Andrew Allen is the Co-Founder of NYC-based FiftyThree, makers of Paper, Apple’s 2012 App of the Year.
We built our own custom in-app store where we sell a collection of tools to Draw, Sketch, Write, Color, etc. For each of these we created a small canvas area to allow creators to try every tool before they buy it. It not only creates desire for the tool but removes the uncertainty we all feel in buying something we’ve never tried.
We have a flexible work schedule where many employees work from home for one day each week. It helps to avoid meetings and interruptions and saves time on commuting.
We put an insane amount of work into refining small details on our products like building custom in-app settings frameworks for fine-tuning animations, easing, etc. But we like to do things for our users outside our products as well. Including flying out our biggest fans to NYC to meet with the team, talk about how they use Paper, and share future plans.
Make it personal. We’re creating the next generation of tools that we want to use. All our favorite products came from creators who desperately wanted those products to exist so they themselves could use them. And if you’re building a product for yourself, it means only you can build it....