In the most anticipated podcast in a while, Marco Arment goes in depth about why he made the ad blocking app Peace and why he pulled it from the store. Looking at the independent developer side of it, here's what I took away from the podcast.
First, Marco admitted to getting caught up in the apps development and not thinking it through. If the app was successful, what would happen? Don't wait until after launch to realize you don't want to maintain a database of cat .gifs for the next few years.
Marco realized quickly that he didn't want to be known in developer circles as the 'ad blocker guy'. Be careful that the app you create is something that you are going to be ok with owning, or in my case, selling. My first successful app was a serial killer database. I'm not involved in the serial killer subculture (I had no idea it was such a big thing!), but saw some market potential by reskinning my first app. After a while on the App Store, and a couple other related apps, I realized I didn't want these apps to be part of my portfolio, so I sold them. I didn't want to be the 'serial killer guy' in the app community, because that's not who I was.
What updates will be involved? Marco also realized that the ad blocking game is going to be controversial and require a lot of cat and mouse that he didn't want to be part of. Always think of the long term investment you will have to make before you build an app. If the data in the app will age, you will need to update it. If you localize to other countries, you will have support email from other countries.
It's an excellent listen for any developer. I admire Marco for making the right choice, at least to him, and following through.
Accidental Tech Podcast: 136: War and Peace