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Thread: A Quick Guide to Making Profit in Cydia

  1. #1
    Lightbulb A Quick Guide to Making Profit in Cydia
    Hi there! As a big fan of ModMyi for a few months now I feel that it's about time I contribute! I don't have a huge knowledge base in programming, but I'm currently studying business in college. From a business and economic perspective, the "Cydia" market is incredibly interesting.

    To Name a Few Interesting Points:
    Large competition among sellers.
    Generally, Consumers are , tech saavy and well aware of what makes smart buying decisions.
    The market produces many different communities and groups (eg: Modmyi) and allows consumers to to communicate directly with developers.
    And of course, Piracy.

    As I watch the release of many of these themes and tweaks (I will refer to these collectively as iMods), I've seen some really easy steps developers are missing which could really help increase the success of their products, and in turn, profit.

    For these steps/tricks, I'll be refering to a theme for the sake of simplicity. However, this is largely applicable to tweaks as well.

    Brainstorming
    To begin, one of the first things you need to ask yourself is if you are trying to make money or not. For you is this a simply side hobby? An opportunity to make some money? Or a combination of the two? If you are trying to make a profit, how much?

    Be realistic! Rememer that while there are some very successful themes in the Cydia market, only the best of the best draw even slightly significant amounts of profit. Even then, don't expect to be rolling in it. Not even Saurik is making significant amounts of money, and he RUNS cydia. (Saurik talks Cydia revenue model, Cydia for Mac, and more)
    Be brutally honest with yourself here, you really don't want to waste your time.

    Scan the enviroment. What do people want out of their iPhones right now? What are the current trends in themes? What makes the current successful themes stand out? The jailbreak communities can make this very easy for you. Modmyi, Reddit are both great resources.

    If you have an original idea, rembember, just because you believe in your idea DOES NOT necessarily mean there is a demand for it in the general public. Think "Shark Tank," don't waste your time.
    You see this all the time on this forum. People who are so incredibly hype about their theme idea and just jump straight in, but when you actually check out the release it's honestly just awful. The theme tanks, no one buys it. It probably gets pirated, and the developer even takes a loss in the form of wasted time. Not good.
    Actually ask tweakers if they think you have a good idea. Maybe release a small sample and judge the feedback you're given. Again, Modmyi and Reddit, both great resources.

    Do you have what it takes? Time, knowledge, and resources. If you don't, no need to give up, maybe you would benefit from having a partner who can fill in the gaps. Be prepared to possibly make a split in any potential profit, however.

    If you feel like the checkpoints are checked, go for it!!

    Marketing & Advertising

    An absolute must.

    Release a few screenshots attached to an advertisement of your theme in progress. Spread these to the popular jailbreak communities. BUILD. THE. HYPE. Do not just randomly release your theme and wonder why no one cares. It just doesn't work like that.

    Also, remember who you are advertising to. You're consumers are hackers. Although jailbreak is getting easier and easier, these people see right through ********. Don't try bullshitting. If you can't put in the time or effort, don't try anything.

    Since these communities are so close, you also have another interesting opportunity available to you. Gain the support of other developers, maybe ask them to throw out a good word for your upcoming theme! If you plan on continuing theming, try to build a relationship! This is very valuable.

    Pirates Ahoy
    The unfortunate truth - If it can be pirated, it will be pirated. Just assume so. Very few successful tweaks don't get pirated, and virutally all successful themes get pirated sooner or later.

    How will you protect yourself against piracy? Every pirate upload is a ton of potential profit out of your pockets. Contrary to popular belief, whining about piracy doesn't make it go away. I'm not an expert in anti piracy in Cydia, but its clear you need to have a game plan layed out here.
    A popular tweak that hasn't been pirated is the IOS 7 version of IntelliScreenx 7. The tweak is from developer Intelliborn, and sells for $9.99. Try to learn from tweaks like this.

    Offer some kind of incentive to actually buy the product. Alot of this would really be aided by brand recognition, but I've seen alot of developers offer access to a VIP section of a forum. Maybe with vip mods or something. Not a bad idea.

    Branding
    So your first theme was a success, either personally or financially, and you've decided you want to continue! You need to create a brand! You need to give something for consumers to refer to, and that when they buy that theme, they know from experience to expect serious quality. This is a fairly straightforward process. Nice logo. Maybe a website with some forums for support. Creating a serious brand will already put you a step ahead of ALOT of themers. Most people miss this step. From here on out though, you need to be concious of what you say, how you say it, what you release. Your consumers are smart, critical and they're not afraid to call you out (internet).
    If you release some ****, you'll get ****. Then you're brand will be **** and you're just **** out of luck.

    Pricing Strategy
    Some time ago I learned about a psychological study, where the subject was blindfolded and they set 3 different kinds of wines in front of him. Wine #1 was actually cheap in price and regarded as bad tasting. They told him it was like $60 or something. Wine #2 was actually expensive and regarded as good tasting. They told him it was $15. In the end people widely said the expensive wine was bad, and the cheap wine was better. All because of the price. Not exactly sure what the name for this is, maybe placebo effect. But this effect occurs in alot of markets and guess what? People aren't blindfolded, just dumb.

    Sure alot of price is based on content in the package, but..
    There are two types of pricing strategies you need to know about

    Skimming Price Strategy - Release the product with a high price, to maximize profit while there is little competition.

    Penentration Price Strategy - Release the product with a low price in order to ensure large consumption.

    Skimming, rarely works, and it's clear why. The amount of competition in Cydia is very high among sellers. Your product better be seriously innovative and completely different in order to use this strategy. Intelliscreenx 7 is $9.99 because there is very little competition. Especially when it was released.
    When Skimming does work, it's usually just that "placebo effect." "Im paying more so I'll get more." Not always, sir. And if you're trying to create a brand, you're gonna make alot of consumers very upset.

    Market penetration is a much safer and effective solution. So, start your product at a low price, and then release additional "add-ons" to increase profit. After a while consider creating an ultimate package with addons offered at a good discount.

    That's all I have guys, I know developers work hard for their money so I'm just trying to make sure they follow a few simple steps to maximize their profits.

    If you guys have any additional tips for developers, please feel free to post them below and I'll edit them in! Hope you guys have a good day!

    User Posted Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
    I had an idea that I think could make a Dev (not a themer) some decent money.

    Instead of creating tweaks that they personally feel are important/worth their time, instead become a Dev-for-hire!

    I, personally, have a couple tweax I'd like created but no developer is interested. I'd gladly pay them just to satisfy my need for the tweak.

    So, my thought was:
    - The dev creates an app for tweak submissions
    - The requester fills out the form and pays the dev a certain amount ($5, 10, 20, etc) pending on the complexity
    - The dev creates the tweak and can choose to offer it for free or sell it on Cydia
    - All profits go to the dev ONLY
    Last edited by Jon_e29; 2014-10-09 at 07:05 AM.

  2. #2
    If I had a nickel... thazsar's Avatar
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    Default A Quick Guide to Making Profit in Cydia
    I had an idea that I think could make a Dev (not a themer) some decent money.

    Instead of creating tweaks that they personally feel are important/worth their time, instead become a Dev-for-hire!

    I, personally, have a couple tweax I'd like created but no developer is interested. I'd gladly pay them just to satisfy my need for the tweak.

    So, my thought was:
    - The dev creates an app for tweak submissions
    - The requester fills out the form and pays the dev a certain amount ($5, 10, 20, etc) pending on the complexity
    - The dev creates the tweak and can choose to offer it for free or sell it on Cydia
    - All profits go to the dev ONLY

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to thazsar For This Useful Post:

    vXBaKeRXv (2014-10-12)

  4. #3
    That's a great idea! It's quite possible that something has been attempted in this direction before, but I've never seen anything!

    One problem though
    First, remember that any real profit for dev's comes in from the number of downloads. "Yeah the theme is $.99 but 300 people have purchased it." So if you're just one person, you better be willing to fork over some serious cash to make it worth his/her while. Or if the tweak could be submitted to Cydia afterwards for a good chance at additional profit maybe the dev could charge less.

  5. #4
    If you haven't yet, I'd suggest taking a look at r/Tweakbounty

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Jon G For This Useful Post:

    Jon_e29 (2014-10-09)

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