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The Flying Developer

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18 Jul 2011
Life Dial Status Update

Giant Growth

Life Dial has been doing rather well since I launched it on the android market. So well in fact that it just passed Omnivore in active downloads despite the fact that the latter has been out since February.

I don’t think that Life Dial has an objectively larger audience than Omnivore, and I haven’t publicized one more than the other either. So why the large uptake?

Into the Fray

Last week I attended a pre-release event for the new Magic 2012 core set along with 60 other players. Natually, I used Life Dial to track my life total. Everyone I played against in the six rounds asked me about it.

What’s that app you’re using?

I’ve not seen that one before

Oh cool, I like the wheel-thing!

Unfortunately none of my opponents had Android phones (one guy even insisted on remembering his life total in his head) but it struck me that whenever someone with my app played a game of Magic with it open, they would probably get similar questions that might result in a download. Suddenly the continuing upward trend of downloads starts to make sense: My users are publicizing my app just by using it.

Spread the Sickness

Wikipedia defines viral marketing as:

Marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses.

Unwittingly, I seem to have hit on a viral process to market Life Dial to Magic players. Each time a someone using it plays a game, there is a percentage chance that their opponent will decide to download and use it too. In theory this should result in downloads growing exponentially. Whilst I don’t expect this to happen, it’ll be interesting to see whether the number of active downloads hits a plateau as they have done with Omnivore.


Thanks for reading! If you like my writing, you may be interested in my book: Healthy Webhook Consumption with Rails

David at 10:00

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