* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!

Links:

» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)

Moderators:

Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Is indie development on Windows possible anymore?

I come  from the Mac world, where most indie developers--if they don't have a home run product--are taking full-time gigs with bigger companies. Even iOS contracting is drying up.

I've been trying to survey the scene for Windows, and it seems even less fertile. Googling for "indie Windows developer" brings up game dev and that's it.

Is it possible to make a living, or even beer money, doing indie development on Windows anymore?
Kevin Walzer Send private email
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
 
 
I also want to know weather it's possible , if so , where do you find your customer? from site like elance/odesk?
GerryLu Send private email
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
 
 
I guess it depends on what you mean by indie development. Are you developing for yourself or someone else.

I have the opinion that yes it's possible. As possible as it is with doing any business venture. You get out what you put in. But you have to work at it. What helps are your contacts, and choosing a domain that has demand and people willing to pay for it. You will have go after clients in someway to so they know you exist. You also have to network.

Think of it as starting a landscaping business. All you need is a lawn mower (and a snow shovel if you're in colder climates). Just starting you need to find people willing to pay you to do something that has lots of other people doing it. Have an answer to why they should choose you.

But I think the days of having a computer and knowing how to program = money are gone.  (If they ever really were here.) It's something you really have to work at marketing yourself. A shot gun approach of shooting at any domain you can hit may not work. You have to pick something and excel at it to stand out.
TrippinOnIT Send private email
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
 
 
> Is it possible to make a living, or even beer money, doing indie development on Windows anymore?

Beer money: definitely, yes.  I did it just this year with an app released in January.  Made around $100.  But I'd prefer to make a living from it.  More marketing will need to be done.
PSB136 Send private email
Friday, April 17, 2015
 
 
Many people often mention here a definite truth: dive deep into a profitable and/or willing to pay niche (discovered for example with market research) and smash them by having an in-depth domain knowledge inside your app.

I've seen it here in Bulgaria done by a friend having very basic programming skills but with very strong domain knowledge in a field considered by many as a commodity. Now he is making around 200 K EUR (~$ 230K) year with very little effort and without fear of international (read here Chinese, Indian, etc.) competition, because who knows bulgarian (excluding Tom Hanks  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Terminal )
Atanas Krachev Send private email
Friday, April 17, 2015
 
 
To Kevin:  I just made some more beer money:

http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?biz.5.860542.0

As you asked, yes, I'm an indie Windows developer.  :)
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, April 18, 2015
 
 
@PSB136: very inspirational!
Kevin Walzer Send private email
Sunday, April 19, 2015
 
 
shareware apps for home users will not sell much this days but business app for some kind of industry can be a big hit with higher price range.
Damjan Send private email
Monday, April 20, 2015
 
 
Yes, it can be done.  And to me, "indie" in the Windows world does mean games -- I don't think I've ever heard it associated with business apps for example.  (that would be a "startup" or "ISV" or "micro ISV").

But I will let you in on a secret -- success is probably 80% marketing, 20% coding.  I've been doing this for almost 20 years (started with a small $15 shareware app, and now appear to outsiders to be a real company, though I do have a few employees so maybe I am a real company now - lol).  As a coder it's hard to admit, but marketing is what brings in the money (assuming decent functionality).  A slick website, SEO, links, adwords, collecting emails for drip campaigns, etc, etc.  It's work and it takes time, but the world just keeps needing more and more software.  Even on Windows.
Doug Send private email
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz