August 7, 2014

Are You An Indie Developer?

I wrote about the current discussions and predictions surrounding Indie developers in my previous post. However, I think I tried to tackle a few too many topics in that post and so, didn’t do a good job of discussing one of the more important points that I did want to talk about – what an Indie developer is.

Some of the blog posts I linked to in my previous post seem to narrow the definition of an Indie developer, or rather an Indie iOS developer, down to a very select group of people – developers who develop iOS apps specifically for sale on the Apple app store. Personally, I don’t think this is accurate at all.

People being who they are, maybe the definition is just aimed at creating an exclusive (or elite) club of people 🙂 Or maybe it was just a self-serving definition to justify the argument that Indie iOS developers are getting to be an endangered species – because it’s so hard to make a living on the App store. I don’t know. And I certainly do realize that saying that this was indeed due to one or other reason that I mentioned would be to do an injustice to the original authors – they simply might not have considered things from the same viewpoint as I.

Given that an “Indie” is simply an independent developer, I would think that anybody who works for themselves, and not for another individual, company, or entity for a monthly wage, would be considered an Indie developer. So, whether you make your living on the Apple app store or through consulting for third-parties, if you make your own living and are your own boss, I would consider you to be an Indie. But that’s just me 🙂

I guess the trouble with my definition is that if a consultant can be an Indie, then you can’t claim that Indie developers (or Indie iOS developers, specifically) are not doing well financially and that the future looks gloomy for them. Now you’d think that this would be a good thing, wouldn’t you? But for some, I don’t think things are good unless they are bad 😀 At least, that’s the impression I get about quite a bit of the human race. A lot of us seem to be Eeyores – we just can’t be happy unless we have something to moan and groan about 🙂

Eeyore

To go off on another tangent (if you’ll indulge me), just take a look at the current state of science fiction movies – most of them are full of doom and gloom, showing post-apocalyptic worlds where people are eking out a living or fighting for their lives. Now, I grant you that except for a few notable exceptions, science fiction movies might not always have shown rosy futures. But we seem to be at an exceptionally low point right now. Where’s the hope? Where’s the dream of a better future? And most of all, where the heck are the darn flying cars? 🙂 I prefer science fiction as it used to be, especially in the golden age stories, where we dreamed of a better future. And I want that back!

But to get back to Indie developers, for whatever reason, people want to narrow down the definition of an “Indie”, but I don’t think we should just accept it because somebody says so. Question what people say if that doesn’t make sense, I say.

To be an Indie is a great thing – at least in my book. You work for yourself, you decide your own destiny. And you should be proud of it! And more importantly, it’s not all doom for Indies, you do have a future ahead of you – just decide what you want to do and go for it. The world could be your mollusc of choice 🙂

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Tags: Opinion, Technology
Posted by Fahim at 6:03 am   Comments (0)