Our Year 2014 in Review

Wow, 2014 is over already. Obviously as our first full year, it has been a big one for Glass Bottle Apps, as well as a big year for me personally. With so much to cover, and so little time (as always seems to be the case, more on that later), I will be dividing this into three sections: A Look Back, Unfinished Business, and What’s New for 2015.

A Look Back

Having launched in December 2013, 2014 was Glass Bottle’s first full year in operation. I could come up with all sorts of adjectives to describe the year: challenging, rewarding, busy, crazy, etc., but overall I think it was successful. We now have almost 3000 downloads total over all platforms and a strong base of web and video content.

Fundometer in particular has proven to be our strongest app. I think we have managed to take a simple idea and make a well crafted app out of it. Fundometer started life as a fundraising thermometer on a dry erase board at home I used to keep track of money I was saving up to buy my Nexus 5.

Our website, as well, has evolved and grown over the year. We now have dedicated pages for press kits, promo videos and apps for business. We have also added social media links on every page we create. We have started blog categories focused on saving money, and better understanding what goes on at Glass Bottle Apps. To top it all off, we created our first interactive web page this past month.

Most importantly, 2014 was a growth year for us, and provides a solid foundation for the year(s) ahead. With the time constraints, however, there is a lot of unfinished business, things we started in 2014 but haven’t had time to finish.

Unfinished Business

There were many things we had planned to finish in 2014, but didn’t have time for, or simply forgot to do. Around our one year anniversary, we started a series of posts on the story behind Glass Bottle Apps. I never got around to writing the next chapter, and there were many boring parts along the way, but I would like to write one or two more posts on the highlights. Things like getting into game development, trying to improve the quality of Fundometer, and trying to find time to pursue new projects.

Speaking of new projects, I don’t think I got around to posting the results of the New Projects Survey. We have already released one of the apps listed in the survey, Dollar Limit, and we are working on several others. The next on deck will likely be Countdown to Bedtime and Dodgy Dingbat 2. I will dig up the survey results and give a full list early in the new year.

Looking Ahead to 2015

This is my favourite part of this post because I get to look at all the potential we have created over the past year and be ambitious about what I plan on doing next year. I definitely want to keep updating and improving on the apps we already have, but I also want to develop some new project, and as that survey has shown, I have no shortage of ideas. On the other hand, I don’t want to give away too much, as someone with more time on their hands could get a good idea to market faster than I could.

While September’s survey provided some good ideas, I would like to do more advanced work on the web side of things. This will hopefully include a login system for our more dedicated supporters to get more involved. I plan on adding much more web-based interactive content that will work anywhere, smartphone or not. The other side of this initiative is that there will eventually be ads on the website to support this push, a trade-off I believe is worth it for everyone involved.

The most difficult challenge I plan on tackling in the next year is time. I spend 8 hours a day at my day job (plus 3 hours for lunch and commuting) as well as trying to maintain a relationship and a home life, all of which leaves me tired and wanting to scale back my involvement in Glass Bottle Apps. On the other hand, all of the new ideas and potential make me want to do more app stuff. The critical challenge here is to increase my personal productivity and efficiency. Solving this for myself would almost certainly have benefits for our users. I don’t mean just working harder, I also mean getting more rest out of our rest time to avoid burning out, and squeezing the most out of the time we spend waiting for things. Getting more out of time has always been part of the mission of Glass Bottle Apps, our first motto was “Save Money, Save Time, Have Fun”, so I look forward to taking on this challenge.

In short, 2014 has given Glass Bottle Apps a strong start and a solid foundation. Fundometer has done reasonably well, and we want to build on that foundation and tackle some bigger and more challenging problems in 2015.

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