No Fun

Doing the coding for a new app to sell is a lot of work. But the work is really fun. Coding is great. However coding alone does not sell a product. I am finding a lack of motivation to do the business end of the work.

You got to find out how to accept credit cards online. Boring. You need to figure out and obtain a domain name. Also boring. You have to stand up a web site. Some of that may be fun. But the basics of it are also a bit boring. It is difficult enough to write the software after dark. But doing the business end of this painful. Not much progress is being made.

Good and Bad Image

I was on the Yahoo main page after reading my email. There were no interesting articles to read there. Boring. But the image of an advertisement caught my eye. Some dude was totally ripped. He was like a football player, only with more muscles and a skinnier waist. I was down to find out what this ad was about. So I clicked through to the web site behind the ad.

Oh course they were selling some type of nutritional supplement. I want to look the like guy on the ad I clicked on to get there. Unfortunately I saw another image on their web site that was disturbing. That did not look like the shape I want to be in. Perhaps if this was the guy I was playing in a video game, I would be down. However it was just too disturbing to think I might look like that from taking their vitamins or whatever. Sale fail.

Going Shopping

You got a product to sell. How are you going to do it? I have been asking myself the same question. This must be a problem that has been solved. So now I just need to get that solution on my own web site.

The overall goal is to get a shopping cart up and running with as little cost as possible. Most options involve a recurring monthly cost. Some make you pay an up front setup fee. The ones I like the most are those that charge a certain percentage of your sales. That sounds best because it limits the risk in case nobody buys my goods.

The costs are sometimes tricky. Often times shopping carts require you to have a merchant account, which itself has a monthly cost. Once the pricing structure is down, I would prefer a solution that does not require a lot of technology on my web server. Those technologies may bump me into a higher web hosting plan.

I would like the user experience to be optimal. That means I prefer the cart to work seamlessly with my my web site. It would be better if the user did not have to leave my site to go to a payment processing site. And it is easier for me if I don't need to do a lot (or any) customer programming to get the shopping cart working on my site. Let's see what is out there that meets my needs.

The Beta Test

You have finished coding up your application. What is the next step? Maybe you can start selling the thing and begin making some cash. That is a very premature move. You would hate life if the thing you shipped is chock full of bugs. All software has bugs. But you want the one you ship to be free of the easy to detect and fix type of bugs. You need to run a beta test of your software.

The best beta test will be one conducted by actual users of your software. That might be difficult if this is your initial release. Instead you need to have some people you trust to test out the code. This might be a contract with a service that does testing. Maybe you could scrounge up some developers to do the job. I would like to call on some friends (who themselves might be developers) to bang on the app. Only then will I know what things I have overlooked during my unit tests.

I do have a wild and crazy idea that might not be feasible. I could write some software that itself would do the beta testing. It could randomly simulate clicks and key presses. Or it could be tailored to click away like a nommal user would. Then it could compare the app results with what it expects is the correct behavior. The output that has the most bang for the buck would be that which does not conform to expected behavior. I will let you know how my beta testing comes along. Stay tuned.

Almost Done

I just finished slapping together an intro screen for my app. This thing is so close to being ready to ship. I really only have to put some protection against the crackers. I don't want somebody breaking my app and releasing to the world for free.

I know you cannot prevent your app from getting cracked. However I want to make it as difficult as possible. My hope is that the crackers will see that it is too much trouble to crack such a small app. Maybe they will then move on before breaking into my app and putting the results on some torrent.

It is all up to me. But in about a week, this thing will be fully ready to ship version 1. I figure I should slowly add the crack protection while putting together my web site to feature and sell the app. Things are definitely looking up. I had ideas for a few more killer options. They can all wait for version 2.0 though. Let's get some customers and make some cash now.

Adding Polish

I got the basics of my app completed. Some of the extras are getting done as well. For example, I am putting some small graphics on the screens. I also want the install process to be solid. This thing is just about ready to be sold. It is only version 1. But it is a complete minimal app.

Now I am trying to figure out what domain name to choose. Initially I thought I would register a name that has something to do with my app. Perhaps I should choose a name that represents my company. I plan to be selling apps in different areas. Do I want multiple domains specific to the types of apps I do?

It all comes down to what is best for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I might get some points for having my target words in the domain name. But I think I will do best if I choose a generic company name that gets popular. Then I can just add new apps being sold on my company web site. All right. I got a company name. Let's see which domain names match or come close to my company name.