MoneyCoach Diaries is my ongoing journey to turn my indie app into a more sustainable part of my business. First time reading? See what happened until now by tapping this link.
It’s a’ me Mario.
Well, not really, but I couldn’t resist. I loved the game when I was a child.
And yes, I am that old.
Since last month I waited 1 whole month to write and post this, in true startup fashion, I wanted to test 2 special diaries / month. There is so much happening here and so little time to write about it.
So get your coffee, or tea, or Aeropress coffee, if you live in Berlin Mitte ;). And see what happened @ MoneyCoach HQ in the last two weeks.
Things nobody asked for
App Icons. Always working on improving other stuff, when you’re in the middle of working :). Good? Bad? You decide.
First diary feedback
Amazed. Humbled, keep em coming. It motivates me more to do better, for all of you. Thanks again. You are the best. If you spot anything in the app, just let me know.
Down the rabbit hole
New feature has been in the works for a couple of weeks now from ideation, design, development to testing. This x10. Rinse and repeat. The more we test it, the more we find edge cases and other repercussions inside the app.
Take this stupid thing for example. I needed to add a swipe action to account cells, and also a menu command when you right click on the Mac, or tap and hold to show the menu.
The app is using a deprecated API that might poop the pants in future updates. This one needs to be changed as well.
At best, you won’t see any changes :). At worst, some bug or crash. All this for nothing, basically.
Update 1: You will see some subtle changes. Why? Because the old pale blue is pissing us off now and we want to change it app-wide. And we are bringing back button icons as well.
Update 2: I gave the implementation to Krist (a.k.a Michelangelo from the first email). He was complaining about icons being too thin. And we were discussing for 10 mins about this little thing. Then we thought let’s put them inside circles, still outlined. They still don’t look right. Then an idea. Let’s see what Apple does in their apps. As it turns out, and this is the first time I intentionally analyse and see it, Apple uses filled variants of these icons. We changed it and the app looks and feels right.
Update 3: Since we have nothing better to do or more important to work on [hint: we actually do :)], Krist mentioned other parts of the app where we have swiping on cells. Budgets. Transactions. Categories. Subcategories. I could leave it as it is, but now the OCD money in my head is fighting me and the unsettling feeling is not leaving me alone. Let’s see who wins.
New Features. New Bugs. Old Bugs.
As you already know from the previous month, we are still working on the new feature that will be released very soon. What is especially tricky for a product that’s been on the market for more than 7 years now, is integrating new features into an existing running system. And no matter how hard we try to predict and project stuff, there is always something that happens in the last minute. And to fix that takes days or weeks then. Update 1: After spending one additional week on testing, developing, fixing and testing this feature, we finally released.
If you happen to be a founder or work in a small independent company or have your own product, there is a chance you feel the same way. Some days things look like they are going in the right direction. You are happy and you are motivated to develop every single imaginable feature that your users want. Then the sun sets and the next morning you get the weekly report from the App Store. Red everywhere. A blood bath of numbers. Even after all these years it gets to you. I have developed a hard skin due to failures and things not going as planned, but still.
To make things worse, our own Michelangelo transforms into Wednesday (Netflix anyone?) and articulates 2-3 sentences that make you question your existence. All I am trying to say is that there is drama and emotions every day when building a product you care about.
A Beacon of Light. Or the headlights of a truck?
We made some changes to the product and to our offering last month. We added this delicious newsletter together with the onboarding emails you already received. As I mentioned, every indicator was doing worse. Only subscriber numbers went up. Now this might be just because of January. We will have to see. I really hope that people will stay long enough with the app to get real value from it. Usually after you implement big changes in your business or product, there is a lights-out period. Then a positive glimpse starts to appear far away. I just hope that this time it would be a beacon of light and not the headlights of a truck heading toward us.
Wow you made it this far! You either have a big cup of coffee, tea, whatever. Or you just care about us, just like we care about you. Thanks either way.
If you know Chinese or know someone who does, please let me know. We want to improve the Chinese translations.
And hit me up on Twitter with your questions, concerns, ideas.
That’s all folks.
Lots of love from Berlin,