~ notespark ~


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)


Note*spark screenshots

I posted some Note*spark screenshots as well as a mockup of an earlier design over at Blog*spark.


Announcing Blog*spark

(cross-posted from Blog*spark)

As I wrote on my personal blog, I am working on an iPhone app named Note*spark with a guy named Mike Schiff. We’ve decided call ourselves Meta*spark, which is a name that only a programmer could love (which reminds me of a story that Andy Hertzfeld used to tell, in which Bill Atkinson supposedly loved the name “General Magic” because it could be used no matter what the company ended up doing).

Anyway, the new entity has a new blog, called Blog*spark. Mike and I will be posting somewhat frequently about Note*spark and any other things we end up doing. Among other things, we’ll try to post about things we’ve learned while developing an iPhone app that others might find useful. In the meantime, I’ll still continue to post infrequently about other stuff over at my personal blog. And while the transition happens, I will cross-post interesting things between the two.

As we have been developing Note*spark, I’ve been downplaying Note*spark to friends and family as “the smallest iPhone application we could think of that would actually be somewhat useful.” Because iPhone development is so new, we frankly don’t know if we’ll end up making $5/month or $5000/month on this piece of software, which is why we wanted to start small.

That having been said, it is very exciting to be so close to releasing our first piece of software. If you are interested in following our news in detail, subscribe to blog.metaspark.com. And if you’re not, feel free to just read kuwamoto.org, where I will try to cross-post the interesting bits.