The Hard Part

When it comes to most things, especially if I put my mind to it, I’m fortunate enough to become pretty good them. Or at least proficient. Especially, and I hope this doesn’t come off as egotistical, at writing software. It’s just something that’s always come naturally to me for some reason ever since I wrote my first “app” 30 or so years ago (I’m old) on my lovely Atari 400 (complete with 48k RAM upgrade! woo!).

But what I’m not good at is interacting with people. Just never could get the hang of it for some reason. What’s worse, I’ve had people tell me on more than one occasion that, before getting to know me, I’ve come across as stuck up. Jerky even. To use the technical term. Typically that impression fades once you get to know me a little bit. Probably. I think. And, I’m also not very good at asking for help or tooting my own horn. I don’t want to be a bother. Or at least I tell myself that. Once I get to know you, I do better. Though this affliction can kind of make that difficult.

This is a problem. You see, my wife and I released our latest app from Quiet Spark today: Goalposts. And now we have to figure out how to get people to notice. In fact she’s downstairs right now, feverishly sending out press releases, in hopes that someone will notice our creation in a sea of apps.

A lot of my indie developer friends also have friendships with tech journalists which gives them a bit of a leg up when it comes time to promote their latest wares. That’s not to say that they’re are getting a free pass just because they have friends in the right places. These people are really good and do fantastic work. But when there are 850,000 apps to pick from, the most fantastic work doesn’t count for much unless you can get people to notice. That old chestnut “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is certainly applicable when trying to get your work to stand out in the App Store. And getting to know people is just so very hard for me.

Even among other developers, I’m really quiet. There’s an IRC channel I’ve hung out in off an on for years and yet I’ve only spoken there a handful of times and then generally in response to a direct question. And during beta testing, I asked for help, but it was kind of like hey guys, hate to be a bother, but I’ve been working on this app and I could use a little help testing if you wouldn’t mind, but if you don’t have time or something you know, no big deal. So yeah, I’m a terrible salesman, and really truly need to work on my people skills. Although, at 44, one wonders how much change is even possible at this point.

So, what I guess I’m saying is I’ve got this new app out and it would mean a lot to me if you could maybe spread the word a bit or something, you know, if it’s not too much to ask and all, but don’t feel obligated or anything.