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When you run your own business, the decision of how to spend your time is always tricky. When should you take on contract work, and when should you spend time working on something that’s less financially rewarding, but that you’re more passionate about? Our time is limited, and these decisions affect both our success and our happiness.

You also need to know when to give up on projects that haven’t been as successful as you hoped they would be, but that’s an even trickier decision! Has something not been successful because you didn’t push hard enough on it, or promote it correctly? Or was it because not all ideas are good ideas, and it was never going to be successful?

You won’t be surprised to hear that I’m not talking about a hypothetical decision and that I’m about to retire one of my projects. Which one? The iOS Developer Community Survey.

I had great hopes for this project. I thought it’d be a valuable resource for this community, without the data being owned by a company that was trying to prove some hypothesis for a marketing campaign. I also thought it would put to rest some of the misinformation about how our community feels about the industry. It was intended to show the views of the whole community, rather than the view of people with a popular newsletter, podcast, or with lots of Twitter followers.

The data collection was successful, with over 2,000 people spending a significant amount of time filling in the survey. But the results site that reported the data was not successful at all! It got a spike of traffic when I launched it, but no one was talking about it or visiting the site unless I linked to it. I had even sold advertising on the pages, believing it would be successful! 😬 I did, of course, fully compensate the advertisers for the money they paid, so it did not cost them anything (or ruin my reputation).

I fully intended to continue the survey for at least one more year before calling it a failure, to see if it needed a couple of years to get popular. However, as I started to think about how much my time it would need, and what else I could be spending that time on instead, I concluded that the survey would need to be a snapshot in time, rather than an ongoing resource.

I’m not sad about this decision. It’s OK to fail, and I’m still proud of the work I did last year. This is just one of those situations where I have to choose what to work on, and this didn’t make the cut.

One last thing before we get into this week’s links. If you’re interested in carrying on the project, I’d still love to see it thrive in the future. Reply to this or message me on Twitter and we can chat about it. I’ll provide all the sources, data, and will help to promote it.

Dave Verwer

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iOS Swift & iOS QA Engineer @ Redzone Production Systems – Redzone is looking to hire talented Engineers to join our team. We build a communication and collaboration platform that enables frontline workers to resolve day-to-day production issues themselves before they become problems. (iOS, Swift, Scala, AWS, Kubernetes) – Remote, Miami FL, or Birmingham UK

Senior iOS Engineer @ Branch – Want to build transparent and honest financial services that help working Americans grow? Come join us! – Remote within the US

Senior iOS Engineer @ Runtastic – Contribute to our mission of changing the world through sport! Join the Runtastic team and support hundreds of millions of users in the adidas Running and adidas Training apps as they progress along their fitness journey. We’re currently looking for Senior iOS Engineers to join squads focusing on connecting millions of users through engaging social features or building our CRM core capabilities. – Austria

And finally...

How would you sort an array of numbers, if performance didn't matter? 😂