I just got back from one of the best conferences I have been too: ReleaseNotes in Indianapolis. It was great opportunity to meet people throughout the Apple developer community.

Speakers

Myke Hurley @imyke

Myke shared his experience of quitting his job and starting Relay FM. It was a really vivid and emotional look at the process and how he learned to do what he truly loves.

Georgia Dow @georgia_dow

Flow Model

Georgia is the senior editor at iMore and a licensed psychotherapist. Referencing Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, she talked about "Flow" and the importance in finding a balance between anxiety and boredom and building an autotelic experience in your app.

Pieter Omvlee @pieteromvlee

Pieter Omvlee is the founder of Bohemian Coding, the makers of Sketch. He reiterated a common theme throughout the conference: the indie developer isn't dead - they just need to change. Indies are not taking advantage of other markets besides the mass-market such as professional markets (ex. designers). Indie developers need to adopt a more professional business approach. Don't expect being "indie" as a badge of honor on its own.

Rob Rynne @capttaco

Rob Rynee from MartianCraft explained the realities that developers often forget. Using the example of the connoisseur coffee shop, Rob explained "people pay for what they see" - they want to see the craft of building a great experience. He also went into detail about the process of building a business and the accounting needed for that.

John Saddington @8bit

People will forget what you said People will forget what you did But people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

With the above quote, John expressed the need for communicating the app experience through marketing. He talked about creating Desk among other startups. He showed his collection of test marketing videos for instance. He explained that indies should be spending 50% of their time on marketing and not just coding.

Chris Liscio @lisco

Chris develops the SuperMegaUltraGroovy apps and talked about the true meaning of being "lucky" in business. It is important to be prepared to act on opportunity and understand the markets available. Just as Pieter talked about the professional market, Chris also emphasized the significance of the niche market and understanding that audience.

Rachel Andrew @rachelandrew

Rachel, the creator of the Perch, talked about time management. Specifically she talked about the need to set goals, make time, and understand priorities. Quoting Diana Scharf, "Goals are dreams with deadlines". Rachel talked about how important it is prioritize your tasks and as a business owner - make your projects first class citizens. I especially appreciated her idea of organizing tasks by location, state of mind, and connectivity.

David Smith @_DavidSmith

David, the creator of a plethora of apps, presented what he has learned as a business owner. Too many people try to learn success by imitation - a trap which doesn't help because it lacks context. David emphasized the nonlinear nature of business and that there is no secret key to running your own business. Finding and honing your unique abilities will give you a edge in business.

Daniel Pasco @dlpasco

Daniel is the CEO of Black Pixel and talked how important quality assurance is at his company and the challenges they have faced. He talked about the qualities you need to find in folks who do QA (knowledgeable of the app and the platform) and how they should be integrated throughout the project's life.

Jean MacDonald @macgenie

Jean runs App Camp For Girls, a nonprofit to inspire girls to pursue app development, and had been with Smile, a company which produces Apple productivity software for over 10 years. Jean talked about the importance of credibility. Using Donnie Brasco and the stories from his book, she talked about how hanging out can be a significant way to gain credibility for your target customers.

Jim Dalrymple @jdalrymple

Jim has been reporting on Apple for over 20 years and brought some of his ideas on hiring the right people, specifically his experiences since starting the The Loop. He talked about finding the right people and making the right decisions for the right reasons. Jim brought a great sense of humor to the last talk of the conference.

Conclusion

ReleaseNotes was a smart and engaging conference. I learned a lot about the significance of marketing, finding the right customers, and managing time.

I really hope they are able to do this again and I would highly recommend their ongoing podcast put on by the organizers Charles Perry and Joe Cieplinski.