iOS. Apple. Indies. Plus Things.

Basing Indie Releases in Term of Goals

// Written by Jordan Morgan // Mar 15th, 2024 // Read it in about 2 minutes // RE: SwiftUI

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As per usual, I set out for 2024 with goals aplenty. This should be not be surprising, coming from someone who wrote their own internal goal tracking app over Christmas break in 2022. Going indie is something I’d love to try at least once, so that’s what I base a lot of my work on. But as I began to think about what it would actually take to go indie, I realized I have quite the climb in front of me.

My wife stays at home, I have three kids and all of them are in sports (which, well, means 💸). As my good friend Mr.Selig put it, I am doing indie on “hard mode”. Oh, and let’s not forget how aFfOrDaBle American healthcare is (hint - it costs more than my mortgage). All of that to say, I’d need to be at around $20,000 MRR1 to even begin to start sniffin’ indie life.

let concatenatedThoughts = """

Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it easy to achieve? Obviously, it's not. My good friends at Revenue Cat even hinted as much in their annual report, which states that a large number of subscription apps don't even break $2,000 MRR.


Everything I do has to be with a pointed focus, which is also one of several reasons behind me joining the team at Superwall — getting to see how people have done it before is very rewarding and fun. I learn a lot and enjoy the job. With all that said, I realized that even though I’m trying to build to $20,000 MRR — I do need to do it in a way I actually enjoy.

Choosing Themes

To that end, I’ve decided to build things that I love to work on, that could monetize, and each for their own specific reason. Everything has to help me in some way financially, but if my theme is to inch towards that $20k MRR mark, I decided that I should assign everything I work on to a specific goal supporting it.

Here are the four main themes I came up with:

  1. Build a business: My primary source of income at the beginning.
  2. Test a hypothesis: Testing things is important, so here I’d pick something I think could make money and see what happens.
  3. For the love of the game: Indie life means freedom in many ways, and I love expressing that through software. This project would make money, but likely not as much as the above projects. It will be where new iOS APIs go in, be the one “I love” — basically, it’ll be my Spend Stack all over again, but with more earning potential.
  4. Learn to embrace constraints: I’m not great at saying no (though I’ve gotten better), but I want to learn how to ship a bit faster, and refine things as I go. This project should embody that.

And so, I’ve got projects picked out for each of those themes:

Four app icons, and each has a corresponding goal next to it.

The first goal is being accomplished through Elite Hoops, and the second will be my upcoming soccer spin on it. The other two? Too early to share, but especially that third one - I’m excited about. I’ve tweeted once or twice about it. Aside from apps, I do have two other source of income:

  1. My book series: It still sells a few copies each week, and I’ll update it each W.W.D.C. - it’s nice side income, but I’m not really counting it much for my indie aspirations.
  2. Sponsorships: I sell sponsorships for this very site, and those have gone over and above my expectations. This year, I even did an annual deal with the folks at Emerge — and I’ve had three inquiries from companies looking for a similar deal in 2025.

So, I’ve got a bit of a head start. And hey - Elite Hoops is just about at $2,500 MRR. So, there’s my grand plan. At least four apps I’ll really love to work on, hopefully making money, doing it in different ways, all slowly (or quickly, that would be nice too) pushing me to $20,000 MRR.

Until next time ✌️.

  1. MRR means monthly recurring revenue, or the amount of money your subscription business makes when you take into account your subscriptions divided by 12 (roughly speaking - since there can be different subscription terms aside from annual ones). 


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