As you may have read, POOP THE WORLD started out as a series of hilarious text messages describing post poop creation. We thought it was pretty funny and were getting a little tired of typing on our old school phones so the idea was to build an app. Can’t be that hard, right? We downloaded the free Apple SDK and messed around with it for a few days and as we are not programmers we learned that for what we wanted to accomplish, you really need some technical know-how. We thought, let’s ask our buddies to build something for us on the weekend and we’ll buy them a case of beer. Long story short, if a case of beer costs $24, we’ve bought 3750 thus far to get this thing going ($90k).
Now, you may be thinking, OMG that’s way overpriced, and you’re probably right. But we think we have a great idea and it was important for us to do this app using only the best (keep in mind there are also SR & ED credits available so we can recoup some of that from the government.). We contracted with Atimi as they were A) recommended by Apple and have produced solid, high-profile apps and B) they were right in our backyard and C) had the capacity to take our project on and were 100% focused on delivery date. We also needed a brand and to do this we also went first class in hiring Engine Digital. Coincidentally they are located right near the Atimi guys and they produced the smart, stylized, and sharp art / branding within the app as well as the compelling website. They also deserve props for conceptualizing the Global Poop Leaderboard on the web feature which is highly addictive. These guys could also handle our sophisticated device-to-server-to-web poop tracking GPS technology.
We could go on in detail about the whole process but for all of you who are thinking of developing an app, here are a few things we came across:
- Google Maps license: This came from left field part way through our project and the $10k price tag was a shock. To get around this we had to change the design so that the app kicks you out to the Maps app on the device in order to view individual poops taken. Not ideal but when 3.0 comes out we will be able to revert to our original design.
- Build a contingency into your budget: We were smart to do this and we needed every cent.
- If you are building an app and are in Canada, the government offers funding in the form of what’s called SR & ED credits. This is only if your app pushed the boundaries of technological advancement and in our case, the complex device-to-server-to-web poop tracking GPS technology falls into that category. Obviously there is no other poop tracking GPS app on the market but even if that was not our subject matter, the process by which we derive data from the device, interpret it, and surface it in the phone (and the phones of other users), and on the web, is complicated. We expect to get between 15% – 30% of costs back. VERY HELPFUL.
- Email solicitation: The app also has “Send Poop to a Friend” and “Send Trophy to a Friend” email functionality. Along with allowing users to share their experience through email, we also saw this as an opportunity to help promote our app and hopefully spur some “viral” growth. One downside to this was that we were not able to auto-populate an email from the user’s personal account on the device, meaning that when sending these ‘iPoop’ emails they will often grabbed by junk mail filters.
- Apple approval: We’ll write more about this in a later post but we were surprised that this is such a mysterious process. Our app was rejected initially for violating a ‘profanity’ policy so we removed things like a poop called “Spare Ox Nipples”, a poop called “Broken Glass” (had bits of blood imagery), and a fragrance called “Dead Horses Genitals”. This seemed to do the trick and we were approved on the second go-around. We found that you can expect between 5 – 10 business days for approval or rejection and if rejected, don’t expect any kind of explanation. Our developers who have a relationship with Apple couldn’t even get us a firm explanation.
- App promotion: We’ll follow up with another post on this but broadly, with over 30k apps in the store, launching an app can be like a drop in the bucket. We’re still plugging along with promotions and we have some big things coming up, but this is one of the most important areas for you to consider.
We have just completed our first week on iTunes, and it has been really exciting to see users pop up all over the globe, from across Europe, Australia and South America. We are seeing the beginnings of a global network which shares one common trait….they all have iPhones!
Tags: american, app review, apple, appleiphoneapps.com, application, applications, australia, best app, blog, blogger, ifart, iphone, iphone apps, ipod, ipoop, itouch, itunes, launching an iphone app, poop the world, ptw, scotland, south america, sws digital, the reality of launching an iphone app