The end of 2014 is literally around the corner, so I thought it would be a good idea to make a review of it from my perspective, and to consider what went right, what went wrong and what lessons can I take from it to make 2015 even better. I decided to divide it into 3 categories: successes, failures and other memorable events. Let’s start with successes:
These are the happy parts end events of the year. It was quite fulfilling to think about them, because I often fail to acknowledge or celebrate the good things that are happening and that’s not wise, because when there aren’t any for a while, it’s easy to get bogged down.
- Further developing Routie
- Successes with Routie
- Upon releasing Routie for Pebble, the Pebble company itself featured it on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- On September 1, I made a limited time offer and put Routie for free. BGR noticed it and included it in their article $55 worth of awesome paid iPhone apps you can now download for free (7 apps total).
- When iOS 8 was launched, Routie was featured on BGR as one of the five best iOS 8 apps in this article: 5 fantastic apps that will help you get the most out of iOS 8.
- Majority of Routie users are really satisfied with it
- New project
- Quadratic Master 3.0
I’ve spent a lot of time working on Routie and making it better. This resulted in several big updates to the app that added tons of new functionality. Most notably: Exporting to files, Statistics, Pebble integration, Heart rate monitoring and iOS 8 update that brought support for iPhone 6 and a today widget.
Even though the sports tracking category is extremely crowded, my relentless work on Routie in spite of the difficulties did bring some recognition:
I did write a lot less than I wish I did, but there were a couple of posts that got some traction. If I should pick just one, it would be the tutorial about extensions in iOS 8: How to create iOS 8 Today extension and share data with containing app. I wrote and published it just a few weeks after WWDC, and the interest from people was tremendous. It brought over 50 thousands visitors to this blog and given the comments, I presume it helped a lot of people with building their own widgets.
Judging from all the feedback I got from users and by the average rating of 4.77 stars on the App Store and all the nice comments there, Routie users seem to really like Routie. Obviously, this brings me great feeling that my work is appreciated, and also confidence that I will be able to make Routie profitable in some near-ish future. I have some major updates planned for Routie in 2015, so you can definitely look forward to that. And thank you for all those nice comments and emails!
In June, I got an idea for a new project. I gave it a lot of thought and ultimately decided that it’s worth pursuing. Actually, two weeks ago, I finally started working on it. I wish I could be more specific, but let me just say that it’s a completely new concept and there is nothing like it in the App Store. I am really excited about it and I can’t wait to work on it more and releasing it into the public. It might be a big thing, and my expectations about it are quite high. I plan to make a formal announcement of it soon (as soon as I finish new Glimsoft website with a friend of mine).
On December 14, I released new version of my first app, Quadratic Master. It is completely rewritten from scratch, using the latest iOS technologies. I am really content with the result. If you are in high school and dealing with quadratics, you owe it to yourself to download it (basic version is free).
These are the things that didn’t go as planned. I consider them more as lessons, or as things that I need to try to eliminate or manage better in the next year.
- Struggling with day-to-day stuff.
- Being sick. A lot.
- Not advancing as much as I wished I would.
I’ve actually had some successes with daily routine, mostly in October and the first half of November, but overall, I know this is an area where I have a lot of room for improvement. I tend to work too much and then get burned out. This goes on in cycles. And I often neglect some parts of the business other than programming, and it’s hurting it. So these things I need to focus on in 2015.
It’s disheartening to see how much time I’ve spent being sick. I think it has a lot to do with my situation at home, and that’s also something I will have to deal with somehow.
This one is pretty obvious and I believe most people struggle with this on some level. Nevertheless, I should do something about it. I need to better manage my expectations and be a little easier on myself.
Other memorable events
Some things are not successes nor failures, and for those I decided to create a special category.
- Dropping out of University.
- Trip to Georgia.
- Trip to NSSpain conference.
For the past two years, I’ve studied at the Czech Technical University, Faculty of Informatics. I’ve struggled with the idea for way too long, and finally decided to go through with it, at the end of 4th semester. There were a lot of reasons why I ultimately decided to end it, and I believe it was the right decision for me. I actually plan to write a blog post about it sometime. If I should pick just one thing, it would be the complete misalignment of values between me and the school (and people around, for that matter). Once it was over with, I have to admit it was a huge relief for me.
In July, I went on a week-long trip to Georgia with my friend Martin. We stayed in Kutaisi and Tbilisi, and we traveled to several other places. The country has a beautiful countryside but it can be seen everywhere in the cities that its economic situation is not good. One thing that really stood out: their driving was just insine! I consider myself lucky for being still alive. But overall, I had a great time there and I hope we’ll do something similar next year.
In September, I flew over to Spain to attend NSSpain, a conference for iOS developers. It was really awesome! I had a great time, met a few interesting people from the community, got super motivated for my indie work and also tasted some fine wine. There was one downside, though: the airlines I flew with lost my luggage. Fortunately, they found it, but I had to spend almost 4 days in the same clothes and with just the things I had in my backpack.
There is a lot of other things that I could mention here, but these above were the most important ones. Plus, there is little value in dwelling on the past, except for taking lessons from it and trying to improve based on that. And that’s exactly what I am planning to do in my next post, where I’ll look into my new years’s resolutions.