Release Notes Conference - A Catalyst for Me
I wrote something like the following in a message to the Release Notes guys - Joe Cieplinski and Charles Perry before I launched Agenda Minder. I thought about rewriting it but settled for editing it. I think it does the job and sums things up for how attending Release Notes was instrumental in me shipping an App. If you are at all interested in something like this, you should go to Release Notes. My first App had just been accepted for release into the Mac App Store when I sent this. What I refer to below is beyond the great set of talks which is what everyone thinks of for conferences. However, Release Notes was set up to make room for connections and conversations between the talks. If you do go, feel free to ask me any questions you have as I'd be happy to chat about how you should ship something.
"...While I had been using (a pretty ugly version of) the app myself for a long time, it wasn’t until I was at release notes that I really decided to polish and ship it. Attending the conference was the catalyst. I’m sure you’ve heard this from other conference goers that getting together with a group of like minded folks to learn about the business of App development is pretty inspirational.
I’m dropping a few names as I am amazed at how short conversations and the number of chats that I had at the conference could make a difference. As someone who hasn’t attended a developer conference and am a novice, this was amazing.
I had a discussion about launching apps with 3 folks (Alex Argo, Gene Goykhman, and Gordon Fontenot) who ultimately convinced me that leaning forward to learn was critical. The operative phrase was "Just Ship It."
I met Curtis Herbert at the reception who talked about developing his app, Slopes, and what I think was near the beginning of his 2.0 business model experiments (turns out he did a great job read about it on his blog).
I got some concrete advice from several Mac programmers. Given my novice status as a programmer, this was invaluable. After lunch one day, Michael Ledford spent some time politely looking at my rudimentary app with me and helping me sort what could be in for a 1.0 launch and what was going to take more time and effort to learn.
I had brief conversations with Chris Liscio and Pieter Omvlee about business models in addition to soaking up all the wonderful talks. I made myself chat at least briefly with most of the speakers. Read these posts by Yono Mitt who also attended the Conference about meeting people.
I got multiple people I could follow on Twitter and RSS to learn more. In short, the connections were amazing. Finally, I met Tim Ritchey at the conference who I contracted to do the design (at Charles recommendation) and Diane Torrance who also attended the conference who I contracted to do Beta testing for the 1.0.
I interact with some of these folks by reading their tweets or web-sites and occasionally I'll favorite or tweet at them. I have emailed a couple of them when I had a question or wanted some advice, like on pricing.
It turns out that chatting with a bunch of folks who have done, are experts at, or trying to do what you're doing, is a really good idea. Release Notes was that for me.