Download the SDK for
free
$100/year to submit apps to the store and
test them on actual devices (otherwise use
the simulat...
Google “Learn Objective C” (1st result)
Search “stanford iPhone” in iTunes Store
Do the assignments! (At least the first few)
New programmer?
Introductory programming courses or
books = good idea.
This is not lightweight stuff.
Not impossible eithe...
Grades 0.1
=
Hodgepodge of tutorials
twisted to do my will
After a few months, stuff
started clicking
Scratch. Rewrite.
Polish. Polish. Polish.
Grades 1.0
1 year - start to finish
DEMO
We got a product.
Halt.
Step back a bit.
A product is no good if nobody knows about it
Chapter 3
Get a voice
If you don’t have a voice,
you are nobody.
If you’re a nobody, who is
going to know about your
stuff?
Don’t wait til launch to
work on marketing!
Getting a voice takes
TIME! Lots of it.
Day 1, I was nobody.
I read
“If you think leadership is
only for other people,
you’re wrong. We need
YOU to lead us.”
Twitter
Market by sharing/
teaching/leading
Market by adding value to
people’s lives
It worked!
Some of the most
successful iPhone
developers out there were
reading my blog!
It’s not about eyeballs
I never “pitched” anybody
It’s about connections
It’s about relationships
Don’t Spam
“@taptaptap Hey, you
should check out the
iPhone app I’m building -
it is really awesome”
WRONG
“Check out @taptaptap’s
latest app, Voices - it is a
perfect example of going
beyond usable and into
the realm of fun.”
RI...
Engage people outside the
context of your app.
If they like you, they will
check your stuff out.
What about PR?
Make it a last resort.
Cold calling is usually not very effective.
The Power of Social
Media
Viticci
[redacted]
Ken Yarmosh
My Job
If you have a voice,
people care.
Chapter 4
Worth it!
LAUNCH!
Hundreds of Twitter
followers, blog readers,
and beta testers got the
ball rolling.
Launch!
Launch!
Launch!
Launch!
Launch!
Launch!
Launch!
Launch!
Launch!
Launch!FTW!
How to get featured
• Good idea
• Great design
• If you can use features unique to the
iPhone or that show off technology ...
How much?
Didn’t you learn
anything?
Much more than a $1k.
Much less than $100k.
But it really doesn’t
matter!
I’m worth 500% more
than a year ago.
Contribute to respected blogs
Got to interview the creators of RedLaser
Contribute to respected blogs
Got to interview the creators of RedLaser
Next? Who knows.
I’m not special.
Get a monkey.
Get a product.
Get a voice.
It’s worth it.
THE END
Twitter: @jerols
Grades: gradesapp.com
Company: skookum.com
Email: jeremy@skookum.com
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try
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The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try

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My app, Grades, was featured by Apple and did pretty well. Through telling the story I weave in many of the lessons I wish I had known at the start. Skip to slide 75 to get to the iPhone specific stuff.

This is NOT about me - I hope it inspires you to start getting curious and build awesome stuff.

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  • By the way, when I say money != success, I am saying that from a personal standpoint not a business standpoint. Businesses have to make money to survive and I actually don't like the 'get tons of users and than see how we can make money' model. My point is, from a personal standpoint it took a lot of failures to prepare me for financial success.
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  • Skip to slide 75 to get to the iPhone specific stuff.
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The Grades Story - how I made a successful iPhone app on the first try

  1. 1. The Grades Story Jeremy Olson @jerols - gradesapp.com - skookum.com
  2. 2. WARNING
  3. 3. NOT
  4. 4. Get rich quick
  5. 5. IS
  6. 6. Long Term
  7. 7. IS
  8. 8. AboutYOU
  9. 9. THE STORY If there were a subtitle, it would be here!
  10. 10. 4 Chapters
  11. 11. 4 Chapters Get a Monkey
  12. 12. 4 Chapters Get a Monkey Get an Idea
  13. 13. 4 Chapters Get a Monkey Get an Idea Get a Voice
  14. 14. 4 Chapters Get a Monkey Get an Idea Get a Voice Worth it!
  15. 15. Chapter 1 Get a Monkey
  16. 16. The Bad Guy
  17. 17. The Bad Guy Why waste your time? No way it’s gonna make money.
  18. 18. Big Revelation...
  19. 19. Success ≠ Money
  20. 20. Be curious, learn stuff, build stuff...
  21. 21. Do your best to make it profitable.
  22. 22. It will probably fail.
  23. 23. It doesn’t matter.
  24. 24. Let me prove it.
  25. 25. 2000
  26. 26. FENCING MASTER
  27. 27. Money Made...
  28. 28. Wait for it...
  29. 29. $0
  30. 30. Web Design
  31. 31. I was a natural... (not)
  32. 32. Off to a great start!
  33. 33. $0
  34. 34. BLOGGG!
  35. 35. Oh yeah!
  36. 36. -$100
  37. 37. APPPS!
  38. 38. What is a database?
  39. 39. Me thinking $15/hr is pretty neat
  40. 40. A few bucks
  41. 41. College.
  42. 42. What’s a Skookum?
  43. 43. It pays to be curious.
  44. 44. WRONG
  45. 45. Will this make money right away? NOT
  46. 46. Is this a worthwhile investment?
  47. 47. Money ≠ Success
  48. 48. It pays to be curious. It pays to be curious.
  49. 49. Get a monkey
  50. 50. Chapter 2 Get a product
  51. 51. THE POSSIBILITIES!
  52. 52. FAIL
  53. 53. Curiosity not enough
  54. 54. A good idea motivates you to learn what is required to build it
  55. 55. Scratch your own itch
  56. 56. Is there a gap in the market?
  57. 57. Is it a ?
  58. 58. Sketch it
  59. 59. Talk to folks
  60. 60. Prototype it
  61. 61. Talk to folks
  62. 62. Do people immediately “get it”?
  63. 63. Are people excited about it?
  64. 64. Will enough people be willing to pay for it?
  65. 65. Refine it
  66. 66. Know your limits
  67. 67. My design skills were not good enough to make that concept work.
  68. 68. If the skill isn’t there, stick simple. Don’t go crazy.
  69. 69. Speaking of Design...
  70. 70. Use an iPhone or iPod every day
  71. 71. Invest LOTS of time in the design
  72. 72. Apple says:
  73. 73. Learn design.
  74. 74. WWDC Videos http://developer.apple.com/videos/wwdc/2010/ Watch the ones on design and on making successful iPhone apps
  75. 75. HIG Search “iPhone human interface guidelines”
  76. 76. No time? Hire or partner with an amazing designer.
  77. 77. Beyond usable. Fun.
  78. 78. Programming the thang.
  79. 79. Native VS Web-based Objective-C Cocoa HTML/CSS/Javascript Phone Gap Appcelerator Titanium
  80. 80. Native VS Web-based + More familiar to web developers + Multi-platform - Slower - Easy to make an app that doesn’t follow conventions - Sometimes limiting + More valuable skill + More control + Fewer limits - Hard - Not multi- platform
  81. 81. Learning Native iPhone Programming
  82. 82. http://developer.apple.com/iphone
  83. 83. Download the SDK for free $100/year to submit apps to the store and test them on actual devices (otherwise use the simulator to test) Only works on a Mac
  84. 84. Google “Learn Objective C” (1st result)
  85. 85. Search “stanford iPhone” in iTunes Store Do the assignments! (At least the first few)
  86. 86. New programmer? Introductory programming courses or books = good idea. This is not lightweight stuff. Not impossible either.
  87. 87. Grades 0.1 = Hodgepodge of tutorials twisted to do my will
  88. 88. After a few months, stuff started clicking
  89. 89. Scratch. Rewrite.
  90. 90. Polish. Polish. Polish.
  91. 91. Grades 1.0 1 year - start to finish
  92. 92. DEMO
  93. 93. We got a product.
  94. 94. Halt.
  95. 95. Step back a bit.
  96. 96. A product is no good if nobody knows about it
  97. 97. Chapter 3 Get a voice
  98. 98. If you don’t have a voice, you are nobody.
  99. 99. If you’re a nobody, who is going to know about your stuff?
  100. 100. Don’t wait til launch to work on marketing!
  101. 101. Getting a voice takes TIME! Lots of it.
  102. 102. Day 1, I was nobody.
  103. 103. I read
  104. 104. “If you think leadership is only for other people, you’re wrong. We need YOU to lead us.”
  105. 105. Twitter
  106. 106. Market by sharing/ teaching/leading
  107. 107. Market by adding value to people’s lives
  108. 108. It worked!
  109. 109. Some of the most successful iPhone developers out there were reading my blog!
  110. 110. It’s not about eyeballs
  111. 111. I never “pitched” anybody
  112. 112. It’s about connections
  113. 113. It’s about relationships
  114. 114. Don’t Spam
  115. 115. “@taptaptap Hey, you should check out the iPhone app I’m building - it is really awesome” WRONG
  116. 116. “Check out @taptaptap’s latest app, Voices - it is a perfect example of going beyond usable and into the realm of fun.” RIGHT
  117. 117. Engage people outside the context of your app.
  118. 118. If they like you, they will check your stuff out.
  119. 119. What about PR? Make it a last resort. Cold calling is usually not very effective.
  120. 120. The Power of Social Media
  121. 121. Viticci
  122. 122. [redacted]
  123. 123. Ken Yarmosh
  124. 124. My Job
  125. 125. If you have a voice, people care.
  126. 126. Chapter 4 Worth it!
  127. 127. LAUNCH!
  128. 128. Hundreds of Twitter followers, blog readers, and beta testers got the ball rolling.
  129. 129. Launch!
  130. 130. Launch!
  131. 131. Launch!
  132. 132. Launch!
  133. 133. Launch!
  134. 134. Launch!
  135. 135. Launch!
  136. 136. Launch!
  137. 137. Launch!
  138. 138. Launch!FTW!
  139. 139. How to get featured • Good idea • Great design • If you can use features unique to the iPhone or that show off technology from the most recent IOS update • Make your own splash by starting marketing early
  140. 140. How much?
  141. 141. Didn’t you learn anything?
  142. 142. Much more than a $1k. Much less than $100k. But it really doesn’t matter!
  143. 143. I’m worth 500% more than a year ago.
  144. 144. Contribute to respected blogs Got to interview the creators of RedLaser
  145. 145. Contribute to respected blogs Got to interview the creators of RedLaser
  146. 146. Next? Who knows.
  147. 147. I’m not special.
  148. 148. Get a monkey.
  149. 149. Get a product.
  150. 150. Get a voice.
  151. 151. It’s worth it.
  152. 152. THE END Twitter: @jerols Grades: gradesapp.com Company: skookum.com Email: jeremy@skookum.com

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