My most successful app

In October 2010 when the Android store was just a spring chicken, I built a minimal app that generates random hip hop beats. I had been getting into procedurally generated music and so I was able to build the app in a matter of a couple of weeks, and then I uploaded it onto the Android store just to see what would happen. It sold ok, paying our internet bill for a while, but as I had no idea what I was doing, I soon got bored of the low sales numbers and basically ignored it for 10 years.

Over the lifetime of the app it generated a couple of thousand dollars worth of sales. Knowing what I now know about the compounding effects of building things in public, I should have spent the 10 intervening years doubling down on that first trickle of sales, and shipped a ton of minimal audio apps, one after the other. Ah well, hindsight is 20/20, am I right?

They say the best time to start compounding any investment is yesterday. So in the spirit of that I've been working through November on some new minimal audio apps, and I'm also re-launching the original beat generator app with some new features!


One feature I'm particularly excited by is the Pocket Operator sync. If you don't know what this means, don't worry, it's for a tiny niche of people who are super into it. If you are curious about what a Pocket Operator is, look it up, they're awesome!

Anyway, I will report back when I have shipped a few of these minimal audio apps to let you know how its going. Thanks for tuning in!

  1. 2

    This is cool!

    Do you happen to have advice on where to get realistic drum sounds? I was trying to do something in a related vein (but more niche, targeting drummers looking for practice material) and struggled to make the patterns sound realistic though, especially at higher tempos https://wasabigeek.github.io/drumz/

    1. 1

      Nice work, what a great app! Have you thought about packaging this up with Cordova and putting it on the app stores? I think your drum sounds are great. If you want better ones there are probably kits you can buy with ultra realistic sounds.

      1. 1

        Have not tried Cordova, will give it a look! I wanted to try React Native but it didn't seem like it would play super nicely with the libraries used.

        I actually felt it wasn't quite where I wanted it to be, especially after sharing with a few drummer friends >_< but maybe I should try again!

        1. 1

          If your code works well in the browser already, Cordova is great.

          I guess the best thing to work on is when people tell you the thing they want, say they will pay for it, you know how to build it, and you're also motivated to build it. I would listen carefully to the feedback of drummer friends.

  2. 1

    Random hiphop beats! I guess Dr. Dre will be out of business soon!

    1. 1

      Yeah who's going to tell him? Dibs not me.

  3. 1

    Congrats man. No time like the now.

  4. 1

    Happy to read about your experience, @chr15m!
    Hope to hearing more from you.

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