Ep. 23 1 hr 33 min

Doing What You’re Great At and Hiring the Rest with Kyle Rawson Founder of Syphon Sound

Show Notes

Ryan McLeod became an indie app developer after graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2014 and briefly working as a web developer.


After working on a social music startup for a time that ended up disbanding, Ryan switched gears and started learning iOS. Originally a side project, this knowledge led to the creation of the popular iOS app Blackbox, a game that helps players practice creative thinking by solving puzzles without actually touching their screen.


Some Questions I Ask Ryan:

  • What got you into indie app development? [2:58]
  • What happened after you finished up school? [4:24]
  • What about taking risks with app development scares you? [6:36]
  • How did the idea for Blackbox come about and were there any parameters? [10:08]
  • What do you think provides the biggest value when having people test out an app before releasing it? [16:22]
  • Have you ever done a soft launch on an update? [20:39]
  • How do you market the Blackbox app? [22:32]
  • What is the story behind Snapchat and your successful marketing? [34:18]
  • What tools do you use to measure the effects of Blackbox? [39:34]
  • Is the indie developer game realm big? [49:38]
  • What would you give as words of advice to anyone looking to bring their product to the app store? [54:39]
  • What’s next for Blackbox? [1:00:00]
  • How do you develop the levels for Blackbox? [1:02:23]
  • What was the award you received? [1:04:28]
  • Was there a large bump in users when you received this award? [1:06:20]
  • What’s the story behind your Gravity app? [1:07:20]
  • What advice would you give to entrepreneurs? [1:15:35]
  • Would you recommend that entrepreneurs release products right away? [1:16:05]
  • Are there any books, audiobooks, or content you’d recommend? [1:20:06]


Some Things You’ll Learn In This Episode:

  • Why Ryan wouldn’t recommend getting into the music startup industry
  • The work Ryan was doing before training in iOS
  • Ryan’s thoughts on taking risks when there are possibilities for big rewards
  • What aspects of app development Ryan has a particular interest in
  • What Blackbox’s beta testing process was like
  • What program Ryan used for beta testing to tease out flaws
  • What Ryan wished he would have done with the soft launch during testing
  • Why Ryan doesn’t utilize push notifications for Blackbox
  • What the hardest part about developing levels for Blackbox is
  • How the idea for Ryan’s Gravity app came to fruition
  • What kinds of products Ryan personally doesn’t like

Looking to get in touch with Ryan? You can find him here:

Twitter: @Warpling

Instagram: @Warpling