App Development in Google

I’d be a better programmer if I did it all the time…

I’ve managed to get this Bulletinator app working closer to how I want it, but finding some things harder to solve than others. The biggest hurdles right now involve Publishing and Monetizing it for the Google App Store.

With enough repeated attempts at searching the information, I did stumble across information provided by non other than Google. As an example of a well designed and monetized app, I am looking closely at Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM), produced by Romain Vialard. I should note and learn from the fact that Vialard’s monetizing was not the first thing he did.

He writes about his process on a Google Sites page. Essentially he was looking to improve his product as well as make it worth his while. Service was first. I need to pay attention to this. Initially I created Bulletinator to make a job easier. I have folks out there at a few schools who are eager to give it a run. My first attempts at getting it to other schools is to simply share the document.

So why bother with the Add On Store at all? As Vialard points out in his article, it’s easier to push updates and improvements out to users if they acquire it through the store. That makes service better.

At some point I would like to monetize the app, but I think that’s the wrong place to start out. Vialard only tapped his highest users for payment on YAMM. If I find schools and other organizations are using my app to manage bulletin publishing, I can use data to figure out how that can be monetized. On some level I’m more interested in getting everyone to use my app than I am in making a bunch of money. But if it pays for a road trip later on, that would be great.

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