Mac App Store Update

Looks like things are moving along nicely with filewrangler on the new Mac App Store! I don’t want to release specifics, but I can say this: I sold more in two days than I usually do in a week, so in that regard I’m pretty happy.

Learned a lot looking through the store over the past two days, especially with regard to the kinds of things that make a program stand out in those list views. One thing has become painfully clear, the filewrangler icon needs to change. Originally it was made to announce the long-awaited new version as well as to promote its interface changes. That was me, targeting prior users of the software and generally trying to distinguish myself against similar programs.

Now I am thrown in the mix with lots of other utilities that do lots of different things, and getting recognized requires a bit more pizazz. I believe the new screenshot updates I put on the product page last night were a good move; much easier to see what it going on, much easier to understand what a customer will receive with the program and support, and much more clear about how its user interface is distinguished from other utility programs.

But the icon is getting lost in the mix, and I know I can do better. I’ve made some really nice icons in the past, but the concept of filewrangler has just proven elusive to me in how to capture it in icon form, without it being really dry. I think I need to be a bit more conceptual about it, rather than literal.

I find myself constantly checking the “Top Paid Utilities” and “Top Grossing Utilities” and am really pleased with the movement of filewrangler gradually up the list. I was disheartened in the first day to be ranked about #90, but was also happy to be in the top 100 (out of 200). On Friday, I was hovering in the #75 range, with my nearest competitor in the #40 range or so.

Today, another competitor came out of nowhere and was beating me in gross, but I was way ahead in sales (that product cost 2.5X more than filewrangler, so that was pretty easy for him to do). However, now I see that just since this morning I’ve outpaced both competitors in moving along the “Top Grossing” list. The one at the top has come down to about #47, and I’m at #51. So, while the other seems to have dropped just a bit, I’ve moved WAY up and am gaining ground very rapidly. I believe this means that whatever sales the software above that program had that pushed that program DOWN the list, I have made up for in addition to the gap we had already.

I only get sales updates every morning, so I don’t yet know how this chart movement equates to real sales, but I think I could see as many sales today as I did the first two days combined. I know, in a sense, I’m asking a lot out of the public to accept my fairly radical interface for doing file renaming work, so I’m super happy to see it being adopted by the early shoppers.

Of course, the internationalization of the store also has me really thinking hard about what to do with the next dot release. It is very interesting how my plans for the release schedule are already shifting and changing as I watch what happens in the store.

The Mac App Store has fundamentally changed the way I think about marketing my software, how I think about the upgrades I wish to provide, the calendaring of the release schedule for those updates, and is even shifting what I think filewrangler is and can be.

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