I was wondering: “Should I feel embarrassed or ashamed to put a fart-related title in my portfolio”?!
Then, my answer was: no! Regardless of the title, I’m proud to be able to design, develop, and publish a fully functional app into a market, with 0 crash report. Also, the motivation behind it was an article about a developer who made something similar for iOS and made tons of money out of it, and I thought I could make more, because my app was much better, but I didn’t do a business research, so, of course I failed!
How It Happened
It was 3 months before Windows Phone 7 release date, and I decided to jump into the market and make good money! “What kind of app should I make that would be easy to implement by one person, won’t take more than a couple of months to be developed, and also be a good seller?” I asked myself. Doing some web research, led me to iFart application on iPhone. The guy made more than 100 thousand dollars in a week before Christmas, and maybe the cumulative sale would be more than half a million dollars!
I watched some videos of iFart on YouTube, and it was just a list of fart sounds that you could play, plus a fart timer/alarm, and the app could detect shakes! That’s it? “So what will happen if I make an app 10 times better than that? I would be a true millionaire!” I dreamed.
So here were my design decisions:
Create a list of fart sounds to be played (the same as iFart)
Add timer, alarm, shake-to-fart, .etc. (the same as iFart)
Add a fart-match mini game (not available on iFart)
Add some funny animations (not available on iFart)
Add other creative stuff, like a fart party (not available on iFart)
Add a fart musical instrument (not available on iFart)
Make everything look very good and funny (match the theme of the app)
Make things interactive (not just a list of farts sounds)
In the following couple of months, I just sat behind my desk, and designed, illustrated, animated, and programmed my fart mini-games pack. Making a game is something, publishing it is something else! You have to think about all tiny things like font copyright, game icon, writing descriptions for your game, making a website ( I made, it was fartboxphone.com, but after a year the domain expired), etc. Windows Phone developers website was buggy at first, and it doubled the problems!
4. Business (Lessons to learn)
Fact #1: Till now my app has not even made $500!
Fact #2: I still claim Fart Box is the best ever fart app on the planet!
So why I’m not a millionaire now? Because I didn’t have a business plan and risk management for my product. Take a loot at this:
iPhone was a phenomenal smartphone, and young people were obsessed to have one. When iFart was released, there were millions of iPhones in the market.
When I released Fart Box, there were a few thousands of Windows Phone in the market, and this smartphone was not something special. After a few years of fighting against iOS and Android, Windows Phone has started receiving attentions, especially after Nokia’s contribution.
When iFart was released on iPhone, there were no similar noticeable apps on App Store.
When I released my Fart Box, iOS and Android market places were overwhelmed with bazillion fart apps.
Fact #3: The best product of the market, is not necessarily the best seller of the market!
Fact #4: Although you can make some scientific guesses, but still success of creative products is highly unpredictable!
Fact #4-1: Some people don’t agree with fact #4, and most of them are professors; because they love science and they don’t want to accept there is no formula/science behind a good sale.
Fact #4-2: The best evidences for Fact #4 are companies that make a good product, and after that, release a bad product; and it shows even one company cannot learn from its own successes. Example: Rovio Entertainment released Amazing Alex on July 2012, almost three years after releasing Angry Birds on December 2009. Well, if you have not heard anything about Amazing Alex, it means it’s not been as successful as the company’s biggest hit!
5. My Gift to Students and Indies
As a gift to you, I want to offer you the complete source code to this application.
- The zip file bellow contains a solution to a Visual Studio 2010 project, convertible to Visual Studio 2012 and 2013.
- All content files have been included, so you can compile and run it on the emulator without a compilation error.
- The zip file below contains codes and contents, just for study purposes. You are not allowed to redistribute all or some parts of this app anywhere.
- You are not allowed to host any files included in this package anywhere on the web.
- All contents of the zip file are copyright by the owner.
- You are allowed to copy and paste/reuse code blocks from the provided solution to any other places.