What It's Like To Not Ship 100 Apps


I'm the sort of guy who learns by doing, and so after 9 months of studying iOS development, I have 'done' a lot. A lot of the so called apps that I have made are a quick test of a certain framework, or maybe even just some experimentation with a particular Cocoa Touch View / View Controller. Nonetheless, there are over 100 functioning (this is what I'll call them, don't judge me:) applets on my hard drive. I wouldn't say that any of them are in a state where I could feel comfortable putting them on the App Store, but they exist, and they work.

Occasionally I have reason to contact somebody who knows better than me, which narrows the list down to almost everybody. Recently I emailed Daniel Jalkut (of Red Sweater Software) about an issue. He kindly took the time to reply to me, multiple times, and asked me whether I have a single app on the App Store. This simple query made m stop and evaluate. I had pause to ask myself why I have worked so hard for so long, but have no single source of pride to show for it.

I have of course contemplated this question a few pervious occasions, telling myself that by doing all of these different things I have given myself knowledge in a large variety of Cocoa Touch APIs and development approaches. I do genuinely believe this to be true. However, there is a felling that I cannot shake that part of the reason I have not yet published anything is out of some misguided fear. Right now, whilst I am thinking rationally I cannot even fathom that I would be afraid of putting an app out for public scrutiny. Nonetheless, as important as I know it is, I've never taken the time to do it.

Perhaps I'm focusing on the wrong problem, and in fact what I should be trying to fix is my attitude towards working on one project for a prolonged period of time. I don't see this having much credit either; in the past I have developed a Newsstand App for a contract. Due to issues not related to the quality of the app the client was incapable of purchasing it. One viable argument is that I do not commit to my own projects, and maybe therein lies something to focus on.

My hope is that this is a lot of speculation over nothing. I would like to believe that in a month or so I will have submitted an app to Apple's review team, and that the only thing that's been holding me back is the fact that I haven't made an effort to do it yet. Back to Daniel Jalkut, it was on a Core Intuition podcast with him and Manton Reece where I first heard the argument for the value of getting a '1.0' out there. For as much as I dislike having nothing to show for my efforts, there's been a very apparent solution for a long time, and maybe now I'm ready to take it.