I've been really inspired by one of the iPhone developers who's been blogging about his experiences. His name is Owen and runs Streaming Colour Studios (his blog is located here). It's been a fascinating read and he's been brutally honest about his successes in selling iPhone applications. I found him through Slashdot and have been following him ever since, including going back and reading his earlier posts.
I've been inspired to talk about the business side of things because of his blog. I think a lot of people expect that developing for the iPhone will mean success like Ethan Nicholas' success (or Steve Demeter's). Thankfully I'm a lot more pragmatic than that. I'm hoping I might be able to get an extra sushi dinner each month from this. :) Not that I'd mind that success - hell, it would be awesome to be successful enough to do this full-time. As I mentioned, that's a long-term goal.
I've been piggybacking a bit on Owen's blog (and his links to other blogs) to see how other developers coping with things like price points, lite versions, etc. What kind of success are they seeing (or not seeing)? What kinds of strategies are they employing to try to maximize their sales? What kind of "sweet spots" in terms of pricing are they seeing?
I've been thinking about it especially as regards Project Samantha. How am I going to monetize the game? Will I have a free version and a paid version? A free version that can be upgraded in situ to a full version? What kind of security implications does that have? Do I keep the game free and offer paid add-ons (like iMob has done with respect points)? If there's a free vs. paid version, what restrictions do I place on the free version?
I'll post up more on what I decide to do when I finally decide to do it. I'm leaning in one particular direction and will make it clearer when I have a chance to really assess the benefits. In the meantime, Owen's blog has been fascinating. I also stumbled upon Snappy Touch's blog. He's working on a game idea that's similar to one that Susie and I thought of back in November - still in development. But he made a quick and dirty app called Tea Time! that gave him some insights into how the App Store and Apple's approval process worked. Again, fascinating reading.
As I come across more blogs and resources that I can recommend, I will add them here. Until then, enjoy these two very readable blogs.