When Apple announced its CDC feature for Maps and iPads for the iPad last year, the Astropad itself was Sherlock and not sure if it would survive. A year later, the company is diversifying its business and looking for things. Here’s a look at Astropad’s thoughts and insights on how Apple can handle the challenges of disbelief, as well as Sherlock …
The Astropad has become one of the most popular alternatives to using the iPad as a secondary Mac display with its Luna Display product, after Apple baked it with MacOS and iPadS last year.
A small business journey to become the Astropad Sherlock on the occasion of its one-year anniversary, learned the lesson, Apple’s silver lining is copying their feature, how it saved itself and detailed some tips for Apple.
For us – a small, nimble startup with technical products for creative professionals – being Sherlock was a real decision-making moment for our company. At first, we weren’t sure if we could survive. Over time, we’ve been able to adjust our product positioning and add new features that set us apart from Apple, buying time to work with deeper, more fundamental business changes (such as bringing our products cross-platform).
Here are some of the ones I found to be interesting:
After thinking about what led us to the trap of copying by Apple, we took a few in-depth lessons about business growth:
- Don’t limit yourself to a single platform (in our case it refers to the App Store);
- Soon instead of changing, instead (thankfully, we had multiple product lines to read back to back);
- And go where your customers go (for us it’s developer for Windows).
The key to Astropad’s survival was finding diversified business strategies, including cost reduction, strategic recruitment, financial transparency, and extra care for employees.
The suggestion of not being confined to a single platform is particularly timely with the development of recent mistrust: Apple vs. Basecamp / Array War. And indeed, Astropad has shared its own 5-step plan for Apple to remove incredible issues.
- Enable users to set default application preferences
- Open an alternative payment system without Apple tax
- Allow sideloading of iOS applications.
- Give third party developers equal access to the API.
- Stop Sherlocking third party developers.
Time will tell what will happen in Apple’s no-confidence case, but the tension is certainly growing.
Until the end, Astropad was able to use the experience of being a Sherlock as an inspiration to create more stable business strategies, but there are certainly some important caveats for other developers.
We didn’t see it then, but a huge force for positive change in the Sherlock-enabled Astropad was that we needed to push it out of our comfort zone and finally start developing for Windows. And yes, our sales have taken hits. But without that slowdown, we couldn’t take the time to smooth out our branding and lay the groundwork for the suite of future Astropad products.
Today, our code is faster, our products are (almost) cross-platform, our branding is stronger, and our team is stronger than ever. No doubt, we were better off today than we were a year ago. Without CDC we would probably still be a gridlock in the Apple ecosystem. We would continue to chase as well, but we would not solve any fundamental problems at the core of our business.
This is a do-it-yourself situation that creates the right environment for fresh innovation. With the right mindset you can see this as an opportunity to turn lemons into lemons!
You can check out the full post from Astropad on the company blog here.
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