Under the Radar

Under the Radar 59: Launch Day Diary


  hi so it is about 8:30 in the morning on

  December 21st this is going to be

  something a little bit different than we

  usually do

  today I am launching a new app it's an

  app called workouts plus plus though

  that this point the world doesn't know

  that just a few friends and beta testers

  know that and I thought it would be

  interesting to have a little running

  diary throughout the day of what it

  feels like and what I'm doing on the

  launch day at this point I'm in the

  terror phase I think is and terror and

  self-doubt face off this we're in about

  half an hour or so I'm expecting to do

  the actual launching part the app this

  kind of approved and ready to go

  pending developer release and 19s

  connect and so in about a half an hour

  I've said about nine by nine a.m.

  Eastern it's the time that I'd planned

  to do my initial initial launch it is a

  little bit terrifying obviously to put

  that out in the world to not really know

  how it's gonna be received to not really

  know if people are gonna like it and

  while my national feedback and responses

  in for a positive if you just never know

  and I've been you know I've done this

  enough times to know that this feeling

  is normal and natural to be kind of

  terrified and doubting yourself and like

  this is a good idea is everyone gonna

  hate it this is just normal and this is

  part of it okay that's where I am I've

  got everything I need for the launch

  ready at this point in terms of I have a

  blog post written I have a couple of

  this year that actually did it were this

  for this launch and it actually did a

  couple of YouTube videos kind of walk

  through the app and those are already

  and so this is in just like the wait the

  waiting phase where I'm just kind of

  waiting for 9 o'clock to roll around and

  getting more and more anxious as we go

  anyway like I said this is gonna be an

  interesting I'm not sure if this will

  work where this will go but I just

  thought it'd be interesting to record a

  couple of little snippets and you'll be

  just throughout the day checking in

  saying how things are going and how I'm

  feeling and that's useful all right so

  now it is about 8:45 and I'm going

  through the process of setting up what I

  kind of call like Mission Control for

  launch so I've got

  I'm Twitter over here I've got my

  helpdesk system over here there's an

  arranging windows all over my screen

  usually if I had a server component I'd

  have all the server log but there's no

  server component for workouts plus plus

  so there's nothing there I've got a

  terminal window where I will be

  launching my blog post from I've got the

  app store open I've got the affiliate

  program console up like a little thing

  you can put affiliate links in your

  iTunes Links I have that up because it

  has a real time data feature it isn't

  sure you died purchases in real time but

  it shows you links actually getting into

  the App Store in real time so I have

  that that up which is just kind of like

  it's really bad for my sanity but good

  for my curiosity I'm so I have that up

  and running and I just kind of have all

  these windows set up just so that I can

  kind of sit there and also I just

  recently just wrote down a checklist

  because there's inevitably as I get more

  and more kind of anxious and excited

  about this I'm gonna forget steps that I

  want to do think of things that I want

  to places I want to put things or steps

  things that I need to make sure are like

  turned on now that the app is turned on

  and so I have a little to-do list now

  just written down on a piece of paper in

  front of me and as I think of things I

  write it down so I'd have to remember it

  in a moment all right it's 851 and I

  realized something that I'm should

  probably mention too that's a bit silly

  but something that I do nevertheless I'm

  wearing my like I don't know if I'd call

  my shipping uniform but I have a

  particular like pair of set of clothes

  that I'd let I like to wear on days that

  I've shipped things look as I'm

  particularly superstitious like that's

  not really for that reason it's just

  like I have such positive associations

  with this outfit that I feel happier if

  I wear it and so it makes you know on a

  day when it's a bit more stressful it's

  it's nice and so it's my I have what I

  call my captain america daring fireball

  shirt which is the grey one with just

  the star in the middle no with no words

  and on top of that I have my 2010 WWDC

  makes you called like the light cloth

  jacket I'm making with that and that

  sort of uniform is I have a lot of

  positive associations with it I've liked

  worn it on you know various occasions

  that I've worked out well for me and

  then I have kind of nice feelings with

  so it's like this is kind of funny when

  I'm getting dressed this morning that I

  feel like I don't like some kind of

  major league pitcher so

  one who like has a particular thing that

  they need to do it's like that you know

  I'd be fine if I didn't launch in my a

  my shipping outfit but it is something

  that I wear nevertheless all right about

  eight minutes to go all right it's 853

  now I probably shouldn't care as much

  about this as I do home but I've just

  been spending the last few minutes just

  writing and rewriting the tweet that I'm

  gonna send to like kind of announce it

  it's amazingly how difficult writing

  like 120 characters description is or

  you wanted to be short and punchy and

  attention-grabbing but concise like

  right now I have just I'm delighted to

  introduce workouts plus plus a fully

  customizable workout app for the Apple

  watch I think is what I want to mention

  a link to this to the app in the store

  I said go make it too wordy or

  complicated then it's harder for people

  to scan and really all I want people to

  do is click on that link so I want to

  keep it like short and punchy and then

  have them like here go and look at this

  if they want it but you know never as

  much so much thought and put into just

  hundred twenty characters is 8:59

  watching a clock tick the seconds

  towards nine o'clock if anything about

  launching an app is that it's actually

  kind of anticlimactic because like you

  hit the button to release it out into

  the world and then it doesn't actually

  go out into the world right away there's

  always this lag and caching delay that

  happens in the App Store and so you kind

  of hit go and then you just kind of sit

  around for hopefully a few minutes you

  know sometimes it can be a purse which

  is a nightmare but hopefully it'll just

  be a few hours

  like a few minutes like 15 20 minutes or

  something like that but see here we go

  it is now 859 so 10 9 8 7 gosh 6 5 4 3 2

  1 and it's 9 o'clock so the app is now

  on its way to being released and out in

  the world

  oh wow all right

  we'll check back in whenever they have

  actually seems to have propagated in the

  App Store so I'm just gonna be sitting

  there constantly refreshing the App

  Store trying the link that I got from

  iTunes Connect and just keep trying it

  until it works I guess now I know 9 a.m.

  and I'm just sitting here reading the

  word item not available the item you've

  requested is not currently available in

  the US App Store over and over and over

  again I just keep hitting refresh

  waiting for it to propagate which I knew

  would happen but is frustrating and

  annoying nevertheless it's one of these

  tricky things or I think like should I

  have you know like hit the button to

  release like a while ago but then you

  have other issues cuz then it's like out

  in the world but you're not really like

  responsive and on top of it so I think

  this is probably the best way to do it

  and hopefully it just doesn't take too

  long but I will say reading the you know

  your item is not available over and over

  and over again is a little bit

  frustrating ooh

  the not available has been replaced with

  a loading label with a spinner that

  doesn't end so that seems like progress

  ok 9:13 a.m. it is now loading correctly

  on the iPhone but not in iTunes so we

  are getting closer probably any minute

  now alright

  9:17 a.m. and the moment has come I'm

  about to publish my blog posts um send

  out my tweets and sit back and see what


  it's it's a real thing now I guess it's

  like crossing the Rubicon can come back

  which is good and bad like good in the

  sense that it will finally be out there

  like when you work on something for so

  long it's you get so in your head about


  and go back go back and forth about if

  it's good if it's bad what people will

  think you know and now you're actually

  getting to the point that it's like it

  is what it is it'll either be good or it

  won't be and we'll find out in a moment

  so here I am I'm sending out the tweets

  publishing the blog posts

  and we're away Wow

  all right let's see what happens okay

  9:24 a.m. he show her reactions are a

  bit I don't even know what it is it's

  like it's always so weird when you get

  like you start getting questions back

  which is great like I gave to young

  people interested in Yap trying it out

  it's like overall I'd say generally

  positive the first 10 minutes the

  obviously 10 minutes doesn't really make

  an app but it's definitely just kind of

  a wait and see I guess you know in

  general I think it's an app like this so

  workouts list is all about like if this

  highly customizable workout app so it's

  like if you need it or you'll you know

  if you're the kind of person who would

  use it you'll know it and if not it's

  like no use to you which is definitely

  something that I think I'm seeing 9/3 -

  um yeah no it's just out in the world


  God had my first review published about

  it on Mac stories which is always a bit

  of a an honor I mean it's the best way

  to say it it's like it's it's just crazy

  to read someone yeah sort of give a

  thoughtful rundown of your app how they

  use it how they come on how they like it

  and in this case it was a very positive

  review which is super cool to hear I

  will say I always read those reviews

  that with the in the back of my mind

  there's just a little bit of

  apprehension just because you know you

  just it's like you look you never want

  to if they miss something or they don't

  like it like there's always that kind of

  funny thing but I mean in this case it

  was it was lovely and uh John for he's

  wrote it and it was very kind but it is

  always kind of funny to read now I just

  kind of sit back and wait we would think

  about putting an app out into the world

  is that there's honestly not much to be

  done in the near term is much you know

  something you're flooded with book

  reports or problems or issues but so far

  so good

  now also starts the period where I'll

  start refreshing the top chart

  um kind of compulsively even though they

  they tend to take a long long time it's

  actually update so like not showing up

  therefore even like a day doesn't really

  mean anything in terms of your first day

  sales but especially given that the app

  is kind of expensive I mean Spencer but

  I guess depends on what you mean it's

  four dollars now it'll be five dollars

  after January 2nd but there's a good

  chance it won't rank too high in that

  kind of way cuz I thought I it's not

  gonna have quite the same volume but I

  know nevertheless let's just sit there

  refreshing those pages over and over

  again hoping to see it show up okay it

  is now 10 o'clock so about an hour since

  the app hit the App Store things are


  mad about what I would have expected

  maybe hope for from honest I kind of

  wish to be a little bit more interested

  in the app but I mean who knows also

  there's so many confounding variables

  it's like the week before Christmas

  people are probably on vacation more

  which is you know it's fine it's I want

  you at this time of year just because

  obviously it's a good thing for New

  Year's resolutions and that type of

  thing I put in 70 a slower time so

  there's not quite as much attention

  perhaps of everything to say like it's a

  bit presumptuous to be like oh I don't

  deserve all this attention but

  nevertheless you know that's certainly

  how I you know you always hope for a lot

  but you know the response has been

  positive it's been kind of fun going

  back and forth with people on Twitter

  about you know what their hopes are for

  the absent expectations' has you said

  somebody who said that they might be

  using it soon to when they go and run a


  um which I've Qaid the app quite a lot

  and I've you know had some pretty long

  running workouts to test it out it is a

  little bit terrifying to me of someone

  using my app while they go out and and

  and run a marathon just in case

  something did happen to go wrong but you

  know certainly encouraging nevertheless

  that they like the concept that mindset

  that's what they would do okay so it's

  about 10:30 and things are settling down

  I was asked just on Twitter if there

  were any questions people had

  or what launched a app that I thought

  might be interesting to address um you

  know in this little I guess

  audio diary um had someone ask how do I

  time things given how unreliable app

  store propagation can be and you just

  kind of guess in my experience is

  usually pretty good and you just kind of

  hope for the best

  I found them it's better to manually

  release an app at a particular time so

  in this case I released at nine o'clock

  that's generally better than releasing

  it earlier and then like like the night

  before which has some benefits then you

  just have have this out in the world

  when you're not really able to be

  responsive to customers or problems or

  issues or promotion and so in general I

  prefer to not put it out too much before

  I've definitely done something where

  rather than like this morning I did it

  at nine o'clock I've definitely done it

  at like 7:00 in the morning right in the

  morning East Coast time then you have a

  bit more control over it but you just

  kind of hope for the best honestly and

  sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't

  I had someone ask about I kind of

  initial wave of feedback you get which

  is interesting like it's definitely this

  buzzing in this curse where you kind of

  you a you find out the gaps in your app

  you know so obviously the things and

  rooby-roo and moreover the gaps in your

  communication about your app so like the

  biggest feedback that you get if you

  someone asks you if your app has a

  feature that it does have then in some

  ways you've clue like somewhere in your

  marketing is you haven't been clear

  about how how the app works or features

  and so it's good to get that feedback so

  you can update your your marketing

  otherwise you just great to hear from

  people because you get this reaction

  about you know it's like you can no

  matter how much you think about an app a

  head of time

  it's definitely always coming at it from

  your perspective in your view and you

  start to get other people's perspective

  with like things they would like I mean

  and my favorite feedback always is

  I love the app I wish it did neck's

  because that is a coming from a place of

  like they're you know they're using it

  in a way that you know they like it they

  like it this much of it and then they

  wish did this other thing though the

  reality is that kind of feedback

  especially for an app like a workout zap

  is really the quality version of that is

  really going to be coming in the next

  week or so after people actually use it

  for workouts because I think the workout

  app is like those people have hopefully

  downloaded it and you know they're not

  really gonna know if it works for them

  until they've gone out and done it a few

  times and see other questions how am i

  coordinating with the press if I'm

  honest I mean I have a couple people who

  I know in the press who I every shout to

  this time of year like I was saying a

  little bit ago it's a really tricky time

  I think because people are so tied up

  with a lot of end of your stuff and so

  it from a press perspective I has not

  been a particularly full um like

  full-court press in that way like it's

  very much more of just like a I've

  reached out a few people I know I'm

  making sure that I'm very available like

  if somebody emails me or tweets me or we

  stood out to me in any way I'd be very

  responsive but I'm not really be doing

  anything more than that I had someone

  ask if it so I wrote this app and Swift

  if I expect to continue doing that going

  forward I do I expect to write all my

  new apps in Swift from here on out

  getting into the reasons why itself

  would be a whole other would be a whole

  episode unto itself but I expect to do

  it mostly it's like the short version is

  this is clearly where I was going and if

  this is where I'm gonna set up my 10 to

  make my living and I noosed need to it's

  like get on board of that whether it's

  my preference or my ideal or not it's

  kind of completely irrelevant and

  ultimately I just need to get on the bus

  because otherwise I'll get left behind

  all right is now 11:05 so flowers after

  launch and I'm gonna walk away for my

  computer it is a kind of funny thing

  when you just I don't even know how to

  describe the feeling of just this it's

  just like things a nervous energy like

  bubbling around like just sort of like

  you keep checking things even though

  there's something really changing like

  okay I can see right now there have been


  519 clicks on one of the links that I

  put out there okay that's great now I

  can read I can reload it and see there

  five hundred fifty-eight oh there's more

  people but like that doesn't mean

  anything it's kind of meaningless and so

  I'm just sitting here refreshing things

  that don't really matter of change and

  so this is usually the part of the

  morning where I will be like okay I need

  to get up and walk around

  I guess maybe what I really should do

  since I made a workout app maybe I

  should go for a walk and start a workout

  running while I do it

  all right now it's about one o'clock and

  things are just settling down probably

  I'd say I'm sort of I was how do you get

  actually take a break from watching and

  monitoring everything one trick I do

  usually try to they went and had lunch

  with my family upstairs I work from home

  and so it's pretty no something I can do

  every now and then but especially on the

  launch day it's nice to take a step back

  from the computer and kind of force

  myself to not just watch numbers

  changing that was good and now it's just

  sort of settling in getting a lot of

  feedback in the lieutenant the way you

  expect and one thing I will say that

  I've definitely learned is to try to be

  very careful about what you say how much

  take is easy to kind of be like someone

  has two features I guess of course that

  that that that - of course

  and instead you try and just be a bit

  more thoughtful like services some of

  the things people are asking for are

  things that I was expecting to do anyway

  and so it's not a problem to say like it

  but some you know on the roadmap on

  Sameer I'm working on something I'm

  doing but it is you know definitely

  don't get too carried away it's probably

  some good advice oh yeah from here all

  the things I'll probably settle down a

  bit I'll probably check in once or twice

  more in the day but you know now things

  are out and it's just sort of in the

  world I still keep checking the App

  Store and haven't showed up in any of

  the charts which is fine I guess it's

  always a bit discouraging because it's

  like he'd ever really he's like the

  reason I want to show up in the charts

  it's mostly just like or is anybody

  actually buying it because you never

  really know until you show up in the

  charts but all indications point to you

  that that is something that is happening

  so I'm not too worried but I will

  definitely feel better once I see

  universe you know one hundred and

  fiftieth like all the way at the bottom

  with the charge but it's just kind of

  that last confirmation step all right it

  is now 2:45 and I finally started

  showing up in the charts the app

  appeared first at 53 in the top paid

  chart for the health and fitness

  category which is completely meaningless

  and utterly useless because absolute

  means nothing to me I have no idea what

  I mean sales wise and because as best I

  can tell like sales are kind of sliding

  have moving average scales the situation

  thing it doesn't really mean anything at

  all but it means one thing and one thing

  that makes me very glad it means that at

  least one person has bought the app

  because you wouldn't rank at all if that

  is not the case well I would say I kind

  of knew that someone had bought the app

  there is something assuring about that

  and nice and so it's kind of cool you

  know 53 hopefully it inches its way up

  at this point and you know kind of kind

  of peeks a little bit higher than that

  hopefully but we'll see you know I've

  never really know where where to go with

  an app like this it's paid upfront which

  I did largely because I figure if you

  have an Apple watch in order for the app

  this have to be useful to you like

  you're an arrow or group and then if you

  don't want to use the built-in workout

  app like you're even narrower still and

  so like my addressable market is just so

  much narrower that in order for it to

  make any sense financially I need to do

  you know sort of have a reasonable a

  reasonably high price and so I went with

  paid upfront which certainly slows

  things down a little bit but encouraging

  to see certainly that it's you know that

  it's up and it's ranking and now you can

  just kind of keep an eye on things and

  see where they go from here all right

  and now I think it is time has come to

  wind down this audio diary of today and

  kind of close out with a my last few

  kind of closing thoughts now the app is

  out it's successful there weren't any

  crazy bugs or issues or things and so

  overall it was a pretty good day before

  I kind of wrap up with my closing

  thoughts in summary I would like to

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  okay so closing thoughts about today

  it's a weird thing to say but overall I

  would say that I'm like I'm glad the

  launch was went well was successful like

  it did what it you know it like it went

  as well as could be expected from a

  technical perspective the response is

  all been for the positive you never know

  if you're gonna get a lot of negativity

  on launch day and I haven't thankfully I

  haven't had any of that if I'm totally

  in like brutally honest as myself I I do

  think I'm slightly disappointed just in

  terms of the volume of response it's a

  weird thing to say like yeah I'm sure

  you know it's like it's it's doing well

  but I think in the run-up sure to

  launching an app you put so much time

  and energy and effort into it that you

  always kind of you you can start

  getting ahead of yourself and started

  sort of having these kind of wild

  expectations or dreams about something

  and it's gonna be hard for those to be

  realized in a practical way especially

  you know in the modern app store and

  with kind of the constraints on it and

  the time of year and all kinds of things

  I mean it's always gonna be a lot of

  excuses or explanations that I could

  come up with for why went as it did um

  this is a bit early to it's just the

  first few few hours I mean the APIs only

  been out in the world for a couple of

  hours but you know you kind of want that

  first launch to feel good and you know

  like I said it's I'm not disappointed in

  so far as like it went nowhere

  but you always kind of in the back of

  your mind maybe have this hope of it

  just kind of running away from you and

  being bigger than you expect it's like

  and I wouldn't say like I'm underwhelmed

  by the response but maybe I'm just like

  exactly whelmed like this was I'm not

  over or under what I was expecting it

  was to serve right there which is in a

  weird its own weird way disappointing

  but I'm not disappointed if that makes

  any sense

  oh yeah so we'll see where we go from

  here now begins the actual process of

  collecting all this feedback taking it

  in and analysing it working at what

  makes sense to make changes in the

  applications coming back and working on

  all of my other applications that have

  been kind of a bit of more of a holding

  pattern as I focus so much on workouts

  plus plus though for monitor I won't

  start that until tomorrow just because

  I'm a bit fried after today it's just a

  lot of emotional and it's a sort of

  anxious energy that gets goes through

  you that I doubt it would be any good

  and actually developing but yeah that's

  not this is what a launch day looks like

  hopefully that was useful or interesting

  to you um obviously this is a very

  different episode than we normally do

  under the radar

  you know Marco is not even here but we

  thought it would be something that we

  interesting to do and to talk about and

  to try something new

  both as a creator I can say that it's

  always fun to do something new and

  different just because it is allows me

  to kind of get outside of what I

  normally do and try something hopefully

  as an audience you find is useful as

  well but otherwise you know probably

  back to a normally scheduled programming

  next week but

  now we have or cosmos Plus out in the

  world if you list all the way to this

  and you want to check out the Apple

  that'll have a link to it in the show

  notes it's a workout tracker for the

  Apple watch that I'm quite fond of as

  you may have guessed and if you do any

  kind of working outs and want some

  customization it's a great waste place

  to do that alright thank you so much for

  listening bye