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Show HN: Thrive – a productivity app built by a junior dev and featured by Apple
3 points by cristian-m 54 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite
Hey HN, I wanted to share a side project I've been working on for the past couple of months, how it got featured on the App Store in the US and 12 other countries and got the #1 product of the day badge on PH even though it's not very technically impressive and it's just a side project, so I couldn't invest to promote it.

I wrote a case study for my portfolio (I'm a designer) here: https://meet-cristian.com/projects/thrive.html

But I'll also share the key lessons:

- First, I think applying all the things I learned as a designer over the years made the biggest difference. The app doesn't only explain everything clearly but all the supporting materials (website, promo video, app store page) try to pitch it in a way that will resonate with people looking to improve their lives, and I guess this worked.

- Secondly, Apple is always looking for apps that make the App Store look good, so providing a well polished experience with nice animations (long live the Hero pod) and a message that they can get behind got it noticed.

- I've learned a lot working on this project, but the hardest lesson was to never ever force unwrap optionals again and prepare for high traffic better. The app uses the Dark Sky API and when it got featured (Apple doesn't give you any kind of warning) the free plan I was on reached its limit pretty quickly and because I was force unwrapping the value the API returns, the app crashed on launch for 10 hours straight. I've since been working to bring the rating back up in the US and it's at 4.0, which is reasonable.

I'd love to know what you think or chat about the whole process. I'll also attach a few promo codes (the app is paid):


It's available here: http://get-thrive.app

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