Hey, Where’d He Go?

Just in case you missed it earlier:

  • Dapple Lite is now available on the App Store for Free! iTunes Link
  • Dapple is now on sale for 40% off (That’s $2.99 in the US and Canada) iTunes Link

I hadn’t realised that it had been four days since my last post! Yikes, where has the time gone? There are a couple of reasons for my recent absence:

1) I’ve spent a lot of time this week replying to all the emails I received over the past week or two;
2) I spent the last two days preparing my taxes.

I have a meeting with my accountant on Monday to do my taxes for 2008 and so I started going through my books on Wednesday to make sure I had everything in order. It was at this point that I made a discovery about the way I’d been tracking my expenses: I wasn’t tracking all the GST I spent separately from my expenses (GST is Canada’s federal sales tax, for those of you reading this from elsewhere). I thought I had registered my business with the “Quick Method” for remitting GST, but it turns out I was registered under the “Normal Method”, which means I need to calculate how much GST I collected/paid out differently. When I looked at my spreadsheets I realised that I couldn’t easily rework them to include all this new information the way I had them laid out. I had the brilliant idea to create a quick (haha) database that would allow me to track my expenses and income and then spit out handy reports for my accountant.

The problem was: I decided to use NeoOffice (based on OpenOffice) and their Base program. When I was in university I had a co-op job one term where I built massive databases for a telecom company using Microsoft Access. I figured Base would have similar features. What followed was two days of me struggling to create the simplest of databases and trying to figure out how the hell to make a form or a report in that piece of junk. There is so little documentation, it’s not even funny. In the end, I couldn’t even make it do what I wanted; I ended up generating a report that had most of what I wanted, copying and pasting the result into a spreadsheet, then using the spreadsheet to do all the summing. Next year? I’m buying accounting software. This was ridiculous. What a waste of time.

Ok, that’s enough ranting about databases. Dapple stuff…

Dapple Lite has been out since Monday afternoon and I’ve been pleased with the results so far. Placing Dapple on sale seems to have helped sales also. It’s hard to separate which is having more of an effect (the sale or the Lite version), because they both happened about the same time. Given that I have less than a week of data, I’m not ready to release any quantity numbers, but I’ve found some interesting statistics.

Dapple Lite has some simple analytics in it: it doesn’t collect any personal information, but I can see what kind of games people play, and whether or not they click my “Buy Dapple” buttons. Of the information I have so far, here’s some neat data:

  • For every 10 games of Classic mode that are played, only 1 game of Timed mode is played
    • I’m curious what this means…are people not liking Classic mode enough to try Timed mode? Are people making a decision to buy the game based solely on Classic mode?
  • For every 10 plays of the game, 1 person clicks a “Buy Dapple” button
    • I’m really surprised with how high this number is. 10% of the people who download the Lite version click through to the App Store to see the full version
  • For every 100 downloads of Dapple Lite, I seem to get 2-3 sales
    • I’m very pleased with a 2-3% conversion rate, as this seems quite high to me. To me, this tells me that the Lite version is doing its job well.

Like I said, I don’t have enough data to draw any conclusions yet. However, I’m definitely pleased with the conversion rate. So I’m thinking that now my challenge is to find ways to get more people to download the Lite version.

I watched a documentary on CBC TV last night on “The Food Revolution”. One of the segments was on how some of the big players in the food production industry do marketing. It made me realise how lucky I am to be producing a product that doesn’t have any manufacturing costs or have a need for physical shelf space. A potato chip manufacturer was saying that the minimum order for the bags that he puts his chips into is 100,000 units, which costs $12,000. Before he’s even made any chips he’s out $12K!

The marketing is also crazy. Some of these companies pay 10’s of thousands of dollars just to get their product put in a good place on a supermarket shelf. They were also saying that 90% of new food products fail. 90%! That means if you spend $50K, or $100K, or more, to get your product onto store shelves, you’ve got a 1 in 10 chance of keeping it there. And I thought trying to sell on the App Store was hard!