Well, it's been a while since my last blog. Lots has happened too. I really should write more often. Hope you don't mind if it makes it difficult to follow the story :)
So you may remember that last time I wrote, our insurer was going to shortchange us and leave us out of pocket a looong way with regards to our house that we're building. Well, we've looked up every alley, and it looks like that's final - no way of getting around it, i've got a looot of extra money to pay off.
Which led to the previous post about fighting back. And, unfortunately, that has meant leaving Google in search of better pay elsewhere. When push comes to shove, we need to pay the bills that keep our families afloat, and so Google was sacrificed for the good of my wife and kids and house. On the plus side, without free food around all the time, i've already dropped a notch on my belt.
So it looks like it'll take a bit over a year to dig my way out of this financial hole that our lovely siphon-your-cash-then-skip-town builder left us with. In some ways I feel lucky that there's at least a (long) path to open skies. But on the other hand, lets just say i've been disabused of a certain level of naivety and trustingness. I feel like i'm being dragged kicking and screaming into maturity, dealing with the often-harsh reality rather than a nice-but-wrong optimism.
So now i'm working with a mate from the local Cocoaheads meetup and his company, Bilue. The client at the moment is Fox Sports where i'm working on... an iOS app (i think that's all i'm allowed to say.).
It's been 2 weeks so far, a really good 2 weeks. It's good to be around people who love Apple and Objective-C and reference counting and Git and all that good techy stuff that builds a great working environment :)
My one last proper effort to make a penny from the iOS store as an indie has been to convert my Today Calendar app into a free download with ads, with an in-app-purchase to remove the ads. After releasing it for free+ads (no IAP) with roughly 20k downloads, and countless emails from people begging for an IAP option to remove the ugly ads (i don't blame them!), I implemented the IAP and released it a few days ago:
So far, 12 people have done the IAP to remove the ads. I give up - there's got to be an easier way to make a buck. The app store doesn't appear to be that 'indie goldmine', no matter which angle i approach it from, and i've run out of angles to try - IAP was my last plan.
So from now on, it looks like I've given up on making money from the app store. I think i'll just concentrate on contracting, it seems to be the road to success for now. Maybe i'll think about doing a web app eventually, who knows. Maybe when the house is finished and the air is cleared.
Anyway, thanks for reading and staying interested in my winding and painful story. If nothing else 2012 has taught me, is that you have to fight - there's no room for shrinking violets on this earth. And i'm not a fighter by nature, like most of us geeks i'm a bit shy and retiring, so this is hard!
Get in touch and have a fantastic Christmas everyone! Email me - I love to hear your stories :)
Thanks for reading! And if you want to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you: chris.hulbert at gmail.
(Comp Sci, Hons - UTS)
iOS Developer in Sydney.
I have worked at places such as Google, News Corp, Fox Sports, NineMSN, FetchTV, Woolworths, and Westpac, among others. If you're looking for a good iOS developer, drop me a line!