Can you tell us about yourself and what you're working on?
My name is Zach Prager, and I'm the lone developer of Easy Stats for Basketball, an iOS app for basketball coaches or parents at any level who want to track stats for their team. Stats can be tracked season by season and shared via email.
What's the story behind how you got started on Easy Stats?
I started developing Easy Stats while I was coaching basketball at a high school in Chengdu, China. I wanted to track our progress through the season, and none of the existing apps were very easy to use.
Initially, I developed the app for iPad, but it was difficult to use during games. I rewrote it for the iPhone with a simple UX as the primary objective.
To test ideas, I would keep stats during scrimmages at practice. Immediate feedback was a super important part of the process. For example, I quickly learned that the mechanism to substitute players in/out of the game was too slow, and it was causing me to miss the game. Speeding up that process made a big difference.
How'd you find the time and funding to work on the app?
At the time, I only worked at the school part-time, so I had free time to develop the app. It took about six months from start to finish to get the first version into the App Store.
What tech stack did you use?
The tech stack is all Objective-C. At this point there is no need for a back-end. The app retrieves/stores data locally using the Core Data framework. Users can share stats from individual games via email. The app will embed a nice HTML/CSS box score into an email, and the user can append their own text.
How have you found and attracted users to the app?
Initially I tried using Adwords for marketing the app, but I didn't notice much growth from the advertisements. I probably didn't spend enough money. Pretty much all of the growth has happened through word of mouth or online searches. In 2015 downloads were up 44%.
How have you grown your revenue and user base?
I added three in-app purchases to generate revenue from the app. I wanted to make sure the app was 100% usable for free, but users could buy extra features if they wanted. About 1 in 20 users choose to make a purchase. Given that the app is completely usable for free, I think that's a good indication that people like the app. Easy Stats has about $100 (best month $397) in sales per month.
Currently my goals are to improve the app and increase downloads. It would be awesome if I could someday live off passive income from Easy Stats, but just making something people genuinely find useful is pretty awesome too.
What have you learned on your journey that's been really helpful?
The biggest lesson I have learned so far is to have people test your ideas and to listen to their feedback. As a developer, I focus on so many small details that bigger picture stuff can slip away. I find that most people just want something that's reliable and easy to use.
Where can we learn more about Easy Stats?
You can read more about the product on the App Store page.
You can also leave a comment below, and I'll try to get back to you!