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A New Chapter

April 2nd, 2017 Jeremy Jeremy

Wow. Eight years. That’s how long ago I started Tapity. I was a freshman in college at the time. Little did I know what kind of crazy journey I was about to embark on.

This post marks the end of that journey. Tapity’s last full day of operations was a rainy Wednesday a couple weeks ago.

There are too many things I want to share, some of which I may get to in time, but I mainly wanted to talk about why Tapity is closing and what the future has in store. This was an amazing chapter, so closing it is sad. On the other hand I am very, very excited for the next chapter of my life.

Why

Yes, the App Store is a super tough marketplace to compete in. However, that is not the reason I am shutting down Tapity. I am actually quite optimistic about the App Store after seeing some of my friends find sustainable marketing strategies and do very well — Readdle and iTranslate are a couple of great examples. There are also still quite a few individual indies that make a living off the App Store, though many of them are under the radar. I am pretty confident that, if I had the heart to do so, I could probably make a pretty good go of it if I were to start from scratch again.

But I don’t really have the heart for that right now. Without the team, Tapity wouldn’t be Tapity. We are family (in some cases, literally), and those relationships will continue as we go our seperate ways. By far the most rewarding part of Tapity was getting to work with these incredible people every single day, and that is what I will miss the most.

So yes, we probably could have paired down and kept Tapity going at some level, but I didn’t have the heart for that. After we sold Hours, we struggled to figure out what to do next. My dad, Todd (Tapity’s CEO), and I had been doing this for a while and were open to the idea of something new. But the team we had was really special and we wanted to see if we could keep it together.

We received a few acquisition inquiries. It would have been a way to do something new, capitalize on what we had, and keep the team together. Ultimately, we spent too much time exploring that route and there didn’t end up being a fit. Meanwhile, we didn’t have any revenue generating products and our burn rate was quite high.

After the acquisition talks ended, we spent the little runway we had left to see if we could redesign ourselves to be a services company. We had done services before and had some good experiences and some bad experiences. We thought that maybe we could redesign the way we did services to maximize the good experiences and minimize the bad. However, the end-of-year dry season was upon us and, while we did land some clients, it was too little, too late. We also realized that products were in our DNA and client services were just not. Meanwhile, our runway was gone.

It was time to move on.

The toughest part was telling the team. We had been transparent with them all along but it was still quite a blow for all of us. We had grown to be so close.

Drop, our color picker for Mac, was our last hurrah. It was a side project that Christain started in order to learn Swift. I contributed a few design ideas and helped with some of the tricky programming problems (color profiles are the worst!) It launched a few weeks ago to great reviews, plenty of Apple love, and was the #1 app in Developer Tools for the better part of its first month. Revenue was actually better than I expected.

I’m really glad the team got to share that one final launch together. It was a great reminder of all that we have been able to accomplish together as a team. Grades won an Apple Design Award. Languages got up to #5 overall (fulfilling my life goal of beating Angry Birds in the charts), was critically acclaimed, and was selected by Apple as Editors Choice and Best of 2012 award for Intuitive Touch. Hours disrupted the time tracking industry. I still hear from people who were inspired to do great things after reading one of our articles.

It was a great run.

Our apps

Christain and I will continue to support and develop Drop on the side. I won’t have time to support Grades and Languages and don’t have time to focus on selling them, but I would certainly consider an offer if one arose. If you are interested, check out this post (ignoring the prices, I would accept less).

Thank you

Now I’m going to risk sounding like an oscar acceptance speech but I am so thankful to the team for sharing this incredible journey with me. Christain, Ben, Mike, Stephen, Nathan, and Susanna — I will miss you all so very much. Thank you mom for extending your motherhood to the whole Tapity family and supporting us through thick and thin. I’m so grateful that I got to spend the last five years working with my dad every day and that our relationship has grown stronger because of it. Not too many sons get that opportunity.

I am also thankful to folks like David Barnard, Alex Marktl, Ray Wenderlich, Dan Counsell, Ken Yarmosh, Denys Zhadanov, Robleh Jamah, Marc Edwards, Michael Flarup, Jerry Beers, Mike Rundle, John Wilker, Nathan Barry, Federico Viticci, Matthew Panzarino, Ally Kazmucha, Alex Heath, Rene Ritchie, Ellis Hamburger, Bryan Chaffin, all the fine folks I worked with at Apple, and so many others who supported me, mentored me, and cheered Tapity on.

And finally, my wife Mindy. Despite all the crazy ups and downs, despite the anxious uncertainty of not knowing when we would be able to pay ourselves (sometimes for months on end), despite me having to work through nights and weekends to push a product out, she was always there to support and encourage me and I can’t thank her enough for that.

What’s next

I am super thrilled at all the opportunities the various members of the team are getting for the future.

As for me, I have been thinking about doing something completely new for some time. After spending a few weeks talking to some really great companies, I have decided to join a startup in Silicon Valley and will be moving my family out there in late January. Though this startup is extremely well funded and has some of the best talent in the industry (including a very high profile CEO), they are shrouded in mystery and rightly so. A lot of startups aspire to change the world but I think we really have a shot of doing that in big way.

Though I won’t mention the name, I will say this much: the spreadsheet revolutionized how every day people solved problems with technology for the last 40 years. We are building something that will revolutionize productivity for the next 40.

I couldn’t be more thrilled. It is by far the most challenging problem I have ever worked on and I can’t wait to tell you more about it in the coming months. I’m also really looking forward to connecting with all you fine folks in the bay area so don’t hesitate to hit me up on Twitter or email.

We’re selling two of our apps: Grades and Languages

November 20th, 2015 Jeremy Jeremy

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Earlier this week, we publicly announced that Tapity has started looking for interested buyers of our Grades and Languages apps. We’ve recently decided on selling these apps so that we can put full focus on our time tracking app, Hours. Since we’ve been focusing all of our time on Hours, our team here at Tapity has been giving a bit less attention to Grades and Languages than they deserve, so our hopes are that new homes for these apps means the apps keep getting even better and existing users and new users get to enjoy Grades and Languages well into the future. It’s tough letting these apps go, but we know in the right hands, these apps will live on longer and will be able to be enjoyed by even more people.

Grades: is our Apple Design Award-winning app that helps students better achieve their target grades, among other useful things for class. This app has a minimum bid at $30,000, and has earned $45,950 in gross revenue.

Languages: is our completely off-line language translation app, perfect when traveling in areas with expensive or limited internet access. It has a minimum bid at $60,000, and has earned $428,268 in gross revenue.

I discuss about us selling these two apps in even more detail here in the Medium post I published on November 17th: Tapity is looking to sell our Grades and Languages apps – full stats released

If you’re interested in discussing these apps with me, simply email me.

 

The Anatomy of a Successful App

October 15th, 2014 Jeremy Jeremy

I gave a talk a couple weeks ago at 360iDev Mini in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina, called The Anatomy of a Successful App. It is essentially a summary of my App Making guide, covering — in brief — what it takes to build a successful app, from idea, to design, to marketing.

Check it out here:

Jeremy Olson – Anatomy of a Successful App from John Wilker on Vimeo.

If you thought the video was helpful, you should check out the App Making guide I released yesterday. It is designed to be a comprehensive guide to succeeding on the App Store.

Screenshot 2014-10-14 17.20.34
I also wanted to say thank you to all the awesome folks who supported the App Making launch yesterday. All your support resulted in App Making first day sales being comparable to one of our successful app launches. It even got up to #5 on Product Hunt. That is pretty awesome because if we can make education a sustainable business, it helps us do more of it.

p.s. The 360iDev conference was also a great opportunity for my daughter of two weeks to learn the finer points of Swift pointers versus Structs, among other things. She enjoyed it.

jerols_2014-Oct-06

p.s.s. I have recently been on a bunch of different podcasts, in case you are interested: MobileAppChat on app marketing, The Ray Wenderlich podcast talking about how to meet people in the app industry and launch successful apps, Novice No Longer on Swift, design, and teaching, Iterate on Hours, and My Appventure on my story. Phew! It has been busy around here.

App Making is here

October 14th, 2014 Jeremy Jeremy

MacBookSide

There has been a lot of talk about the fall of indies. I don’t buy it. I think if we learn from each other, we can not only survive but thrive on the App Store. That is why I spent a bunch of time putting together everything I’ve learned from the past five years into a comprehensive guide to launching successful apps.

I call it App Making and I am super excited to announce that it is finally available today:

http://www.tapity.com/app-making

All three packages are 25% off for 48 hours so grab your copy now.

If you really want to make my day, tweet the link and up-vote App Making on Product Hunt.

App Making course coming on Tuesday, get the free preview

October 9th, 2014 Jeremy Jeremy

App Making - learn app design and app marketing

I am excited to announce that my App Making course — the definitive guide to designing and marketing successful apps — will finally be shipping on Tuesday. Be sure to get it on launch day to enjoy the 25% discount!

App Idea

In the mean time, sign up to get a free preview section of the course.

The preview covers the foundation of a successful app: the idea. It also talks about how you can think outside the box to find a business model that may work better than the dying 99 cent model. I would love to get your feedback on the preview to help me make the final course better.

Win a free copy of the course

Tweet a link to the App Making website for a chance to win one of three full App Making Course packages. I will contact the winners on Tuesday.

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