My family went away for the week and while I had prepared to golf a bunch with my daughter, the weather decided to constantly precipitate. Since I had to stay inside, I decided to do some Swift programming and learn SpriteKit. I’m going through Building iOS Games with Sprite Kit and converting the examples to Swift (Sorry, couldn’t resist the pull of efficiency). But let me be honest, even if it weren’t raining, I’d find a way to sneak in some programming.

When I listen to people talk about being successful my mind starts to jump around because I see so many layers to the idea of success that one word doesn’t capture it all for me.

Achieving a Goal

If I make a million (M) dollars next year am I a success? What if my expenses were 2M and my goal was 4M? What if my goal was 1M, but I had to lie to make all those sales? What if my goal was 1M but I had to focus so much on that goal that it lead to a divorce? What if my goal was 1M, but the product was a gag gift and didn’t add anything meaningful to people’s lives?

As you get into more abstract ideas like successful businesses, families, churches, etc. The lines on which you measure success multiply and make it more difficult to determine if you’ve achieved it or not. Also, the lines between success in one area cross and conflict with success in other areas.

Giving up on success

I think I’m pretty close to giving up on the idea of being successful. The idea that I can think or feel like I’ve arrived at some point where I am successful just doesn’t make sense to my current way of thinking. Success is for someone else and that doesn’t bother me in the least. Sure I will set and achieve goals and I will reach milestones, but will always take a back to seat to serving those who God has placed before me.

What is the value of doing what you can? Probably not your best work, but making an effort. I’m writing this after driving 4 hours. It’s not a long or profound post. I wouldn’t even call it a good post, but it is satisfying in that it is keeping my momentum going. It’s always been pretty easy to say this work isn’t going to be very good so I’ll just skip it today. Then that day turns into a couple days or weeks and I’ll have completely lost any rhythm. It’s probably just better to consistently put in the work without regard to the quality of any specific moment. I’ll just keep iterating and improving.

I really enjoy podcasts. I could probably give up any other form of media, but not them. I currently use Downcast to listen to podcasts on my iPhone and video podcasts on my iPad. There are a couple of newer podcast apps namely Overcast and Castro. Finally, there is Pocket Casts which I have been tempted on numerous occasions to try. With these interesting alternatives around, should I make the leap and try the others out?

Not Completely About Money

If I were to buy Castro, Pocket Casts, and Overcast it would cost a grand total of $12.97. I spent about this much 3 years ago when I was initially comparing podcast apps. Am I too cheap to pay out $12.97? No, but there’s more to it than the dollar amount and that is really something I need to remember as I try to develop and sell my own apps. Downcast currently works perfectly well for me. I don’t work around anything. It’s not just good enough, it suits me very well.

I really find it hard to justify paying any amount without a clear benefit. I imagine this plays out similarly across the App Store especially in the case of those who are willing to work around minor problems. If you have a nearly endless supply of free and are willing to live with good enough you probably don’t see the value in ever paying for an app.

I’m Not Consistent

Even though I’m willing to spend money on podcast apps, there are categories which I don’t value enough to spend $0.99. This morning I downloaded 5 free ab workout apps. I can’t tell you their names nor did I take the time to link to them. But I willing to bet that there are a good number of people who are willing to pay for fitness apps because for them good enough isn’t.

What If I’m Missing Some Benefit

I’m sure there are people who once they find something, they will stick with it until its broken (I’m talking narrowly about apps, different areas of life will be handled differently just like like the app segmentation I spoke of before). But I’m always looking for an improvement in my podcast app. I’m always looking for an improvement in my podcast app, so I’ll read the review of every new app or version, but it’s up to the developer to convince me to pay to leave Downcast.

I’m using Jekyll as my blogging engine now. I run a few other blogs on a VPS at DreamHost using WordPress and I’ve been bumping up against the memory limits so I killed the WordPress instance that was previously running the site and I’m enjoying the reduced memory footprint of a static blogging engine.

The default theme is not my favorite, but like the rest of this blog it is a work in progress.