inessential by Brent Simmons

Nick B on Leaving Indie Life

Nick Bradbury:

In what feels like a different life now, I used to be a fairly well-known indie developer. I spoke at events like SXSW, and my blog had a large audience of people who liked hearing about my work on HomeSite, TopStyle and FeedDemon.

Nick was the single greatest indie Windows developer. So good that I once called him an honorary Mac developer. (Well, I was being complimentary and a jerk at the same time.)

I should point out that I ripped off some of his ideas from FeedDemon entirely without shame — and with Nick cheering me on.

A lot of mobile developers have left the indie ship and done as I have and joined a larger company, many of which look at mobile apps as a free (or nearly free) complement to their other offerings. There’s plenty of opportunity here for mobile developers, and I think that opportunity will continue to grow for a while.

He’s right. (Nick works at Automattic, by the way, which is a great company.)

Nevertheless, I still believe with all my heart (more than my brains) that there’s plenty of room for indie mobile developers. It’s just that the most straightforward path — write one great app and get rewarded — isn’t necessarily the smartest.