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tl;dr There is plenty of advice out there on how to publicize your iPhone app, and all of it is worthless.

Actually, I don't think this kind of standard iPhone app promotion advice is worthless at all. But like any business problem, not every technique works for every situation. I wish I had some better advice to suggest, but in my experience, games are a particularly hard category to market and I've never been able to figure out what works well there.

So, is there counter-advice?

My counter-advice would be this: if you want to make money writing apps, get consulting gigs and write them for somebody else.

It's not unlike the decision of doing a startup or working for someone else. You can either settle for a typical paycheque, or you can take a gamble, which might see you create a huge hit, or might flop and bring no returns.

I'd argue that you're playing longer odds in the app store. At most startups you'll be pulling down some kind of salary at least. Keep in mind that the median revenue for iOS apps is < $1000 and that at this point you're going to have to invest quite a bit of time to produce something good enough to attract users.

Depends what stage startup, not neccesarily earning a salary if you're just starting it yourself, and either living of savings or a day job.

I think a better way to put this is if you want to make GUARANTEED money writing apps... I still think on the whole, its better to release a product yourself than do consulting for someone else.

It's certainly a lot more fun, but if your goal is revenue, particularly as a solo developer, you're going to have to do very well on your own to match what you can easily make as a consultant/employee.

I don't think it has to be either/or. I took about a month off to write my iOS app. While it never made me rich, it still provides a nice income stream that continues today. Now I have my regular job revenue and app sales revenue.

Of course, writing a few apps on the side is also probably the best way to build a portfolio to show new potential clients.

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