2015 Year In Review

A new year means a new “year in review.” This time I’ll review 2015.

Ah, I remember 2015 as if it were yesterday.

I said in my 2014 Year in Review that I wasn’t planning to write a year in review. The same was true for 2015 until a minute ago when I decided, “Why not?”

A Look Back

I said my goals for 2015 were:

  • Find a steady stream of revenue from an anchor client.
  • Work on products part-time.
  • Pay down my personal debt.
  • And get as much snowboarding and hiking in as possible.

So how did I do? Not so great, but no so bad either.

Steady Stream of Revenue

I found a long term project with an anchor client, but things didn’t work out as planned. In fact I had to leave the project after six months because I was taking a huge financial loss working on the project.

On the plus side, I learned a lot about what I should be charging for billable work and more importantly, how I should be charging. As a result I’ve moved away from hourly billing in favor of fixed price, value-based rates. Also I experimented with daily, weekly, and monthly rates. I wasn’t able to make up for the loss of revenue, but I was able to make up some of it during the second half of the year.

Work Part-Time On My Products

I succeeded with this goal, though I didn’t release as many updates to Cross Post as I had hoped. I did the work on the app adding all sorts of new features. In fact I’m using a special build for myself. But I have not submitted the latest and greatest to the App Store yet.

The main reason for this is the re-branding I’m doing for Cross Post. Also, I have a number of things I want to finish before I release version 2, which will be bigger, better, and have a new name.

Pay Down Personal Debt

In 2014, I paid off a quarter of my personal debt, and I had high hopes of doing better in 2015. But thanks to the lower than expected earnings in 2015, I wasn’t able to pay off as much. I was able to pay it down a bit, and that’s better than ending the year owing more money than I owed at the start of the year. Still, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to pay off more than I did.

Get In As Much Snowboarding and Hiking As Possible

I nailed it with snowboarding. I got 99 days in during the 2014/2015 season. I’m bummed I couldn’t squeak out one more day, but 99 days is still a lot.

I didn’t do as well hiking. I hiked my fewest number of days in years. I became depressed and preoccupied with the events related to the anchor client. This distracted me from taking necessary breaks to hike and enjoy the outdoors for most of the summer and fall.


While the revenue side of things didn’t go as planed in 2015, I did manage to achieve a number of accomplishments.

  • I started a new meet up group for software developers in Stowe, VT.
  • I released three new apps for clients.
  • I released a number of updates to existing apps for both iOS and Mac.
  • I launched Peak App Care, which is off to a great start.
  • And I finally got into a business mindset with White Peak Software.

Getting into a business mindset is probably the greatest accomplishment I had in 2015. I’m thinking about my company in a much different way, and I’m learning a lot from books and courses on what I need to do to grow my company. This gives me hope that 2016 will be the best year ever for White Peak Software.

What Went Right

I feel like I did a number of things right in 2015, but the one that I think is the most interesting was how I retired Killink CSV Editor.

Instead of simply stopping the sell of Killink CSV Editor, I partnered with a competitor, who agreed to give Killink customers a free license to their CSV editor. I wasn’t sure what my customers would think about this offer, but I wanted to try it anyways. Turns out, my customers were happy with this approach to retiring my product. They can continuing using my editor, but they also have the option to use another editor that is activity being worked on. And the kind words and feedback from customers made me feel overwhelmingly happy and good about retiring my CSV editor.

What Didn’t Go So Well

Simple. My arrangement with the anchor client. I won’t get into details. There’s no bad blood between us, and we both agree mistakes were made on both sides. And in the end, I learned some valuable lessons from the mistakes I made…mistakes I will not make again.

Goals for 2016

So what about 2016? What do I have planned for the upcoming year? Here’s my short list:

  • Continue to grow my monthly recurring revenue stream, i.e., Peak App Care.
  • Launch another productized service.
  • Launch a new product.
  • Continue to improve on the apps I have in the App Store.
  • And like last year, pay down my personal debt.
  • And get as much snowboarding and hiking in as possible.