Matt Ronge

Cofounder of Astropad and Luna Display

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How churn can limit your subscription business

Or how you can estimate subscriptions revenue with a leaky bucket

Given Apple’s push behind App Store subscriptions and the number of apps that have made the switch like DayOne, Ulysses, 1Password, and our very own Astropad Studio, if you’re an app developer you should take a serious look at subscriptions. Now switching to subscriptions isn’t a panacea, it’s a much more complex business model that pays off over the long haul. To get a grasp subscriptions and make reasonable revenue estimates you’ll need to get a handle on things like LTV (Life Time Value), Churn, MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue), and Trial-To-Paid conversion. For this post, I want to focus on churn, which is the percentage of users that cancel their subscription in a given time frame, typically a month. In fact, churn has a direct effect on the total number of possible subscribers you can have. Let me explain…

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Managing your psychology as an indie dev

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from building and launching Astropad is this: managing your own psychology is your most difficult but also most critical task as an indie developer.

When you’re working for someone else, it’s easy to blame your negativity and lack of productivity on problems around you. You might have found yourself thinking: “I’d get more done if I had an actual office that was quiet.” Or, “These product decisions are terrible, I’m so not motivated to work on this.”

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Mac apps are harder than iOS apps

I’m a long time Mac developer who started with Objective-C in 2000 on Mac OS X Public Beta (remember how slow that thing was!) and I’ve cut my teeth on numerous Mac projects. However, for the last couple years nearly all of my projects have been on iOS. So I was surprised when a recent project brought me back to the Mac and I discovered how finicky Cocoa really is. I was particularly shocked because I always remembered Cocoa as a particularly nice set of APIs. Where things are easy to do on iOS, making customizations can be rage inducing with Cocoa, especially when it comes to custom controls:

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Apple, is USB allowed now?

In the wake of the success of the Duet Display app, is using the USB connection in iOS allowed?

We are excited to see USB become available on iOS, but also hesitant to adopt it. We did submit an app that used USB a year ago and we got a call from Apple saying USB connectivity is not allowed. Our app also used PeerTalk, the same open source USB tech used by Duet Display.

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