As WebnoteHappy nears completion, the enormity of Mac Indie-ness starts becoming clearer. Like I said earlier, it’s not just about the programming. To be sure, being a great programmer is essential, because that is probably one of the biggest expenses in a software company. Plus you’ll know exactly the quality of the product you are getting and what timelines you’re dealing with.
But there’s so much more:
- Web site
- Order and payment processing
You have to be able to generate license keys and validate them along with enforcing any trial limits. WebnoteHappy will be a 30-day trial so you can exercise it fully by throwing all your bookmarks at it and hopefully creating even more.
You have to have a good web site. One that is as good as or better than the app itself really. I think I’ll have to call on some friends to help me out with the graphic design of HappyApps.com.
Also you should pick a good web host. HappyApps.com is on Pair since they are rock solid.
You can build your own, but when you first start out, it’s probably better to rely on a third party to get you up and running. I’m going to go with Kagi on this since they have a good web store, provide an in-app store, charge a reasonable fee, and seem to have good service. eSellerate is another popular one among Mac Indies that I’ve talked to.
I tried making my own app icon as probably most Mac Indies start out doing. But like most, I found that I’m not really that good at graphic design. So I hired Jasper Hauser to create the app icon for WebnoteHappy as well as create toolbar and other in-app icons. I think they turned out great. It has been the biggest expense so far, but I think it was a wise investment.
I’ve already touched on UI design, Apple Help, Beta Testing, and Customer Support in my previous “The Life” posts. There’s even more aspects but I think this is enough for future Mac Indies to consider before taking the plunge. There is nothing that you can’t overcome, but I’d say that you have to budget plenty of time and also some money. Also I hope this helps people appreciate the work that goes into building a great Mac app.