Video: My Thoughts on App Re-skinning
Hi, this is the daily overpass, my name is Eric and I make apps! Now today I'm going to tell you what I think about App re-skinners. So today I want to talk a bit about app re-skinning. Now as a software developer, someone who writes my own code, I want to give some of my opinions on people who purchase code and just re-skin it. But first, I want to tell you what a bad chess player I am. I'm really bad when I play chess and for some reason I I think I always have been. I'll play against my twelve-year-old son and he'll beat me all the time, and he has since he was eight! And even people will say "oh, you let him win?", I didn't.
The reason I'm not a very good chess player is I always forget that I'm supposed to take the king out. I get so preoccupied with the rest of the board, I mean they're playing very defensively or I'm just watching all the other pieces trying to make sure I'm safe, or I'll go after the Queen or the rooks or the more important pieces, and I will kind of forget the fact that I need to take out the King. So when it comes to re-skinning code, my first reaction here is to say "I don't like the idea of app re-skinning". I'm a software developer, I think you should write your own code, all that kind of stuff. But that's not the objective of the game. The objective of the game is not to write code. I have done one re-skinned app before, I have. A few years ago I had a designer with nothing to do, so I purchased like a swing copter clone and we did a spy-themed swing copter, and it was rejected by Google almost immediately.
It was probably too close to the one, we didn't change the code or anything, and that's one of the ticks against me. Not my brightest moment. But when you think about, whether or not you're somebody who releases an app to the App Store or a product to the market or whatever, the objective should be to get that product on the market, and not how it's done. I know a lot of developers, and me included, my knee-jerk reaction is to say "no, you should write the code yourself", even though, when it comes to re-skinning – when I talk about re-skinning I'm talking about purchasing someone else's code, changing the images, changing the design, changing the theme and releasing it as your own. But I do this same kind of thing with my own apps. So we have ear spy, which is the the most popular one, but we also have ear assist which is the same code but we just rebranded it for a different market – so we have different images, different name, different package, all that kind of stuff.
And all of our language games are using one core set of code, and we're re-skinning it several times over to find new markets and to be able to reach out. And that doesn't feel so bad because of the fact that it's our own code, it's our own product, we can do that. I mean, look at coca-cola, it comes out with how many new types of coca-cola and we don't say they're just copying themselves. But there's kind of a stigma with buying code from somebody else. And I'll tell you, when you think about the end objective, which is to sell products on the market to make money with apps, or with whatever product you do. When I think about it I think, my objective is never to write good code. I write good code to reach my objective, which is to sell products. So if I can sell products without writing code, then I would. If I could, you know, if we can somehow do that, then we would. Now I haven't had a lot of success in the re-skinning, like that one example, and it scared me away from it so much that I won't go back to doing that, or if we do buy some code, and it's something that I look at from time to time, we will get something that we would maybe use 50% of it or change it so much that it's it's no longer even the same product, like maybe use certain modules from it, stuff like that.
But I think if you're an app developer or if you put apps on the market and you hire someone else, or you get some purchase code from, I think it's rag dog studios, or chupa mobile, or all those different places or if you're somebody who uses an app- builder like Appypie or anything like that, the goal is to get something on the app market and get people buying it! And the whole "I coded this all by hand, I coded everything myself, i designed everything myself, everything is my hard work" – that's more like a prestige thing, in my opinion. But then again I'm not the kind of person who buy something because it says 'handcrafted' on it. I just want the product as it is. And in fact, most clients when I mention "well, we could probably purchase some code to get most of this done", they'd much rather have a lower priced product to put onto the market than something that's 100% original. It depends on the client, but you know a lot of times that's the case. So, when it comes to re-skinning, I guess ultimately I don't really have a problem with it.
I haven't been able to make it work and I haven't seen a lot of people who have been able to make it work. I mean like three or four years ago, people were doing it all the time, it was like, you know, 'get rich re-skinning apps' but now not so much. Now what I do have a problem with is copying somebody's app so that you can't tell whether or not it's their app or your app. Like last week we had to get Google to remove three different apps because they were too close to ear spy, they were using the same icon, the same description, the same everything. They were called ear spy and I had to report these to Google and every so often we do that. You know, it's the same like if I released a dating app and I called it tinder ultra or something, or tinder something else, and of course tinder is gonna say "hey, this is pretending to be us and he's trying to confuse users to think that his app is associated with mine". So that's something that we have to do from time to time. so I think if you are gonna be somebody who re-skins apps, then you should really make it unique enough so you're not taking away users from that original one.
But it kind of reminds me of, I read – well actually I listened to the audiobook of Arnold Schwarzenegger's autobiography a few months ago – I was listening to it while I was at in the gym, which I know was really really sad, right, to be that guy who, while I'm in the gym, the new guy in the gym, I'm listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger's audiobook. But he talked about the difference between weight lifters and bodybuilders, which I I thought was strange because I always thought weight lifters and bodybuilders were kind of the same, right? But no, the objectives are different. The weight lifters, their goal is to lift more weight, so it's like that's what they want to do. The more weight you can lift, the better weight lifter you are, but the bodybuilders are more concerned with toning their body, making sure everything's in proportion and more the physical aspects of it and the appearance of it. So if a bodybuilder could lift less weights, it doesn't really matter, because that's not the objective.
And I think the same thing with re-skinning or however you put an app on the market. Like if you could put out an app that you didn't code yourself, you hired somebody else but you're really good at marketing it, I think you're better off than somebody who does everything themselves, everything by hand. But anyway, that's just my opinion, some of you guys I'm sure will disagree with that! So let me know in the comments, and that's it! I guess I'll talk to you guys tomorrow!.