A Tale of Two Micro-ISVs

Gus Mueller, developer of Voodoo, a desktop Wiki application for the Mac, has been able to quit his day job based on the sales of his two applications. Eric Sink, who developed a guaranteed-winnable version of Windows Solitaire, made $215 in 15 months and has sold off the app. The difference(s)? It seems to me that Mueller was:

·         More compelled to pursue monetary goals

·         “Write something people are willing to buy” – but this is tricky. Everyone has played Windows Solitaire, people buy games, and “there is a way to win every game” is a clear value proposition. A desktop Wiki, on the other hand, has the advantage of being something that people could grow reliant on, but has a huge disadvantage in terms of people understanding what it is.

·         Mueller wrote for the Mac

Although I’m sure that there are more independent ISVs for Windows than for Mac, in the past couple of years I’ve gotten the impression that the percentage of successful ISVs for the Mac is definitely higher. I think that if you’re writing an application that purports to increase productivity, as Mueller does, you’ll definitely find marketing and selling to the Macintosh community easier than to the Windows community.