Developing Perspective

#217: The Brand.


00:00:00   Hello and welcome to Developing Perspective. Developing Perspective is a podcast discussing

00:00:04   news of note in iOS development, Apple and the like. I'm your host, David Smith. I'm an independent

00:00:08   iOS developer based in Herne, Virginia. This is show number 217. And today is Friday, May 1st.

00:00:15   Developing Perspective is never longer than 15 minutes. So let's get started.

00:00:19   So first and foremost, I just wanted to mention something that I am kind of excited to announce.

00:00:26   So I'm going to be doing the Developing Perspective t-shirts again this year.

00:00:30   I decided after last week, last week if you remember on the show, I was like,

00:00:33   "I'm not sure if I'm going to do it."

00:00:34   I went back and forth and that was kind of the impetus of the whole episode talking about "Hustle."

00:00:38   And in the end, I went back and forth on it and I decided, "You know what? I'm going to do them again."

00:00:42   Because I enjoy it. And if I enjoy it, I should do it.

00:00:45   And the thing that I enjoy most, and the reason I'm just going to unpack that quickly,

00:00:49   is there is one of the most exciting and fun things that happens to me every time I go to WWDC.

00:00:56   And this coming June I will be there, I have a ticket, and I will be attending the conference and be in San Francisco for the entire week.

00:01:02   It's whenever I've seen somebody wearing a Developing Perspective t-shirt.

00:01:07   This will be the third year that I've done it.

00:01:09   The first year I had a coffee mug, underscore, square brackets.

00:01:14   And this year I'm going to be having the same blue shirts, and I'm just going to say "Happy Coding" on it.

00:01:18   on that, which if you are a long time listener,

00:01:20   you'll know that's how I sign off every show.

00:01:23   And I thought it would make a really good design for a t-shirt

00:01:25   as well, because part of what we do every day is coding.

00:01:29   And if you're going to code, well, you

00:01:30   may as well do it happily.

00:01:31   So happy coding is the shirt that I'm making this year.

00:01:34   But I mentioned that one of the things I love is seeing people

00:01:37   wearing it.

00:01:37   And there's a funny reason in some ways why that's happening,

00:01:42   why that's so exciting, why I love seeing people wear

00:01:44   the shirt.

00:01:45   Because obviously there's some part of it

00:01:47   That's just cool, right?

00:01:48   I see somebody wearing something that's related to something that I've done.

00:01:52   Now for almost four years, I've done this podcast.

00:01:54   And seeing somebody who's obviously then a listener, a supporter, somebody who thought

00:01:59   it would be worthwhile to go out and purchase a shirt, that's exciting.

00:02:02   But one thing I love more than anything else about that is I feel complete and utter lack

00:02:09   of restraint in going out and introducing myself to that person, tracking them down

00:02:13   and saying, "Hi.

00:02:14   I see you."

00:02:15   It's like, "Nice shirt."

00:02:17   obviously I know that they're a listener, that they know who I am, that that interaction

00:02:21   is not going to be kind of a funny one.

00:02:24   And I love being able to do that because I love sitting down and talking to people and

00:02:28   just randomly meeting people during the week of WWDC especially and obviously at conferences

00:02:32   more generally who have listened to the show for a long time, who have hopefully taken

00:02:38   something from it and I love hearing their experiences.

00:02:41   And so I'm happy to announce that I will again be doing WWDC shirts.

00:02:45   Like I said, it's a blue American apparel t-shirt.

00:02:48   It says "Happy Coding" on the front.

00:02:49   I think it looks quite nice.

00:02:50   And thankfully, this year versus the previous years,

00:02:53   where it was kind of this more complicated underscore,

00:02:55   followed by some kind of geeky reference,

00:02:58   this one is, I think, a bit more generally applicable.

00:03:00   I think most people are going to understand it.

00:03:02   And it's not like you're going to get the strange questions

00:03:04   that I've heard people get when they wear their underscore

00:03:07   square bracket shirt out in the regular world,

00:03:09   and they're checking out their groceries,

00:03:11   and their checkout clerk is like, what does that mean?

00:03:14   And it's a bit hard to explain.

00:03:15   So that's how you do it.

00:03:16   I'm doing it again on Teespring.

00:03:18   So if you go to teespring.com/happy-coding,

00:03:20   or there'll be a link in the show notes,

00:03:22   you can get a shirt there.

00:03:24   The campaign will run for the next couple weeks

00:03:26   and should ship in time for WWDC,

00:03:28   if that's where you're going to be.

00:03:30   And if you do wear this shirt at WWDC,

00:03:32   and if you excuse me for a moment while I get a little bit

00:03:34   Liam Neeson on you, if you wear this shirt at WWDC and I see you,

00:03:39   I will find you.

00:03:40   And I will give you a big high five.

00:03:43   the highest of fives that I can manage because it's exciting.

00:03:46   And I look forward to seeing people.

00:03:47   And so I would encourage you, if you

00:03:49   are a long-time listener or a short-time listener

00:03:51   or just someone who wants to support the show,

00:03:53   it's the one sort of thing I do each year to do it.

00:03:57   It's not necessarily for the cost of it.

00:03:59   The shirts are $1,459.

00:04:02   Because the show is never longer than 15 minutes, $1,459

00:04:05   seems to be the perfect price for it.

00:04:08   And yeah, so that's it.

00:04:10   There's those developing perspective shirts.

00:04:13   Next, I'm going to talk briefly just a little bit about WatchKit

00:04:15   and WatchApp stuff.

00:04:17   Obviously, last Friday I got my watch.

00:04:19   It is in Underscore Blue, which is a sport

00:04:24   watch with a blue band.

00:04:25   Which, amusingly, Apple decided to also make the developer

00:04:28   watch.

00:04:29   They had that kind of weird double lottery

00:04:32   to potentially get an early access to a watch

00:04:34   if you didn't have one otherwise.

00:04:36   And they did what I'm going to call the Underscore Blue

00:04:39   watch, which is now the developer watch, which

00:04:41   makes me very happy.

00:04:43   I have it.

00:04:44   I quite enjoy it.

00:04:45   It's kind of cool to finally be able to play with it

00:04:47   and to-- all these apps, if you've

00:04:48   been listening for the last-- what is it?

00:04:51   Almost five, six months since Spotskate was announced

00:04:54   and the Watswers announced.

00:04:55   All the things that I've been thinking about and working on

00:04:57   towards that to finally be able to wear it

00:05:00   and to experience what the apps are like as a result.

00:05:05   And there's a lot of work I have to do,

00:05:07   is probably the honest thing to say.

00:05:08   Like the apps-- I have a link to my show notes,

00:05:10   to all the apps that I've done.

00:05:12   And I'm excited and proud of what I've done with no hardware,

00:05:16   but I'm very much more excited and interested in some

00:05:18   of the ways that I'm going to have

00:05:20   to be adapting my applications and making them better going

00:05:22   forward.

00:05:22   Because now that I actually have it

00:05:24   and I see how it fits into my life,

00:05:26   there's a lot of assumptions I was making or things

00:05:28   that aren't quite right.

00:05:30   And the last little moment of, I guess,

00:05:33   more administrative stuff before I

00:05:35   get into the actual topic for today,

00:05:36   just wanted to let you guys know that the tickets for the release

00:05:39   conference that I think I've mentioned before that I'm

00:05:43   going to be speaking at, which is being put on by Charles

00:05:46   Perry and Joe Jablinski, who do the wonderful podcast release

00:05:49   notes.

00:05:50   It's going to be this October, and I'll be speaking there

00:05:53   and tickets are on sale.

00:05:54   And so if you want to come and hear

00:05:55   me speak for more than 15 minutes,

00:05:57   that's the venue to come and do it in.

00:06:01   All right.

00:06:02   So the main topic for today's show--

00:06:04   and I think I'm just going to unpack for the next whatever's

00:06:07   left of my 15 minutes is a bit of a follow up to last week's show where I was talking

00:06:12   about hustle. And the kind of strange relationship that I can sometimes have with money, and

00:06:18   asking for money and the way that goes, and it's a weird and interesting part of being

00:06:24   an independent business owner, you know, where you are going to part of running a business

00:06:29   is that in many ways, you're going to at some in some way, shape or form be asking people

00:06:32   for money, whether that's advertisers, whether that's customers, whether that sponsors, whatever

00:06:37   that is. Like there is there is some point in running a business if you're

00:06:40   gonna have any income that you're gonna have to ask people for money and talk

00:06:42   through how sometimes that can feel kind of awkward. Sometimes that can be a bit

00:06:46   tricky and I got a lot of positive feedback on that show and whenever I get

00:06:51   the kind of feedback I got it was a lot of people who saying that they were glad

00:06:54   to hear someone talk about it because something that they experienced

00:06:57   themselves that in it's very difficult for them in some ways to you know

00:07:01   commercialize what it is that they're doing but it's important because you

00:07:04   can't run a business if you don't.

00:07:07   And all that thinking also got me thinking

00:07:09   of another interesting part of running an independent--

00:07:13   being an independent business owner,

00:07:14   or at least doing kind of what I do.

00:07:17   And that is the concept of personal branding and brand

00:07:21   in general.

00:07:22   Because a funny thing happens when you are--

00:07:26   you and your business become synonymous.

00:07:28   Like, there is no--

00:07:30   people don't think of me--

00:07:32   when they think of David Smith or my apps,

00:07:34   They think of me.

00:07:35   Like me, underscore David Smith, is the guy who makes the apps.

00:07:40   I don't have a bigger brand or a bigger company

00:07:42   that I'm working for.

00:07:43   It's just me.

00:07:44   And obviously, I have companies.

00:07:45   Like I own a company called Developing Perspective LLC

00:07:48   that I own, and a lot of my apps are run through.

00:07:51   I have other companies that I have for a variety of reasons.

00:07:54   But my primary interaction with people

00:07:59   who know who I am when they're downloading my products

00:08:03   going to be through me, the person.

00:08:05   When people have feedback or comments or questions,

00:08:07   a lot of people reach out to me directly,

00:08:10   on Twitter or an email, with support inquiries and things.

00:08:14   And that creates some very interesting dynamics

00:08:19   and some kind of awkward things in some ways

00:08:21   and some good things in some ways.

00:08:23   And I just kind of wanted to unpack what that looks like

00:08:26   and how I've had to kind of come to grips

00:08:29   to that over the last several years.

00:08:32   So the first thing that I wanted to comment on is that when you become the brand of your

00:08:38   company, then your own personal conduct and people's expectations of you become what people

00:08:45   expect of your business and of your company.

00:08:49   And that's good and that's bad because it's good insofar as people create, you know, have

00:08:56   have a genuine personal connection to me and that personal connection and that feeling

00:09:02   that if there -- when people open a pedometer plus plus and put a tip in the tip jar, the

00:09:09   impression I get from a lot of people is that they are -- they like the thought that they

00:09:14   are supporting me personally with that contribution, with that support.

00:09:20   And that's kind of cool.

00:09:22   That they're able to -- I'm not a faceless company to them.

00:09:25   I'm not this whatever king or candy crush or any of these big nameless companies that

00:09:30   they're supporting.

00:09:31   And in some ways, even honestly, the smaller, very endeared loved companies like Omni or

00:09:38   Panic or people like that, where you don't think of them as people necessarily.

00:09:43   There are people that you know who work there, but they are not the people.

00:09:46   They are the sum of this amalgamation of awesome people, not just a person.

00:09:51   That's kind of cool.

00:09:53   But where it gets a bit complicated is the way in which that means that any public interaction

00:10:00   I have in some ways is tying back to my work, that I can't really separate the two from

00:10:10   each other, that people's expectations and the way they think about me becomes what they

00:10:16   think about my products.

00:10:19   An example of this that is funny, it's something that happens over and over again, is because

00:10:25   I have so many products, a lot of people make comments on a regular basis about how industrious

00:10:30   I am, how hardworking I am, how, wow, I don't know how you do it.

00:10:35   There's so much, you're doing so much work and so little time, wow, that's amazing.

00:10:38   You must be like a really hard worker or really focused and productive.

00:10:45   And that's a nice branding thing, I suppose, in terms of people to think that way of me,

00:10:49   for people to think that, wow, I mean, it's going to maybe it's like, are you sure there's

00:10:52   not more of you?

00:10:53   Or is it just you coding?

00:10:54   Like, is that really possible?

00:10:55   Like, that's really cool to hear.

00:10:58   And it's interesting thing, though, when it's combined with the reality of I see the way

00:11:02   I see myself.

00:11:04   And the thing is, I would say, like the actual honest answer.

00:11:07   I am not a particularly hard worker.

00:11:10   And that's just me being honest on the show, right?

00:11:12   I mean that insofar as I am very lazy in hopefully a productive way, but lazy nevertheless.

00:11:21   I am somebody who gets got to where I am by being able to cut, knowing which corners I

00:11:27   can cut.

00:11:29   And like that laziness manifests itself perhaps as efficiency.

00:11:33   But I'm not somebody who is, I wouldn't characterize myself as hard working.

00:11:37   I have maybe a different, not necessarily a productive view of what that might look

00:11:41   like in someone who is truly genuinely hardworking, but I don't think that's me. I'm somebody

00:11:47   who's easily distracted, who when I hit hard problems often finds ways to avoid them rather

00:11:55   than tackling them head on. And that's just who I am. And I'm not saying it's a bad thing.

00:12:00   Obviously, it's working. I've been able to make a successful business over the last several

00:12:04   years in many ways because of those types of attributes of myself. But it's weird when

00:12:10   people don't necessarily think about me in that way. And so it can kind of create these

00:12:15   odd dynamics where on the one hand, like, I want to promote my business. I want people

00:12:20   to have a positive, encouraging view of what I'm doing. But I also want to be honest. Like,

00:12:25   I don't want to necessarily have to feel like I'm being, like, fake in who I am online or

00:12:31   in person even in some ways. And so it creates a very odd tension that -- because the reality

00:12:38   is whenever you have any kind of online persona or presence, you are always necessarily making

00:12:45   conscious choices on an ongoing basis about what parts of your life you share and in what

00:12:51   light you share those things. You always really are presenting a brand. And if it's yourself,

00:12:59   it's your personal brand. And whether or not you're thinking about that consciously, that

00:13:04   That is what's happening, because unless you are sharing every single moment and every

00:13:08   single thought that you're having, and even then you'd probably still be putting a spin

00:13:12   on it, there's always some choice that you are making about whether or not this is what

00:13:17   the world knows about you or not.

00:13:21   That's functionally branding.

00:13:22   That's what branding is in a lot of ways.

00:13:25   And so when that becomes not just the branding of your products, but the branding of you

00:13:29   personally, it creates some odd tensions.

00:13:33   And it's something that I've just kind of gotten to grips with, I think, in terms of

00:13:37   understanding that I'm just going to accept that the world doesn't have to have a full

00:13:44   and complete understanding of who I am as a person.

00:13:48   That is not my job.

00:13:49   My job is not to present myself in a way that is full and complete and has all the parts

00:13:57   of me that exist.

00:14:00   my friends and family are aware of those parts.

00:14:03   But the world online, it's not to say that I'm trying to be dishonest, but I'm being

00:14:07   intentional.

00:14:08   I have to be thoughtful about that and understand that the things that I do in my online and

00:14:14   personal brand will reflect on my business.

00:14:17   And so it's appropriate and necessary that I'm cautious about that and I'm thoughtful

00:14:22   about that.

00:14:23   And I make choices accordingly.

00:14:26   Understand that there are implications for it.

00:14:28   Hopefully that's helpful.

00:14:29   I don't know.

00:14:29   It was just something that came out

00:14:30   of that hustling discussion that seemed

00:14:32   kind of relevant to think through on the show.

00:14:35   And then it was, that's it for today's show.

00:14:37   As always, questions, comments, concerns, complaints.

00:14:39   You can find me on Twitter.

00:14:40   I'm @_davidsmith there.

00:14:42   Or you can email me, david@developingperspective.com.

00:14:44   Otherwise, I hope you have a great week.

00:14:45   If you have a watch, I hope you're enjoying it.

00:14:47   And happy coding.

00:14:49   I'll talk to you next week.

00:14:50   Happy coding.

00:14:51   You see what I did there?

00:14:52   That's a plug for the shirts.

00:14:54   Bye.