So M.G. Siegler goes against all sorts of conventional wisdom and says you don't want lots of users at launch. Whaaaaat?

The best-case scenario [after being featured on the App Store] is that those initial users taught you a lot and will make version 2.0 of the app that much better. The more likely scenario is that those users resulted in extremely noisy data which is not indicative of much beyond the fact that your app is both young and buggy.

And those initial users? They’re not going to give you another shot. Your time in the spotlight was largely wasted.

All of this leads to my seemingly counter-intuitive advice: avoid being featured by Apple in the App Store when you first launch your app at all costs.

That's directly contrary to Dan Counsell's recent advice (see here for one), and also against common sense. I understand his point: If what you release is crap, and lots of users' first impression of you is crap, you could end up with a stinky reputation that follows you forever.

I'd like to see three companies that have suffered such a horrible fate as to be undone by Apple featuring them on the App Store.

Look, if Siegler is seeing App Store featuring as something's that's killing businesses, I've got three pieces of advice.

  1. Stop marketing and releasing products whose version 1s aren't any good.
  2. Stop hiring managers that can't build teams capable of releasing good software (or who can't push back against/convince the CEO & board effectively enough).
  3. Realize that maybe you're not so good at picking good freemium app companies.*

I think it's that easy. If free exposure is bad, your software's horrible. Learn to QA, and stop rushing to market, you wacky, initials-only venture capitalist. ;^)


* Honestly, the only way he could be getting so many users time after time that hit support so hard that it's killing businesses [to the point he doesn't want to be featured] is if they're free to download apps. Honestly, it's the *only* way.

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