M is for Motivation

Is there an app for that?

This is personal, and I’m sure all indie dev experience it differently, but I find that staying motivated on an indie app project can be an issue as you’re often working by yourself. Not having coworkers or a boss can be bliss but we’re also social creatures and solitude can affect morale.

TextingStory used to be a side project and sometimes I couldn’t work on it for months because I was busy with my day jobs. In my experience, that had very little impact on the app’s downloads or ratings. Even not answering support emails for months didn’t lead to anything bad once I had a big enough pool of happy users giving the app 5-star ratings.

Knowing this can make it hard to stay motivated when there is no immediate incentive to keep working on the app. I feel it’s good to recognize this situation when it happens and take steps to resolve it.

A few thoughts:

Take some time to reflects on your company’s ‘Why?’. You don’t have to subscribe to the Simon Sinek cliché 100% but I find that even a 1-person company can benefit from some introspection about what’s driving ‘it’ to make apps.

Don’t forget to browse your app’s five stars reviews from time to time as focusing on bug reports tends to be a downer.

When there isn’t a pandemic going on, try working in a shared workspace, at least for part of the week.

If you can’t afford to hire someone full-time yet but have the budget for some contract work, do it! I’ve worked with freelancers on many aspects of the project, from Android development to UX design, and it’s very refreshing.

Find professional networks or events you could join, even if they’re not specifically about indie app development. Trust me, you’ll benefit enormously from getting together with others in similar fields. It could be a local business network, a startup event, etc.

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