Issue #8: Launch Buddy 🚀
Today, we're looking at LaunchBuddy by Florian Schweizer.
LaunchBuddy helps you streamline your indie iOS development workflow. It helps you easily manage your app releases, document your app ideas, and standardize your release process.
- Manage app ideas: organize all of your app ideas in one place.
- Track app status: manage your apps' development status, supported platforms, App Store listing, website, social links, and much more.
- Releases: easily manage upcoming releases, app updates, status, and changelogs, etc.
- Tasks: taskboards make it easy to plan new ideas, upcoming features, and to gameplan how you'll market an update.
- Checklist: create a checklist of tasks you need to do before pushing any update; create new marketing copy, update screenshots, accessibility testing, localization, etc.
With LaunchBuddy's free tier, you can create up to 2 apps and 2 taskboards with almost all of the full functionality included. LaunchBuddy provides access to specific features like filtering apps or creating custom checklists, starting at $4.99.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Flo and I write Code! Jokes aside, I’m a 25 year old student from Germany - currently working on my Master’s Thesis about an AR game that I’ve been working on for about a year now.
How did you come up with the idea?
LaunchBuddy wasn't my first "indie" app. It grew out of issues I encountered while developing some of my earlier apps.
While I was working on my other projects, I tried out plenty of different task management tools (GitHub boards, Notion, JIRA, Trello, Notes, etc.,) and none of them felt like a great fit for me. In the end, I preferred GitHub boards and since I already used GitHub for version control, it meant I wouldn't have to add another tool to my workflow. This is when I thought about making an app that unifies everything “around actual development”.
I then talked to Jordi Bruin and since he also liked the idea - and I deeply respect Jordi - I started working on the project ASAP.
💡 Want to see your app featured?
Submit your app or reach out on Twitter 🐦
How did you market the app as an indie developer?
Mainly via Twitter! I often tweet about iOS development, so naturally, my account attracted other iOS developers - which is exactly the target audience for LaunchBuddy.
I regularly tweet about updates that I’m working on and give away promo codes here and there. Aside from Twitter I also tried putting small ads for LaunchBuddy in my YouTube videos, but those didn’t lead to many conversions as far as I can tell.
What’s your app design and development workflow like?
I usually start by having a specific problem in mind that I want the app to solve. From there, I'll identify a few key features I want it to have. In the case of LaunchBuddy this was planning releases, having checklists for common tasks, and of course managing tasks on a kanban-style board.
I’m a bad influence saying this, but I usually skip the UI mockup step 😃 - SwiftUI just makes me feel like it’s not worth the time. From there I just start working on the features one by one with the UI evolving over time. LaunchBuddy for example has seen two complete UI rewrites before I released it - both taking only about a day since I try to stay as close as possible to a system look.
I was dogfooding LaunchBuddy from Day 1 - managing my ideas and tasks from within the app itself. This allowed me to understand and resolve the pain points as quickly as possible.
How much of a role did your Twitter audience play in Launch Buddy's initial success?
It worked out perfectly! As I mentioned before, Twitter has been my main marketing channel - it’s just a great fit.
I’m usually really bad at marketing, but marketing developer tools is just a lot more natural for me since I'm already in contact with tons of developers via my tweets & videos.
Any recommendations for indie developers trying to grow their own audiences?
I can only tell you what worked for me so far: helping people. If you provide value to others they will come back to you - be that on Twitter, YouTube, or through the tools you make.
In January of this year, I started scheduling daily tweets with small Swift / SwiftUI tips which blew up my Twitter account. The growth was crazy and has slowed down a lot since I stopped posting so many tips.
If days only had more time...
Thank you so much for having me! If you’re an indie yourself and want to upgrade your organizational skills I’d recommend being on the lookout for the next big LaunchBuddy update, which will include iCloud sync and a brand new iOS client! I can’t say anything about a release date yet, but you won’t miss it if you follow me on Twitter.
- Florian (@FloWritesCode)
Since becoming more active on Twitter and writing more consistently on my blog, I've noticed a spike in downloads for my apps and projects. As you would expect, the increase in downloads has resulted in an increase in feature requests and bug reports.
LaunchBuddy has been a great help in keeping all of these tasks organized over the past few weeks and I'm eagerly waiting for iCloud sync support.
Like many of the other indie developers we've seen over the last few weeks, Florian created LaunchBuddy to "scratch his own itch". It has become evident over the last few weeks that most successful independent developers don't try to conjure up novel app ideas, but instead focus on solving problems they encounter in their daily lives.
In keeping with Will Bishop's advice from last week, Florian is another developer using cross-promotion to convert users from one of his apps to another.
If you want to follow along with Florian as he builds in public, check out his Twitter or his YouTube channel. His recent videos on SwiftUI are particularly helpful.
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