Breaking Branch

Saw this web page that showed the evolution of source code control. Cool. Then I found an offer to get a Breaking Bad t-shirt. They got me. All I had to do was follow their evaluation guide. No problem right?

Step 1 of the guide wanted me to download their software. To download the software, I need to log in. To log in, I need a username a password. Clicked the register tab. Nothing happened. I can't log in. I can't download their software. Fail.

Okay. I am a good guy. I will let them know something is screwed up on their registration page. Tried to leave a comment on their evolution of source code control page. It required me to log in. Okay. I got a Google ID. I clicked the button to authenticate using Google. But get this. I could not choose my Google ID.

Umm, maybe it is a good thing I found out how messed up their web site was. Do I want their software controlling my source code? No way in hell. I had better go to some t-shirt web site, and pay $20 for my own Breaking Bad t-shirt.

More on AdWords

My web host had sent me a letter in the mail for a $150 coupon towards free AdWords ads. Sounded awesome. Then I read the fine print. This was for AdWords Express. Apparently this is some type of ads for local businesses.

I am not a mom and pop's pizza shop. I am trying to sell Windows 8 apps online to the world. So AdWords Express was out. Maybe I will wait until I get a valid coupon for free AdWords advertising. Or maybe I will start out with some small AdWords campaigns.

The real holy grail is to get organic exposure to my web site. Right now I need to get the word out on my Software Schedule Estimator product page. Any ideas?

AdWords Discounts

I figured it was finally time to advertise my Windows 8 apps on Google AdWords. My web host gave me a promotional code worth $150 of advertising. I figured I could do some good with that. Turns out the offer expired last year.

Found another offer from my web host. It offered $100 worth of Google AdWords advertising if you spend $25. Sounded fair to me. Once again, this thing expired last year. I am a little late to the party. Guess I will have to get the word out myself.

If you have Windows 8, then check out my Software Schedule Estimator app in the Windows Store. Figure out how long your software development project will last. Prevent surprises from lengthy such as requirements gathering and quality assurance.

I also decided today to start logging the work I do on my app business. Got to measure to figure out what needs improvement.

Edgy Rebranding

I just read that 37Signals is changing their name to Basecamp. That seemed odd initially. I know them by 37Signals. Why give up all that brand juice? Sure I get that they want to rally behind their main product. Feels like a bold move.

They will most likely keep their URL. I guess what the are really saying is that their other products will slowly be phased out. Good thing they make a lot of revenue from their main product. The moral of the story is to try to gauge the future and choose your company name wisely.

Piracy Not Theft

I read an article a long time ago about piracy. It asked whether pirating some software is the same as stealing. The article itself was not enlightening. But there were a lot of comments on the article. There were a bunch of great ideas buried in those comments.
There was a thread about telling software developers to stop whining about piracy. Digital goods almost want to be free. Many people conduct illegal activities. Software piracy is not immune to this. Copyright in general is abused. So will software.
Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts. The people who steal software were never going to actually buy the software. So there is no real missed opportunity for revenue. If that theft costs you some actual money, such as the cost for extra bandwidth for their downloads, maybe a developer has a beef. But this amount is probably going to be a lot less than the purchase price of the software.
The good thing is that not everyone know how to pirate software. You can put some safeguards and protection in there. None of that will be foolproof. But you might be able to make it hard enough to pirate software, so that it is easier for would be thieves to not do it or actually buy your software. This will be especially so if you prices are low.

Marketing Marketing Marketing

Microsoft had an initiative that rewarded new Windows 8 or Windows phone apps with a $100 bonus per app. Sounded like an easy way to earn $100. I planned to write 10 apps for a cool grand. Turned out I was burned out after nine apps. Three of them got rejected. I did get six Windows 8 apps in the Windows store.

The beauty was that the $100 bonus was in addition to any proceeds you make selling your apps. I figured I would get the bonus, then do some marketing for the apps. It took a long time to get my bonus. So I did not start the marketing early. What was the result? I sold no copies of my apps. Ouch.

Now I plan to stand up a web site that markets my apps. Just need to drive some traffic to my Windows app store entries. Just showing up and putting some apps in there does not get you sales. Microsoft manages the sales. They don’t seem to actively market the apps in there.

Publishing Your Own Books

Just read a good post about publishing your own books. Strangely enough the author highly encourages using Box Shot 3D software. That prouct seems real expensive at $199. There is a home version of Boxshot 4 that goes for $49. Apparently you should also farm out the design of the cover of your book. That can cost you a bunch more money. You should get an ISBN number for your book. It is even better if you are listed as the publisher. The best hacks described in the post revolve around creating a pricing war between Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can effectively get Amazon to lower their price while keeping their payment to you the same. Sweet. This is certainly worth a try right?