My friend Manton Reece and I have been podcasting for more than seven years. Our show, Core Intuition, has always been dedicated to the topic of “indie” software development, particularly for the Mac and iOS platforms.
From the start, I have been a “full time indie,” in that I have held no regular job, while Manton has been a “part-time indie”: fully employed while also shipping a stunning quantity and variety of apps and web services. I guess I’m better at quitting jobs, while Manton is better at shipping new apps. But I’ve known for a long time that Manton aspired to go full-time, so for most of these past seven years I’ve nagged at him: “did you quit your job yet?”
Last week, he finally did.
Obviously I can’t fault him for taking so long. Going indie is a huge risk and, as countless others have testified, there is no guarantee of success. The App Store model provides an unprecedented opportunity to sell software easily, but the limitations enforced by Apple and the increasing expectation that software should be free or cheap make it less obvious how to eke out a living doing so.
Too many folks who strive to become full-time indies do it the dumb way: quitting their job first, hoping the sudden jolt will motivate them to come up with a successful strategy for earning a living. This undoubtedly works in some cases, but it’s tantamount to jumping out of a plane and hoping you just happen to be wearing a parachute, or that the ocean just happens to be 30 feet below.
Manton is approaching this the smarter way: jumping out of a plane, sure, but doing so equipped with a whole host of equipment. He’s spent the past seven years and more honing his skills with software development, while diversifying his income through his products, our podcast sponsorships, and our Cocoa job listings site. Given Manton’s stated plans to combine all of this with a bit of paid consulting work to bridge the gap, I’m confident he’ll make a smooth landing.
Many congratulations to Manton on the culmination of a long-sought-after and long-worked-at goal. I’m excited to see how things work out for him in the weeks, months, and years to come.