Note*spark is out! Now, for the hard part…

Well, Note*spark is finally out at the iTunes Store. You can read about it at http://notespark.com.

So we’re very excited, but after a moment of celebration, reality set in. Man, we are going to have to sell a lot of these to make it worth our while.

To make matters worse, Apple listed our release date as Dec 11, which is the day we submitted the app for the store, rather than Dec 17, which is the day they actually posted it. That means it never showed up as a “new app” on the store.

Maybe they’ll fix that. Who knows? But when it comes down to it, being listed as a “new app” is just a momentary bit of mild publicity. After that, you’re just one of 10,000 other apps on the store.

Note*spark is a very simple app, but we ended up putting a lot of effort into it, and we feel it’s very good and very useful. That having been said, there are a lot of apps out there, and lots of them are about notes. For people searching on the iTunes store for apps, how are they supposed to know that ours is good?

So we’re doing the obvious: writing to blogs, magazines, and anyone who will listen to see if they’ll write about us. Beyond that, I’m at a loss. I’m an engineering guy but but from my past life (leading the Dreamweaver team, etc.) I’ve thought a lot about marketing. But you know.. I just can’t get my head around how you “market” a $5 app (which is actually selling for $1.99 right now as an introductory price.. even worse!) The economics are just too different.

Anyway, we knew about all this going into it. Ours was not a unique product — it’s no Ocarina — but we thought we could tackle the problem well and do a good job. We did this because we thought it would be fun, not because we thought it would make us rich. And it has been fun. It’s fantastically exciting to put a tiny team together to publish a tiny product, and the good and the bad of it is that you get to do everything yourself — the coding, art, promotion, business planning… everything!

So we’re scratching our heads over this and giving it our best shot. If you have any ideas or insights into how to promote a product like this, I’d love to hear them. Or, if you’d like to help us get the word out yourself, we would love that. Post about it, tell your friends, review it on the iTunes Store.

In the meantime, we’re also planning some Note*spark updates as well as thinking about other product ideas. Stay tuned…

(cross-posted from Blog*spark)

2 Responses to “Note*spark is out! Now, for the hard part…”

  1. Paul Rangel

    Maybe I’ve been brainwashed by the social networking but how about adding some hooks into social networks. Some social way to share the notes with contacts pulled from your existing networks maybe even adding users via a fb view of the app. I’m building a “fun” app with this feature in mind as a way to market and set my app apart. If possible I’m going too see if I can use authentication via the social networks. We’ll see.

  2. sho

    We’ve definitely toyed with that idea. The big question in my mind is how “social” people want to be with their notes.

    I can certainly imagine people wanting to share notes widely (“my top 10 albums for March”, “sho’s favorite SF restaurants”), but then again, most people think of notes as being somewhat private, I think.

    It’s one of those things that will really be great if you can get people to start doing it. The question is whether they will or not.

    Looking forward to seeing your “fun” app!

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