Code by Kevin

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Kevin Walzer, software developer.



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Fri, 18 May 2007

One year as an indie Mac developer: What I've learned

In February 2006, I released my first commercial program, a precursor to NameFind. It was a failure, selling exactly one copy, but after taking a few months to regroup, I tried again with a commercial release of PortAuthority. PortAuthority had been under development for two years as an open-source project, had a large user base, and was a better candidate to use as the foundation for building a business. Since then, I've released four more programs, including a significant revamp of NameFind, and have watched my overall sales grow steadily.

I haven't gotten rich from software development. In fact, the income I've earned so far might qualify as a nice supplement to my main income, but isn't yet enough to provide my living. However, by at least one measure--"only the lucky/smart few make >$100 per month"--my software business qualifies as a success, albeit a modest one. In that light, I'd like to share a few insights that have helped the growth of my business.

These are some of the strategies that have guided my growth as a commercial software developer. Actually building a software business--even the modest one I've developed thus far--is several orders of magnitude more complex than simply writing code. But it's a great pleasure to earn part of my living writing software, and it's an honor every time someone parts with a few dollars because my software has helped to solve their problem.

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