An expensive lesson

One of my favorite sayings is “the best education comes from the school of hard knocks—if the tuition doesn’t kill you.” We’ve learned a very expensive lesson this week from a bug in iTunes.

The problem started when Pickin’ Time was approved on October 9th. We’ve all been busy working on other projects, so we delayed the launch until October 27th by setting the availability date in iTunes Connect. That gave us time to get the website and other promotional materials finished.

Unknowingly, it also gave us plenty of time to shoot ourselves in the foot. iTunes uses the date of approval as the “release date”, not the day you set for availability.


The result is that there’s no sign of Pickin’ Time in any of the “new” application lists: the casual browsers aren’t finding the app. There’s none of the momentum that’s so important in the App Store.

It’s frustrating that success, after months of hard work, can hinge on something unknown and completely out of our control. The customers who have found the product, are leaving great reviews [iTunes link]. It’s not a question of the game’s quality, it’s a problem of being lost in quantity.

Hopefully, this post will help another developer avoid this unenviable situation. We’d also appreciate any help in getting the word out about Pickin’ Time. Thanks!