Category Archives: Business

Who is Hayseed?

Hayseed is a one person shop, run by me, Rob Fahrni.

I’ve registered a few domains over the years with the thought of starting an Indie development shop.

The first was Pneumatic Industries. At that time in my life I was a hardcore Windows developer working on a product called Visio. My ideas then centered around the creation of a Windows API/C++ application that could track pesticide use for framers and Pest Control Advisors. This desire was derived from my years of working on Ag products at AgData. Way down the road I’d work for a little company called Agrian that would deliver everything I could have dreamed of and a whole lot more.

My next venture was Apple Core Labs. I started it to develop iOS Apps for myself and others. The fruits of that effort were the creation of RxCalc (please forgive the outdated site) and Arrgly.

I created RxCalc with my brother Jay so he could do Pharmacokinetics calculations at the hospital. Jay sat next to me and we wrote the math for the app in C++ because the original code was going to run on Palm PDA and Windows, which it did, I just never built the UI for it.

Enter the iPhone. When we saw that and Apple shipped an SDK for it I immediately set out to make an iPhone version. The C++ came over no problem, the UI took me forever to build. On July 4, 2009, RxCalc made it debut in the App Store. It’s been there ever since.

I did a bunch of contract iOS work under that moniker, I don’t think any of it exists today, which is a real shame.

Ultimately I failed to make consulting work for me. Too much time away from family and too many hours not working on the things I wanted to build.

Enter Hayseed. I dropped the name Apple Core Labs and started operating under the name Hayseed. Why Hayseed? Well, a hayseed is a derogatory term for someone who isn’t so bright. I see myself has a digital hayseed. I don’t take offense to the term. I’m not sophisticated or the brightest bulb in the box, so I found it fitting, and it just so happened when I went to buy a domain name hayseed.co was available, which was perfect and surprising all at the same time.

Under the Hayseed name I spent a couple years, an hour here, hour there, building Stream, my feed reader. It is, by far, my favorite project to date. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. It did everything I wanted from a feed reader. It may not be wildly successful, but that’s ok, it lives on and I continue to work on it, ever so slowly, to improve it and add features.

Some day I hope to make Hayseed my full time job. My plan is to make it my retirement job. If it happens sooner, by some miracle, that would be great.

In the meantime I have a couple products I’d love to see y’all use. For the Clinical Pharmacists out there please give RxCalc a try. If you are a blogger or avid reader of news, please give Stream a try.

Please send any feedback you may have directly to hello@hayseed.co. I love getting it, even if it’s bad, but I much prefer positive feedback. 😃

If you’d like to support my little projects you can purchase RxCalc directly in the App Store for $2.99, leave a tip for me in Stream by going to Settings > Tip Jar, or support me directly through my Ko-fi account.

So, you want an app?

A wonderful boquet of flowers.Elia Freedman: “Developing an application and making money at it is very very hard to do. Maybe your idea is the right one, maybe it isn’t. No matter the case, though, there are likely faster ways to validate the idea then writing an app.”

Another great piece on the cost of app development. If you’re thinking about writing an iOS, Android, or other mobile application make sure you do a bit of research before you start. I find most people are absolutely stunned by the cost of app development. Elia’s piece points to some other great articles that point out the how-to’s and the why-for’s of apps development, including a classic Craig Hockenberry Stack Overflow post on the true cost of developing their Twitter client, Twitterrific.

Elia later goes on to say:

Want to proceed anyway? Good for you. Just don’t go forward with blinders on.

Great advice.

Introducing Arrgly

We’ve added a new, silly, little application to the mix. It’s called Arrgly. A few years back we’d created a project to explore REST URL shortening services from Objective-C and Cocoa. The code could shorten a URL using a number of services, like bit.ly, ping.fm(gone), tr.im(gone), and a little white label shortener called YOURLS, as well as a few others.

We have a URL shortening service called f67 that uses YOURLS. It became obvious, after a few years, of starting the browser, logging in, pasting the link, pressing the shorten button, and copying the link back to the paste board on iOS that there had to be a much better way. We resurrected the URL shortening code, ARC‘ified it, and created a project. That project became Arrgly.

Yeah, it’s not attractive, and has a funny name, but it does exactly what we needed. It makes shortening a URL using our YOURLS based shortener as easy as copying a URL, starting Arrgly, and pasting the resulting short link that was placed back on the paste board for us.

It’s available in the App Store and, yes, it’s FREE.

If you decide to use it and would like a new feature or would like to report a bug, get in touch.

P.S. Yes, if you’re a designer and feel like improving Arrgly in exchange for our undying love and credit for the app design, we’re listening. Contact us: support@applecorelabs.com

Happy Birthday RxCalc

Three years ago my brother and I introduced RxCalc. I remember arriving at his home for our annual Fourth of July festivities a bit bummed. I’d submitted RxCalc for review 21 days earlier and it still hadn’t been approved. When I walked in the door my brother asked if we’d been approved. I said no. We decided to go check the status anyway, and it had been approved! It was pretty exciting to see our first iOS application for sale and it was even better to know it shared its birthday with the birth of the United States of America.

Happy Independence Day!

The Cost of Apps Development

I’ve been an iOS developer for the better part of four years now. Most of that time has been spent doing my own thing, but I’ve done work for others along the way. At one point a few years back I was bidding on some jobs for a games company. I sat down, looked at the document they’d given me, and wrote up a proposal.

A wonderful boquet of flowers.A couple days later I received an email back saying they thought my pricing was too high. Too high? Really? Basically they wanted to pay me about 1/3 what it would cost to develop the application. When you’re excited about doing work for someone and they come back at you with something like that, what do you do? You let the work walk out the door, that’s what you do.

It seems I’m not alone when it comes to people undervaluing the work of iOS developers. There is a really well know Mac and iOS developer, Craig Hockenberry, who chronicled on the true cost of creating the Twitter client, Twitterrific.

“With such a short schedule, we worked some pretty long hours. Let’s be conservative and say it’s 10 hours per day for 6 days a week. That 60 hours for 9 weeks gives us 540 hours. With two developers, that’s pretty close to 1,100 hours. Our rate for clients is $150 per hour giving $165,000 just for new code. Remember also that we were reusing a bunch existing code: I’m going to lowball the value of that code at $35,000 giving a total development cost of $200,000.” – Craig Hockenberry, 10.13.2010

I’m not sure if people think it should cost less because these applications run on a small device, or because the app store has turned into a $0.99 thrift store, but the truth is we’re professional developers. This is what we do for a living. You should expect high quality work with all the spit and polish you’ve come to expect in applications you make your living using. I’m not saying we deserve it, I’m saying we strive to earn it. If we don’t deliver what you expect, with the quality you expect, you won’t be back. That makes me work very hard to deliver something you’ll be very pleased with and proud of.

Recently another developer, Kent Nguyen, shared his thoughts on the subject and does a great job pointing out how complex applications can become. It adds up rather quickly.

“The process is not a simple one and I usually guide/educate the client through all the considerations using the following steps” – Kent Nguyen, 01.31.2012

This is a great source of information for anyone trying to decide if they need an iOS application. Know what you’re getting into, before you get into it.