The Shape of Everything
A website mostly about Mac stuff, written by Gus Mueller
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February 9, 2007
(This post is from my old, old, super old site. My views have changed over the years, hopefully my writing has improved, and there is now more than a handful of folks reading my site. Enjoy.)

Daniel Jalkut offers up some good advice on the macsb mailing list:

Re: Is it possible to make a living as an independent mac-only developer these days?

My suspicion is that it's partly about having a product worth $25, but also, and maybe more significantly, about having a company that is worth giving $25 to. I'd love to hear contrary examples, but it seems to me that the indie companies who do good business have pretty universally:

  1. Started.
  2. Waited and patiently built up loyalty and recognition.
  3. Sold N copies/year at $25-$50/year.

I'm not sure it matters much whether the product is "worth" $25. A company like Apple could sell TextEdit and get $25 for it. Likewise the indie successes we know and love today, probably couldn't "make a living" on day one if they were coming out of nowhere and starting today.

Step 2 may be accelerated if you attract the right amount of buzz and or celebrity loyalty. Worth shooting for, but don't count it. Therefore my advice and personal strategy is:

  1. Start.

Daniel