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Topic: Sabotaging iForce is 'really' hurting me now . . .
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Feb 9, 2010 02:32PM)
Hello to my iPhone owning magic friends,

As most of you know, 4 months ago, I released a magic app for the iPhone called "iForce".
http://cli.gs/iForceOnAppStore

If you already have iForce, and have rated it honestly, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Over the last year, I've tried to change my "real" job from a traveling salesman (which is a [b]family killer[/b]) to a stay at home father that makes a living from developing magic apps.

So far the response to my app has been amazing. All the reviews, from every corner of the world, agree that "iForce is the best magic app ever!". But this letter isn't about the words in a review, it's about the star ratings.

Here's the dark side to this story. My customers think iForce is [b]so good[/b], that they want to hide it from everyone else by giving my app a one star rating. Here are a few examples: (keep in mind these are [b]all[/b] one star reviews)


KEEP THE RATING LOW IDIOTS
by tomcat1121 on Feb 7, 2010 v1.2
Awesome app, debatably one of the best and funnest apps ever. Great job. KEEP THE RATINGS LOW SO PEOPLE don't FIND THIS APP OUT. OTHERWISE THIS IS A 5 star APP.

AMAZING
by Topappreviews on Feb 4, 2010 v1.2
Great app, rated only 1 star to keep it hidden really should be 10 stars amazing magic app worth $3!!

READ THIS!!!!!
by Austinjrdn on Feb 3, 2010 v1.2
First, this is the best app ever, I'm so glad I bought it, and if you don't have it, you need it now. KEEP THE RATINGS LOW SO THAT ITS NOT POPULAR! The less people that know these secrets the better!


If you visit the iForce app page, you'll find MANY other one star reviews just like the ones above:

You probably noticed that these reviews not only give my app a dishonest rating, they ask OTHERS to do the same.

So, what started as a solid 4.5 to 5 star rating, has turned into a 3 to 3.5 star rating.

Hence, our ranking has dropped, and our sales have dropped considerably.

I've tried pleading with my customers with this paragraph: (which appears on our app page under "What's New in Version 1.2")

*** PLEASE READ *** To those of you who love iForce but are giving it a one star review to keep it secret. I'm an independent developer who's trying to make a living for my family. It's already tough to get sales on a magic app when there is no word of mouth, but to have your users post dishonest reviews and ask others to do so as well is very disheartening. Please rate iForce with an honest rating. The karma will come back two-fold. :)

Unfortunately, the above paragraph hasn't helped the matter at all.

Hence, I'm at my wits ends . . . I have no recourse to this kind of dishonest and selfish defamation of my product.

This is so disheartening that I'm seriously considering pulling the plug on my 3 other upcoming magic apps and making iForce FREE.

If one third of my customers are going to sabotage my products, then why would I continue developing any magic app?!

So, I'm asking my friends for a little help. If you have an iPhone, or know someone that does, could you please have them spend a minute honestly rating my app. If you don't have an iPhone, could you please give a 5 star rating to my video on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey4vJcyBLkE

If you're involved with any news agency, my situation makes a GREAT story.

thank you very much for your help,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: slyhand (Feb 9, 2010 03:09PM)
I am curious Greg, do they have a point?
Will a high rating make it more popular with the general public thereby ruining it for the magicians?

If not, then why?

I do understand your point as well. Low ratings equal low sales.

Is there a way that only those who purchase it and are magicians will be able to know it is a gaffed app and know how to use it?

When someone reads about it because of a high rating who is not a magician, is it obviously a magic app?

I am not real familiar with the way this whole thing works so forgive my ignorance.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Feb 9, 2010 04:03PM)
Hi slyhand,

There are 57 million iPhones/iPod Touches in the world and 6,692,030,277 people. iForce is on a [b]very[/b] small number of those devices (and I do mean [b]small[/b]). The probability of you showing iForce to someone that knows about it is 1 in 270,000 !!!

If I was to sell 1000 times more iForces then I have now, then the chances are obviously 1 in 270.

I see your point, but what incentive do I have to create a good magic product, when my customers don't want to see me succeed?

The question is what percentage of my customers don't care about my future as a magic dealer. With ONE click of their mouse they have hurt my business. I and Randy on the other hand have spent months [b]helping[/b] them with their magic. Do you see my point?

If the purpose of magic is to never sell the secret, then anyone involved in selling magic should stop doing business now.

Honestly, I'm looking for a solution to this problem. This is the reason why I've turned to my friends here on the Magic Café.

sincerely,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: slyhand (Feb 9, 2010 08:30PM)
Like I said, I absolutely see your point.

I also asked if there a way that only those who purchase it and are magicians will be able to know it is a gaffed app and know how to use it.

That way everybody who purchases it as a magic app will feel confident that the secret will stay a secret and everyone who is a "lay" person will think of it as just a regular app with no clue as the the true coolness of it.

Which now that I am thinking about it would really be cool. You could then use their phone or pod and do the same trick without their knowledge that they have a magic app.

How cool would that be, huh?

You would then get a ton of high ratings because magicians would WANT to use the spectators own pod/phone.

Of course I don't know anything about programing it may be impossible to do.

I hope I helped a bit.
Message: Posted by: Roger Kelly (Feb 9, 2010 11:17PM)
I've tried to rate it from my Ipod touch (connectd to wi-fi) but the option is greyed out for some reason.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Feb 9, 2010 11:41PM)
Thank you Roger for trying.

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: ArtofDeception (Feb 10, 2010 02:43AM)
I rated the youtube video and the app, Five stars of course, I hope people really stop rating it low and that you can get a good profit out of all the hard work you put into it.
Message: Posted by: STM70 (Feb 10, 2010 02:51AM)
I already had rated the app 5 stars and just rated the video with 5 stars. You put out a great product and you should be rewarded for your hard work. Keep up the work Greg. Please don't leave your fellow Jedis.

STM70
Message: Posted by: ArtofDeception (Feb 10, 2010 03:31AM)
I do wish that the people who rated it dishonestly would get punished, and making the iforce a free app would be a great punishment,sadly not just for them. but that would get their attention.
Message: Posted by: Roger Kelly (Feb 10, 2010 07:19AM)
I see that there is a free iForce lite version now. I've added my 5 stars now I know how to! I love this effect and it should have eleven stars! But making it free to all and sundry would punish us all and that would be such a shame. Please don't do it Greg.
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Feb 10, 2010 07:31AM)
I certainly hope you are able to resolve this problem, Greg. I have given the app and the video both top ratings.

I also noticed that at least a couple of people who initially gave the dishonestly low ratings have gone back and changed them. Hope more of those folks come to their senses.

Joe Libby
San Antonio, TX
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Feb 10, 2010 11:13AM)
Thank you all very much for your support.

I've already noticed a positive trend. Your combined Jedi powers are STRONG!!

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Feb 10, 2010 12:21PM)
Greg, per your earlier post,I wish I knew someone in the press you could contact. However, off the top of my head I thought of a potentially great headline for a press release:

[b]iPhone Magic App Is Getting Buried ... Because It's Too Good![/b]

You could tweak it, but I can't imagine that angle not getting a journalist's attention.

If you can use it, please run with it.

Joe Libby
San Antonio, TX
Message: Posted by: ddenz (Feb 16, 2010 11:33AM)
Greg,

I appreciate your "predict-ament". With the market so small for your product, you really need to increase the price. Your application is so under-priced right now. When I compare it to other utilities such as wallets, "thought transmitters" portfolios, electronics, imp-pads, and the like costing from $30 to a $1,000 dollars I think you have a lot of room.

I'm sure that the community would support your product at $20-$25. Now I'll probably get hate mail from the masses for suggesting that. If Apple is the problem with pricing or access there are other routes to go. I'm seeing other web based app stores for the I-phone now, that do not need to "jail-break" a phone to run. I've even bought a magic app that way just to test the process.

Offering your app for free or a free lite version, only cheapens your product, and will drive away your real customer base. The short lived spitefulness will soon turn to regret.

You have an awesome product. I believe it is truly one of the best products to come out of magic and mentalism for years. By the way, I am a hack of a programmer, a hobbyist magician and mentalist, and a Certified Business Adviser full time for New York State.

Please go to the Small Business Administration web site at http://www.sba.gov and look up the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in your area. They offer free unlimited one on one business counseling with professional certified business advisor's. Its free (pre-paid with your tax dollars) and available to any business owner or anyone interested in starting a business. They can help you with pricing & marketing.

ddenz aka Cap'n Dave
Message: Posted by: Mysterious Mike (Feb 22, 2010 05:06PM)
Just rated it five stars. Keep up the good work!
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Feb 28, 2010 06:13PM)
Thank you very much Mike.

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: kannon (Mar 3, 2010 09:11AM)
[b]iForce[/b] is in the TOP 25 apps on iTunes ... it's at number 9 I can't see bad reviews having hurt it at all.
Message: Posted by: mtmagic (Mar 3, 2010 10:36AM)
I just went back and rated it a 5 where it definetly should be!
Message: Posted by: SWNerndase (Mar 4, 2010 01:41AM)
Greg

Your app is excellent. So good that you have created a difficult problem for yourself. You're going to have to decide who you want your market to be--magicians or the general public? Because it's a fact that as you sell more and more copies of your app in general, it becomes less useful to magicians. Yes, I understand the numbers--doesn't matter. If I wanted to use it in any kind of professional context, and just one person in the audience has it on their phone, it is pointless. I've already had two non-magicians show me their version of iForce. (One tried a number 1-8 and missed. The other predicted a bill removed from my wallet perfectly.) And importantly, both were all too eager to show me the secret and tell me what it's called, how much it costs, and how to avoid the "decoy" app. So for me it is now a cool party stunt for friends and a great social trick for casual settings.

I am a partner in a company that develops iPhone apps. Early on my role was to help develop magic tricks for the iPhone. In fact, two years ago we had developed an app very much like yours, but not as robust and customizable. (Did I mention your app is excellent?) I had a series of long talks with my partners about it, and we decided not to release it partly because I could foresee the situation you are now struggling with. Plus, I didn't want apps that revealed real conjuring principles in the hands of the general public. So my partners wanted to sell it to the world, and I wanted to keep it exclusive. Clearly though, marketing it to magicians alone, hiding it from the public, meant low sales/no ROI/bad business.

We thought about pricing magic apps much higher than standard apps to keep them out of the hands of the curious. We worked on methods for offering magic apps for installation without the iTunes store, or how to make a useful app and "hide" the magic features for buyers who were not magicians. But the math just doesn't work if you aren't going to market it to everyone, and in the end we decided to eschew magic apps entirely. We now focus on utilities and games and little novelty apps, and I am happily in the background as an advisor.

So I understand your dilemma. I would never do such a thing myself, but I can't really blame those that give your app a low rating because they want to keep it exclusive. Is it selfish? Well, yes. Does it hurt you? Obviously it does. But secrets matter to magicians. Exclusivity matters. You cannot amaze someone with iForce if they have it on their phone too. You're going to have to come to terms with the fact that releasing an app for the phone that anyone can buy means it isn't a tool for performing magicians, and your real customer base is amateurs, hobbyists and the general public. Not necessarily a bad thing if you are selling software. In fact it's a good thing if the idea is to sell as many as possible. But you will have to put up with magicians who would like to keep it to themselves, and who may resent and resist it being available to anyone with a few bucks and an iTunes account.

You might want to talk to Chris Kenner about all of this. I did. He has insight.

I wish you the best. Good luck.

SWN
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Mar 4, 2010 12:09PM)
[quote]Your app is excellent.[/quote]
Thank you SWN, I appreciate it. I agree with everything that you've said, but allow me to point out my perspective on this matter.

[quote]I've already had two non-magicians show me their version of iForce. (One tried a number 1-8 and missed. The other predicted a bill removed from my wallet perfectly.) And importantly, both were all too eager to show me the secret and tell me what it's called, how much it costs, and how to avoid the "decoy" app.[/quote]
That's really odd . . . I've been performing iForce longer then anyone else (and I perform it a LOT) I've never met anyone that had a copy of it or knew about it. Maybe that's my good luck. ;-)

[quote]I would never do such a thing myself,[/quote]
Once again thank you for your moral outlook on this.

[quote]But secrets matter to magicians. Exclusivity matters.[/quote]
iForce IS exclusive . . . at minimum it costs $201.99 (iPod Touch at $199 + iForce at $2.99)

[quote]I can't really blame those that give your app a low rating because they want to keep it exclusive. Is it selfish? Well, yes. Does it hurt you? Obviously it does.
[/quote]This brings us to the crux of the matter. This has to do with someone's PERSONALITY (moral fiber, outlook on life, etc.). When someone rates iForce with high ratings they are praising my app and showing their support for my future apps. They want to HELP me.

But, when someone rates iForce with a low rating, they selfishly (with one click of the mouse) want to HURT me.

Well . . . I CAN HURT BACK . . . with one click of my mouse I can make iForce FREE, stop all my future app developments and go back to my day job.

[quote]You might want to talk to Chris Kenner about all of this. I did. He has insight.[/quote]
I would love to talk to Chris about this. How can I contact him?

[quote]I wish you the best. Good luck.[/quote]
Once again thank you my friend.

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Mar 4, 2010 12:51PM)
[quote]iForce IS exclusive . . . at minimum it costs $201.99 (iPod Touch at $199 + iForce at $2.99) [/quote]
I forgot to mention that anyone can walk into a magic shop and buy an Invisible Deck (the GREATEST card trick of all time) for under $20. Has this made the Invisible Deck obsolete?!

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: SWNerndase (Mar 4, 2010 06:04PM)
Greg--

You can reach Kenner through his Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Chris-Kenner/15083943122 I can't give out private contact info, but a post on his wall should reach him.

Again, I understand everything you say, and can empathize with your frustration. It must be painful to have people love your app so much that they want it all to themselves. I was simply pointing out what I'm sure you already understand--that the better your magic apps are, the more magicians will want to prevent non-magicians from knowing about or buying them. I see both sides. Tough nut to crack.

The two approaches that make the most sense (and the reason our company abandoned R&D on magic apps for the time being) are:

1. To put them out as you have, to try to sell as many as possible to any and every one, and just live with the fact that some magicians will not help you in your marketing, and may in fact undermine sales intentionally. (A bummer.)

2. To decide that your market will be the very (VERY!) small "magicians only" market, and price the app accordingly so they are the only ones buying it. (Even more of a bummer.)

Since you are in the business of making the most money possible from selling your app, the first approach is really the only way, since the second is severely limiting. Oh, there is one other approach worth mentioning since the profit potential is probably the highest, though it too feels unsatisfying. Still, this is the approach my company may pursue in the future:

3. Make magic apps that are cute, fun, easy, with broad appeal to the general public, but that magicians think of more as toys than really deceptive useful tricks. Think iBeer, Koi Pond, but with an interesting puzzle/magic trick angle. It seems s****y to suggest that you develop apps that are less than you are capable of magically, but it does neatly side step the whole magician problem. Plus, I think apps designed for the public instead of magicians stand a better chance of being a breakout hit at the iTunes store. Anathema to what you'd like to be doing, I suspect. But something to ponder.

SWN
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Mar 4, 2010 08:05PM)
Hi SWN,

I agree with your item number 3. As a matter of fact there IS an app that I'm working on now that falls under that category.

Magicians would never want it, but it's so clever that laymen want to have it.

Thank you so much for your input in this matter. I will try to contact Chris Kenner.

all the best to you,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: balzar (Mar 16, 2010 04:14PM)
I just downloaded the app, and am thrilled with it, and have left the applicable feedback. I expect in time the app will garner both the user base and the positive reviews it deserves.
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Mar 16, 2010 07:40PM)
Greg,
iForce is wonderful.
I purchased it and used it on an ipod.
Now, I have changed to a Hero on the Android platform.
Is there any chance that you might port it to Android?
I WILL buy again.
Peace,
Parson
Message: Posted by: Davy Davis (Mar 20, 2010 06:35PM)
Just purchased it today and played with it for a while. Wonderful app. I'm very sorry to hear about the sabatoge. I have never reviewed an app before so this post made me decide it was time. 5 stars. I look forward to your future work.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Mar 24, 2010 12:04AM)
Thank you so much Davy,
Greg Rostami


Posted: May 30, 2010 5:05am
--------------------------------
The latest string of 1 star reviews is SO HURTFUL that I think I'm going to throw in the hat and give away iForce for free.

Today I had 26 one star reviews that all said "Rate 1 star to keep the secret."

I don't think my wife and I can take this any more. I feel like I'm ***ed no matter what I do.

I had plans to work on my new iPhone app this weekend, but I'm so depressed about the relentless anonymous slander of my app, that I don't think I'm going to develop anything else.

I apologize to everyone that has supported iForce with honest reviews, but I'm afraid this just hurts too much to continue.

I'm gonna have a long talk with my co developer Randy this week, but unless things change (which I highly doubt they will) I'll pull the plug in about a week, post iForce for free, and stop my other magic app developments.

I'm going to Australia next week for some business, hence I'm not going to check on the Café as often as I like.

Sorry about the bad news friends,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: jprace (May 30, 2010 11:32AM)
We are all sorry about the bad reviews, and this kind of slander must hurt. However, how would making iForce free help anyone? It wouldn't help you make sales, and it wouldn't help magicians.
Message: Posted by: jlibby (May 30, 2010 12:35PM)
Greg, very sorry this is happening to you.

Joe Libby
San Antonio, TX
Message: Posted by: bugjack (May 30, 2010 03:12PM)
Hi Greg,

First, I'm sorry to hear this too, for two reasons. The first is purely selfish. I don't have an iPhone but do have an iPad and I've been waiting for the iPad update for this app. I take it you won't be doing one now, which is a disappointment. The second reason is because I'm a content creator too and know as well how distressing internet-enabled forms of professional discouragement (in my case, piracy) can be.

That said, I want to note some other things.

When I go to the App store page for your app I see that the overall rating for your app is 4 stars. "Five stars" is the category with the most respondents. You have an endorsement from David Pogue of the New York Times, who also gave your app extraordinary publicity by devoting a whole column to it in which he directly addressed the issue of the one-star reviews. Yes, it's crummy people are trying to sabotage the app by rating it low, but many more people have rated it honestly and the low ratings have even paradoxically resulted in more positive publicity. I can see how the one-star reviews might result in a loss of sales, but I would hope that the positive reviews and Pogue's review have offset this loss by bringing new users into the mix.

And then there's the emotional issue, which seems significant as well -- knowing that members of your community are trying to curtail your ability to make a living. Yes, this sucks. But I'd be surprised if you get a ton of sympathy here at the Café. There's a sizable contingent here that objects to professional-level magic being taught through channels accessible to the general public. Multiply this concern for mentalism-related effects, especially those that don't look like "tricks." Something like the Ellusionist Invisible Deck trick or Kenner's Rising Card seem like magic tricks, whereas yours feels like an extension of a mentalist's technique (even if that technique is philosophically not that different from techniques used in other tricks). So, frankly, I think there are people here who probably posted some of those one-star reviews. They do love iForce, and, as they say, they want it out of the hands of the "merely curious."

One response would be price iForce a lot higher, like $20 or $30 (although I usually hate when people here come down on creators about pricing too low) and include routines or ideas by various colleagues, thus signifying that it is a "pro" effect and restricting its audience. Or, ignore the haters, recognize that you have waded into controversial waters, and just keep doing what you are doing. (Advice that is pretty much the same as SWErdnases's above, I just realized). I guess what I'm saying is that anyone marketing over the internet these days needs to have a tough skin. Hope you don't wind up abandoning what seems like a very promising career as a creator in these new technological arenas.

Scott
Message: Posted by: jochri (May 30, 2010 05:54PM)
I bought it, I enjoy it, it's just great! [b]Thank you![/b]


Posted: May 31, 2010 10:27am
[quote]
On 2010-05-30 16:12, bugjack wrote:
...You have an endorsement from David Pogue of the New York Times, who also gave your app extraordinary publicity by devoting a whole column to it in which he directly addressed the issue of the one-star reviews....
[/quote]
Wayne Kawamoto wrote about the NYT article & the app & the rating issue in his Magic&Illusion blog at about.com ( http://magic.about.com/b/2010/05/28/magic-and-iphone-apps.htm ). So all in all the app is getting the best PR one can imagine because of the bad ratings... ;)
Message: Posted by: Carl Andrews (May 31, 2010 10:49AM)
Greg don't let a few idiots determine your future. Regardless of ratings your app will do well by word of mouth. Your app is up near the top grossing apps on iTunes in the entertainment category so you are making a few bucks and the app is the best! Other than my own apps, your app is the only other magic app I use. Keep up the good work!
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (May 31, 2010 10:58AM)
Thank you for your kind words jochri,

Hi Scott and Jeff,

Thank you for your support about this matter.

In the life of any app there are a few spikes in sales that escalate the popularity of that app to stardom. ALL of the top apps in the app store have had this happen to them (Doodle Jump, Pocket God, etc.)

In the lifespan of iForce I've had 3 such spikes:

1. What's Hot list on the app store
2. UK's "The Gadget Show" TV appearance of iForce
3. David Pogue's blog in the NY Times

In each of these cases, I see a huge growth in ratings in a matter of an hour. This obviously translates to great sales. But in the case of iForce, in each of these cases, every time I've had a spike, the HUGE BARRAGE of one-star reviews has immediately stopped my app from becoming financially successful.

The first time this happened, it was depressing, but it wasn't that bad. I thought that it was a short lived fad and that it would go away. I naively thought that in the long run these one-stars would vanish and people's real opinions of my app would prevail.

The second time it happened (During the UK show) it was once again a big downer, but because the UK market is smaller than the US, the number of slanderous one-star ratings wasn't that bad.

But this time (the David Pogue blog) it's completely OUT OF CONTROL. Currently over 40% of the reviews are the fake "keep iForce low" crowd.

Let me present an analogy to help you understand how I feel.

Imagine you own a restaurant that has great food. For some strange reason, 40% of your customers, after eating at your restaurant, go outside and tell everyone NOT to eat at your restaurant because the food is poison.

In the real world, you would call the police and have these 40% arrested for SLANDER. Later on in court you would also seek punitive damages from this 40% and WIN.

But in the internet world, the same thing is happening to me, but I can't call the police to have this 40% arrested. Why? Because, the 40% is anonymous, hidden, protected by the invisible cloak of the internet. BUT, the financial damages that the 40% causes are REAL, and me and my family suffer the consequences.

The 40% gets away with crime and they get what they wanted . . . they kept my app in the "down low".

Pricing iForce higher doesn't work mainly because, magicians wouldn't spend $30 on a magic app regardless of how good it is. As I'm sure you've read here on the Café, magicians are severely against using tech gadgets in their shows. Even if they did buy iForce, the number of sales would be so low that once again, I'm back to square one and I can't support my family.

Once again sorry about the bad news friends. iForce was fun while it lasted. I wish I could show you all the other cool magic that Randy and I had created, but I'm afraid that's not gonna happen now.

take care friends,
Greg Rostami

P.S. You know what's funny . . . if I was to sell to only 1% of the 80 million iPhones/iPod Touches out there, I would have to sell 73,000 copies of iForce, every DAY, for THREE YEARS . . . just to sell to 1% !! Selling 73,000 apps a day is impossible . . . the top apps are lucky to sell 10,000 apps a day.

Unfortunately, the people that give me one-star ratings will never grasp this fact.
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (May 31, 2010 11:58AM)
I would hope that instead of making iForce free, that you instead bump it up to $20 (or more) before you walk away from it.

I seriously think a higher price tag would eliminate many of those 1-star reviews.
Message: Posted by: Carl Andrews (May 31, 2010 02:11PM)
I do agree that the app is under priced for how good it reall is but I understand
wanting sales. It may be better to sell to only
those who will pay for it at the higher price
and get all five star ratings. Any pro or serious
magic student would pay for your app realizing
the potential, how much do they pay for one trick
dvd' s or props at a magic shop. Everytime I use iForce I marvel
at how good it is and how it gives you the credit
and not the iPhone. I hope you will change your
mind and continue creating great apps!
Message: Posted by: jlibby (May 31, 2010 05:08PM)
Greg, do you know if any other app developers are experiencing this problem? I hope this doesn't sound too "out there," but the fact that these one-star ratings have been so relentless makes it sound like sabotage.

Obviously it is sabotage, but whether it's a concerted effort or not is another matter. I don't know if it helps or not, but I'm just trying to think of every possibility.

In spite of all this, I hope you'll reconsider your decision to stop making apps.

Joe Libby
San Antonio, TX
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (May 31, 2010 05:30PM)
Hi Joe,

I've checked the one-star ratings of all of the other magic apps on the app store, and NONE of them have this problem.

I don't it's sabotage from other developers. It might be, but I'm pretty sure it's users. I don't think other developers would spend the money to keep buying my app again and again just to give it a low rating.

Thanks for your concern Joe,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: SWNerndase (Jun 2, 2010 01:18AM)
Let me suggest something else:

A magic trick app is never going to be a huge breakout hit. Leaf Trombone, Pocket God, Doodle Jump and the rest of the legendary big money apps are all self entertaining. A trick you have to practice and perform for someone else to really enjoy is not in the same category. Magicians are the main market, and it's to be expected that the general public won't be as interested in this as they will Tetris.

I just looked and iForce has a 4+ rating currently. That's a very good rating. I think it's possible, likely even, that the magicians trying to keep your app a secret are having little effect on sales in reality. Even if every single review was a glowing 5 stars, it's just not the kind of app that will be huge, and I think it was unrealistic from the start to think you could "support your family" from one magic app. If you're making a few bucks, that's great. If you develop a catalog of good magic apps that each made a few bucks steadily you might find yourself doing quite well--without having a single breakout big seller. Better though, from a business standpoint to develop games and tools with wider appeal than tricks you have to learn to perform.

Sorry you feel so hurt by the one star ratings. I think you've made a very fine niche product. And that niche is small regardless of comments and ratings.

SWN
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Jun 2, 2010 05:40PM)
I just got my ipad yesterday and quickly purchased your app. While it is a great app, it really doesn't look good on the ipad's screen in the expanded mode, which is the only way I'd want to use it on the big screen. If you are not planning on updating the app for the ipad, how do I go about getting a refund? (Although it doesn't look nearly as bad as Kenner's Card Rise on the big screen.)
Message: Posted by: jprace (Jun 2, 2010 07:00PM)
J.Robert, please check [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=366174&forum=273&2]this thread[/url] out.
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Jun 3, 2010 09:56PM)
I've already viewed that thread, thanks.
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Jun 3, 2010 10:35PM)
Idea: Buy ads in Genii, MAGIC, etc., with the slogan, "Buy the best worst-rated app in the App Store!" :bg:
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jun 4, 2010 12:50PM)
Greg,

As a software developer myself I can certainly understand your position. It's impossible to improve the product with little or no hope of turning a profit. However, let me throw out an opinion. The reason your application has been targeted more so than the other magic apps out there is because IT IS BETTER THAN THE OTHER MAGIC APPS OUT THERE.

This is the only application that works small for impromptu gatherings, strolling, table-hopping, parties, informal events, AND (assuming the iPad version makes it to market) as a platform/stage piece that can work with audiences of nearly any size. The application itself is completely adaptable to the preferences and needs of the performer and IT HAS LIMITLESS USES.

The best-of-breed applications in every category are routinely targeted (usually by competitors and not the users) BECAUSE THEY ARE THE BEST. Your application is no exception.

In fact, the more exposure your application gets, the more people will use it and the more genuine your rating will become since the fringe users that would sabotage it with a low rating are definitely in the minority. In other words, the more popular it gets the better the rating will get, and this is a cycle that will spiral upward.

Therefore, it is my sincerest hope, that you take some time to think it over before deciding to pull the plug. You've created a remarkable tool and it would be so unfortunate (for all of us) if you were discontinue development.

Thanks for listening.
Message: Posted by: magicmike30 (Jun 4, 2010 09:05PM)
Hi Greg I just downloaded this to my I phone and will look at it tonight.
Please don't give it away I intend on doing some crazy mental magic with it.
I will also give an honest rating and from your mind I can predict what that will be.
Finally a magic app that does not scream "Hey it's a magic app for the I phone."

Will let you know my thoughts,

Mike


Posted: Jun 5, 2010 2:07pm
---------------------------------
Alright Greg I think I figured out the problem. You are charging way too little for this effect.
It is sure brilliance and my head is spinning on what I will be able to customize with it.
Love this effect and can't wait to show my spectator's.

Now I'm no savvy tech guy but I did not see where I could rate the app?
If you can point that out to me you deserve 6 stars.

This is really cool.

Mike
Message: Posted by: magicFreak2 (Jun 5, 2010 07:58PM)
***. I had a one star rating (which I just reversed, including a message regarding the issue). I had no clue it was hurting you so bad. :(

I think most others don't even realize what they are doing.
It's basically the most painful form of flattery to you I guess. :( Bloody sad. :(

I just created a new setup for iforce today that let's you guess a number between 1 and 50 with almost perfect accuracy. I bought my iPod SOLELY to run iForce. And then I pay $3 and destroy the genius creator's income even more. I am so sorry. I could pay you another $3, but I'm afraid what I've done is to bad to fix. :(
Message: Posted by: MAOmagic (Jun 5, 2010 09:06PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-05 14:07, magicmike30 wrote:
Now I'm no savy tech guy but I did not see where I could rate the app?
If you can point that out to me you deserve 6 stars.
[/quote]

You can easily rate it from inside iTunes. Just search Rostami, or iForce and it will. Click on it, and then below the screen shots, there is a 5 star rating system, but it would be really great if you would would even write one. You just click "write review" just to the right of that.

~Andrew
Message: Posted by: magicmike30 (Jun 6, 2010 07:00AM)
Thanks Andrew, will look at that. This is really cool and I have already made a custom setting. The wife had no clue how I was able to do this? With three methods you have all the protection you need;)
Message: Posted by: mrmuggles (Jun 8, 2010 08:41PM)
I bought it and rated it 5 stars. There is only one thing to look for, don't try it on a couch or cushion or any fluffy material... It failed.. The person saw the number disapear and another one reapear. I think the "bounce back" from the cushion made it happen. Boooh to me for not thinking about it.
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Jun 8, 2010 11:37PM)
If you can't find an appropriate surface, then switch to method two or three.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jun 9, 2010 01:23AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-02 02:18, SWNerndase wrote:
Let me suggest something else:

A magic trick app is never going to be a huge breakout hit. Leaf Trombone, Pocket God, Doodle Jump and the rest of the legendary big money apps are all self entertaining. A trick you have to practice and perform for someone else to really enjoy is not in the same category. Magicians are the main market, and it's to be expected that the general public won't be as interested in this as they will Tetris. [/quote] Hi SWNerndase,

I agree with you, but currently the "Cell Phone Tracker PRO" app is in the top 10 grossing apps and it's an app that requires performance (not self entertaining).[quote]I just looked and iForce has a 4+ rating currently. That's a very good rating. I think it's possible, likely even, that the magicians trying to keep your app a secret are having little effect on sales in reality. Even if every single review was a glowing 5 stars, it's just not the kind of app that will be huge, and I think it was unrealistic from the start to think you could "support your family" from one magic app. If you're making a few bucks, that's great. If you develop a catalog of good magic apps that each made a few bucks steadily you might find yourself doing quite well--without having a single breakout big seller. Better though, from a business standpoint to develop games and tools with wider appeal than tricks you have to learn to perform.

Sorry you feel so hurt by the one star ratings. I think you've made a very fine niche product. And that niche is small regardless of comments and ratings.

SWN
[/quote]Once again, I agree with a few of your points. My current ranking is 3.4 (not 4+).

I disagree about your point about “glowing 5 star ratings”. The ranking of an app is dictated by a computer. If you have an app that gets 5 star ratings it becomes visible. If not your app is invisible. When my ratings are high I see higher traffic, so do all other app developers.

When it comes to supporting my family, the math regarding this is very simple. At the end of this month there will be 100 million iDevices in the world. I make $1.05 on every sale. If I sold iForce to 1 out of a thousand iDevices that would make me $105,000. You notice this assumes that only 1 out of a thousand people would have interest in a magic app and that I only sell one app (iForce). The last 8 months of experience shows that 90% of the people that come in contact with iForce purchase it. I don’t think I’m being “unrealistic” to think that I can support my family with my magic apps.

I don’t think I will ever develop games and tools mainly because these are saturated markets that I’m not interested in.

In conclusion, I had a long talk with my co-developer Randy. We’ve decided to continue our development of magic apps. To a great degree this has been due to the many emails, your kind magic café posts, and recent 5 star reviews.

Thank you to all my friends on the magic café for supporting me through this bizarre emotional rollercoaster.
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: MAOmagic (Jun 9, 2010 07:30AM)
That is great! I'm so glad that there are more great apps to look forward to. I hope when your new apps are released, people will rate them more honestly and keep you in business.
Message: Posted by: ldrosenblum (Jun 9, 2010 06:55PM)
That's great news Greg-

I, for one, will purchase any magic app you guys make.

iForce is not only my favorite app on my iphone, it is one of my favorite bits of magic. It goes over great with my buddies at the Magic Castle. Some have even said they'd get an iphone to use your app!

Good luck with iForce and all the other things you're working on.

-Larry
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Jun 11, 2010 08:28PM)
Greg, I'm delighted to read that you're not throwing in the towel.

But I clearly don't understand the vagaries of how the top apps are picked. I just looked up Cell Phone Tracker PRO. It's currently at #12 but it only has a 2 1/2 star rating.

I don't understand why it's a top app but iforce isn't.

Joe Libby
San Antonio, TX
Message: Posted by: Carl Andrews (Jun 12, 2010 02:26PM)
Great to hear Greg!
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jun 16, 2010 03:30PM)
Agreed. This is great news, Greg. All of us here are wishing you all the best (for purely selfish reasons, of course). :)
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jun 19, 2010 07:54PM)
To all my magic friends who love iForce,

The price of iForce has been raised to $100 to protect the secrets from the curious.

Thank you for your support,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: bugjack (Jun 20, 2010 01:03PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-19 20:54, Greg Rostami wrote:
To all my magic friends who love iForce,

The price of iForce has been raised to $100 to protect the secrets from the curious.

Thank you for your support,
Greg Rostami
[/quote]

Um, wow. Not sure it's exactly what I was suggesting earlier on this thread, but I wish you luck with it.
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Jun 20, 2010 11:36PM)
It looks like Greg just reduced the price to $2.99 for iForce!
Message: Posted by: Scott Fridinger (Jun 21, 2010 07:21AM)
There is a whole Android Market waiting...
Message: Posted by: BCaldwell (Jun 21, 2010 11:55AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-21 08:21, dinger136 wrote:
There is a whole Android Market waiting...
[/quote]
I totally agree!
Message: Posted by: magicFreak2 (Jun 23, 2010 04:13PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-21 12:55, BCaldwell wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-06-21 08:21, dinger136 wrote:
There is a whole Android Market waiting...
[/quote]
I totally agree!
[/quote]

There is already a superior Asian version out there that does whole cards (I think it's android).
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jun 23, 2010 11:16PM)
[quote]There is already a superior Asian version out there that does whole cards (I think it's android).[/quote]
The Chinese knock off of iForce that you're talking about is for the Android OS and it only does one method (while iForce does three). It was written all in slow Java so when you're performing unless your spectators are standing directly over the phone, you'll see the app do the dirty work. You can not do whole cards (you get 20 outs) you get the rest of the cards through equivoque.

The Chinese knock off requires two moves for more outs . . . (while iForce uses just one)

Lastly you can't even find that app on the Android market place.

iForce has had the greatest amount of piracy in Asia . . . mostly Taiwan and China. There are sections of magic forums in Asia dedicated to the things you can do with iForce that have new posts practically every day. Most of the people that post on these threads have a pirated version of iForce.

Taiwan has the greatest number of fake one star ratings. In fact recently iForce had a 1.5 star rating in Taiwan. I think it's amazing how moral fiber is so different from one country to another. In Mexico, iForce has a 4.5 star rating.

I just wanted to set the record straight about this app.
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: MAOmagic (Jun 24, 2010 01:36AM)
That's ridiculous. It's 2.99. Why pirate that? Why download it illegally. It's such a good app, people should just pay. I've seen the android one and it is definitely not superior to iForce. iForce is tops in my book, and many other magicians I know.
Message: Posted by: Mercury52 (Jun 24, 2010 06:00AM)
Hi Greg. Just updated to the new iPhone 4 and iOS4, and ran into some interesting glitches when updating "the work" for iForce. Any guess as to when the app might be updated? For the meantime I'm stuck without it!

Kevin
Message: Posted by: Jason Simonds (Jun 25, 2010 03:02PM)
I'll give you 5 stars if you give me a version for my Droid.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jun 25, 2010 03:07PM)
Hi Kevin,

I don't have an iPhone 4 yet. But my partner Randy just got one and the problem is what I'd suspected. The higher resolution of iPhone 4 isn't compatible with the 2nd and 3rd methods of iForce. We're already working on it.

Sorry about the delay, but in the next 2 weeks you'll see a new iForce update to be compatible with iOS 4.

In the mean time, if you want to use the 2nd and 3rd methods, you can transfer the images to your mac, down res them by 50% and then sync those smaller images back to your iPhone 4. If you use these smaller images, it should work fine.

stay tuned,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: bugjack (Jun 25, 2010 03:41PM)
HI Greg,

I feel like a jerk for asking after what's been previous on this thread, but are you still planning an iPad version?

Scott
Message: Posted by: Mercury52 (Jun 25, 2010 06:53PM)
Thanks for the update Greg! I'll drop you a line soon to talk about a few other things floating around in my head...

Kevin
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Jun 25, 2010 11:16PM)
I'm also waiting for the iPad version. Purchased the phone version, but it could look so much better on the HD screen!
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jun 26, 2010 03:52AM)
The iPad version is in the works guys.

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: Scott Cram (Jun 26, 2010 11:38AM)
Like iForce on the iPhone, and have a favorite routine with it that you use (ESP symbols/Coin flips/etc.)?

Here's a tip for the upcoming iPad version, assuming you don't have your iPad yet: Order your iPad from the online Apple Store, and you'll get free engraving. When asked for the engraving during your online order, have it be a simple prediction, such as "You will choose the wavy lines" or "You will select HTH" or whatever you've noticed your audiences pick more often than others.

That way, you have an extra punch for your iForce routine!
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jun 27, 2010 03:12PM)
If this is supposed to be a Trade Secret, why is it advertised here?
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=812490

Seems like you're shooting yourself in the foot.
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Jun 28, 2010 09:39AM)
Wow, lot of lay people checking it out on the macrumors site! I'm especially impressed by this clown: "I wouldn't buy it till there is a scientific explanation because I don't believe in magic, ghosts, astrology, gods and anything that is claimed to be "supernatural" work."
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jun 28, 2010 12:46PM)
I see your point but there are many people who do like magic and while the effects can be presented without making yourself look like you have special powers, some people (shut eyes) will want to "believe" you do even if you tell them it's not real. So the onus is on the performer.
- - - - - - -- - - - - - -

All I was saying (previous post) was, the inventor advertises his effect to the masses which is a catch 22. His goal is to stop being a salesman but at what expense... Selling the App to every 12 year old may make him some money initially, however the usefulness of the App will be zero when too many people get their hands on it and ultimately no sales will be made at all.

Almost like the Tortoise and the Hair.. the answer lies in having several programs, sold to magicians ONLY AND then a dozen more for non-magicians. THEN you can think about being self-made.

P.S. There are also reviews on this product by mainstream Emagazines (just do a G search to see it for yourself). One poster said that it would take time for someone to actually learn the program before they could cause you aggravation but all they need to do is know the key that unlocks the door and that's it. Without memorizing anything, they can swipe your show from out, from under you.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jun 29, 2010 05:13AM)
Hi Jay,

Thank you very much for your input.

As I've said in a previous post . . . if I was to sell to only 1% of the 80 million iPhones/iPod Touches out there, I would have to sell 73,000 copies of iForce, every DAY, for THREE YEARS . . . just to sell to 1% !!
Selling 73,000 apps a day is impossible . . . the top apps are lucky to sell 10,000 apps a day.

Based on the above observation, you're more likely to find someone that knows about the Invisible Deck then you are to find someone that knows about iForce.

take care,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jun 29, 2010 05:23AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-24 02:36, MAOmagic wrote:
That's ridiculous. It's 2.99. Why pirate that? Why download it illegally. It's such a good app, people should just pay. I've seen the android one and it is definitely not superior to iForce. iForce is tops in my book, and many other magicians I know.
[/quote]Thank you for your support MAOmagic.

In this age of software piracy, even if your app was 1 cent it would still be pirated.

There have been many experiments on the internet to demonstrate this unfortunate fact. Obviously, the only time something is not pirated is when it's free.

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: Sam Weiss (Jun 29, 2010 10:09AM)
I'm sorry to hear this Greg...

However, you're in the wrong business if you are trying to make a profit by selling magic. Magic is not meant to be a business, rather if you release an item, the point is to have other MAGICIANS learn useful subject matter from it. In no way should you be trying to support your family by selling magic... it just can't happen. Selling magic of any form to the general public is also wrong for the same reasons Jay mentioned above.

That being said, I think iForce looks like a great app and you should try to keep it as low profile as possible since there are probably already a bunch of non-magicians who have it (even if your sales are "low"). In the hands of a good magician this has good potential... not so much in laymen.

Sam
Message: Posted by: Jay Jennings (Jul 1, 2010 02:31AM)
[quote]However, you're in the wrong business if you are trying to make a profit by selling magic. Magic is not meant to be a business, rather if you release an item, the point is to have other MAGICIANS learn useful subject matter from it. In no way should you be trying to support your family by selling magic... it just can't happen.[/quote]

Sheesh, what a load of garbage. Is it okay if people make a living selling a magic performance, just not magic props/acts themselves? Pffft.

- - -

I think the problem with iForce is the price. I know at one point you went from 2.99 to 4.99 for 3-4 days and then dropped it again because you said it killed the sales.

But is iForce worth $20? If it is, then why aren't you selling it for that price? No, you won't sell as many, but you also don't have to have as many sales to make the same amount. Plus, you probably wouldn't have to worry about the fake ratings because you don't have to worry about as many morons buying it.

Do you want to sell to the masses or do you want a great rep among magicians for the stuff you create? I think having both would be very difficult to do.

Maybe it's too late for iForce, but the next time you come out with an app that's aimed at magicians, why not price it based on what it's worth?

Jay Jennings
Message: Posted by: Sam Weiss (Jul 1, 2010 12:56PM)
I'm saying it's not good to JUST sell magic to make a living... from just what has been said here it sounds like Greg only sells magic and doesn't perform it that often (please correct me if I am wrong as my view is only based on what is read here). Why would someone want to buy something magic if its sole purpose was to create money rather than meaningful material perfected through years of actual performing?

Greg for all I know might actually perform, just not for pay... in that case I think it's fine to do what he's doing because he has the expertise to create and test such an effect.

Sorry if I wasn't clear in what I said... I think Greg's product looks great and I am considering getting it.
Message: Posted by: Jay Jennings (Jul 1, 2010 01:59PM)
[quote]Greg for all I know might actually perform, just not for pay... in that case I think it's fine to do what he's doing because he has the expertise to create and test such an effect.[/quote]

Ah, okay, Sam, I didn't get what you were trying to convey. And while I still may not agree with it completely, I do think someone with at *least* a performing background is more likely to create something worth performing than a "marketer" who sees this niche as a ripe target.

Jay Jennings
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jul 2, 2010 02:49AM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-28 13:46, jay leslie wrote:
Selling the App to every 12 year old may make him some money initially, however the usefulness of the App will be zero when too many people get their hands on it and ultimately no sales will be made at all.
[/quote]

I don't think people are reading my post about the math concerning this matter. I am SO tempted to tell everyone exactly how little iForce has sold over the last 8 months just so that everyone realizes how unbelievably ridiculous the notion of "every 12 year old" and "too many people get their hands on it" really is.

OK . . . here goes another one of my attempts at clarifying the math behind the sales of iForce.

The most widely sold app on the app store is Doodle Jump.
It has been on sale for the last 16 months (480 days)
It sales about 10,000 copies every day at a price of $0.99 (the developer keeps $0.70 of that)
So far it has sold 4.8 Million copies making the developer a cool $3.36 Million.

As the most popular app on the app store, isn't it amazing to realize that Doodle Jump is only on 4.8% of the iPhones in the world. That means that less than 1 of 20 iPhone owners knows about Doodle Jump or even cares.

At this rate Doodle Jump will have to sell for another 20 years before it can saturate the existing iPhone market!!!

Doodle Jump is 50 TIMES more popular than iForce. That means to saturate the iPhone market iForce will have to sell for 1000 YEARS!!!!!

Since there are 100 Million iPhones and 6.7 Billion people . . . after 1000 years, when the entire iPhone market has been saturated by iForce, the chances of you performing iForce for someone that knows about it is 1 in 67.

NOW, can we all please stop talking about how iForce is getting "too popular to be useful"!!!

I'm sorry if I'm so upset about this . . . but this is EXACTLY the kind of thinking that has led people to give me one star ratings in the first place.

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: Philemon Vanderbeck (Jul 2, 2010 12:48PM)
I'm not worried about running into someone who knows about iForce BEFORE I perform for them; I'm worried about the person finding it AFTER I performed it for them.

However, you did solve that problem by releasing a plain version of the Doodle app separately (and for that I profusely thank you).

Now one of the things I learned in Business Analysis was figuring out the optimum price for a product based on the greatest profit margin achievable. For instance, you don't want to sell 100 copies of a product at a $1 profit, when you can sell 10 copies at $20 profit.

And to be honest, it is extremely rare that anyone gets rich selling (or even performing) magic.

But seriously, I think people would be less inclined to give your product a false one-star review (if that's your primary concern) if they had to pay a lot more for it. There's actually a bit of psychology at play here, where a purchaser will actually rate the quality of a product influenced by the price they paid for it. Why else do people pay so much for Rolex watches and Mont Blanc pens?

We now live in an age where our audiences can google on their cell phones the secrets of an effect we're performing AS WE'RE PERFORMING IT. And some of the truly obnoxious ones have no qualms about blurting out the secret in as loud of a voice as possible, thus ruining the magical experience for everyone.

While there is certainly more to magic than just secrets, that moment of wonder should be protected as much as possible.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jul 2, 2010 08:55PM)
[quote]

But seriously, I think people would be less inclined to give your product a false one-star review (if that's your primary concern) if they had to pay a lot more for it. There's actually a bit of psychology at play here, where a purchaser will actually rate the quality of a product influenced by the price they paid for it. Why else do people pay so much for Rolex watches and Mont Blanc pens?

[/quote]

Actually in Psychology class we did a study (many years ago) and people were either paid 2 dollars or 20 dollars to "test" a drink. The drink didn't taste very good on purpose. The study was really about how people would react rating the taste.

People who were paid 2 dollars usually said that the drink tasted fine, where people who were paid 20 told the truth. We surmised that people who were paid less thought we didn't value their opinion so they told us what we wanted to hear - so they could get out of there and wash their mouth out. People who were paid 20, went on and on about why the drink was bad because (we surmised) they believed their opinion was important.

I believe what you are referring to with high priced items is the Inverse Pricing Strategy which is a different but related subject. This is a strategy to make someone buy something because it was more exclusive and better.

All I was alluding to in my previous posts was that I didn't think it was right to advertise this product to non magicians.

I have since bought the program and have to admit that sometimes I'm lazy. In this case I haven't performed any part of it for anyone yet because I'm working on a routine. I have also bought the Biz Card and 20 minutes later I was up and down the complex showing it to people who would never book me but it's fun anyway.

We may be into a situation where (I see it all the time) people want push-button magic. This all started about 20 years ago. I've seen lots of people come into the shop buying tricks - who don't want to practice - don't want to read - don't want to do any work.

When I stared learning magic there were no video tapes, DVDs or internet, I took lessons and had to perform what I learned the week before, before I was taught anything new. The number of people who buy tricks as opposed to developing an act is now a much wider gap then years ago.

So

It could be that some people purchasing this product are looking for a quick-fix. When they see they have to learn something they don't get mad at themselves, they have misplaced anger... so if they can't work the program immediately... and "can't" get mad at themselves then who do you think they'll blame. That's right, the program. This is an axiom in psych called "People do the opposite of who they are" and it's all about insecurities.

An assumption that people are sabotaging someone because they don't want anyone else to have the same benefit is absolutely true in some circumstances but it's also true that people who complain that something is too good... may actually have an inferiority complex, because they can't master it, so they do the opposite of what's really happening. They don't want to admit that they are incapable of mastering the system, so you are to blame. Ever see a kid take a temper tantrum when they couldn't get what they wanted?

The answer may be in instructions that help idiots (like myself) be capable of performing an entire routine without getting so caught-up in the methodology.


I manufacturer and sell a product that switches cards and other objects. I have the same problem with people, because they want a routine that's packaged from the beginning to the end. They don't want to think. I understand. When that prop is sold as a switching device, people ask "So what do I do with it" and when it's sold as a Bank Night Out they either buy it or not. If they do, they have a routine with a beginning, middle and end, no complaints.

I also know that one magic item will never put anyone on easy street, blame the internet - next week something newer, bigger, more fantastic will hit the market and you're on the back burner. It happens to every inventor in the business no matter how they crunch the numbers. Very few items sell in the thousands. usually an item hits, sells well then drops off. You then make improvements and reintroduce it after a time.

Anyway, I'm going the the IBM convention and will sit with others who also have the program so I can see their handling and maybe settle on a routine. I like it and will eventually use it and I promise not to give it one-star.

Your brother in the magical arts.
Jay
.
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Jul 3, 2010 07:16AM)
Jay, I'll see you there (and I'll bring my iPad)! -Jason (J.R.)
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jul 3, 2010 12:43PM)
I'm packing now.
Message: Posted by: SWNerndase (Jul 3, 2010 03:00PM)
I noticed a new magic app at iTunes priced at $65. I don't know the quality of the app, but will be interested to see what happens with sales and ratings.

I'd wager that if his app is good, he won't have the 1 star problem.

SWN
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jul 3, 2010 03:24PM)
That's probably true. People who buy the Rolex brand (I have 2) usually don't put them down.

The old proverb is: You can get the same advice for free from a bartender or pay 300 dollars to a psychiatrist but you'll listen to the psychaitrist because you're more invested.

That's why magic companys charged for catalogs. If you got a free catalog, then it didn't have much value.
Message: Posted by: espmagic (Jul 3, 2010 09:00PM)
Greg -

I don't even have an iPhone, but I'd certainly like to find this app for the Palm that I'm using! I think it is fantastic!

Lee
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jul 4, 2010 05:17PM)
To back-up my earlier thoughts here is a recent study on the effects of socialisation when you are in control (either having money or something of power, which can also be equated to having a mastery of something). There are several elements to the study, so you'll have to read the whole thing.

http://www.csom.umn.edu/assets/127771.pdf

One of the points it makes is that having something of worth makes you less likely to care what others think. How it relates to my earlier posts above is that, if a person pays a small fee for something but can not achieve success with it, they are more prone to complain because it has less value. If they can master it then they feel more in control and secure in their own right.

This above study does not cover the only reason the program is getting knocked but it may have some value when considering that higher prices would attract a different clientele but would also impact sales. If anyone knows how well that expensive program does, I would be interested to know.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jul 6, 2010 03:53AM)
Dear friends,

iForce v 1.4 was just submitted to Apple for approval.

Here are the new features for the new version of iForce:

* iOS 4 compatibility
* Hi-resolution graphics designed for the new Retina display
* Springboard image compatibility
* Chinese and Spanish localization

May the iForce be with you! :)
Greg Rostami

P.S. The BIG new features are coming soon in iForce Pro . . .
Message: Posted by: MDantes (Jul 6, 2010 04:08AM)
(sarcastically)

well now that its been plastered all of wall street...
Message: Posted by: Steven Keyl (Jul 6, 2010 12:27PM)
Greg, that's great news! How long do they usually take to approve apps once you submit them? Is it days or weeks?

As long as you're in a sharing mood, do you want to give us a teaser as to what's included in iForce Pro? (Not asking for the full feature set, just something to whet our appetites) And do you think it will be released within the next few months or closer to the end of the year?

Thanks, Greg. Take care.
Message: Posted by: MAOmagic (Jul 6, 2010 04:30PM)
OOo00oOo.. iForce Pro! Is the iPad gonna get 2 versions too, or are you gonna have an iPad version that contains all the Pro features of the iPhone version. And any idea on a time frame for the iPad/iPhone Pro versions? I'm way to impatient for all of this.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jul 6, 2010 09:14PM)
Thanks for your enthusiasm guys . . .

I can't say much about the new iForce Pro, but I will hint at a few of the many features . . .

[b]Much more outs[/b] . . . It will make 8 look like a [b]joke!?[/b]

New secret input methods . . . I can't wait to show you all the crazy new methods that Randy and I have been cooking up for you guys.

Even more convincers that iForce (aka Doodle) is nothing more than a simple doodling program. I can't say much about this, but it's my [b]favorite[/b] new feature of iForce Pro.

[b]Complete[/b] iPad compatibility.

And [b]many[/b] more surprises . . .

I can't wait,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: MAOmagic (Jul 6, 2010 09:18PM)
This sounds... amazing. I can sense your excitement. I'll be waiting. Thanks for all the info, Greg.
Message: Posted by: bugjack (Jul 6, 2010 09:38PM)
That's great. Does iPad compatability mean full screen and not 2x?
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jul 6, 2010 10:46PM)
Yes bugjack . . . it means full screen and not 2x.


Posted: Jul 6, 2010 11:49pm
------------------------------------
Hello friends,

I'm going to be auctioning the original iPhone that I used for the development of iForce (and the upcoming iForce Pro).

On this iPhone I'll include, never before seen, original art work and ideas that Randy and I developed and matured . . . many of these ideas made it into the release of iForce and others were scraped.

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Jul 8, 2010 02:50PM)
I'm having trouble doing the screen shot with the iPad, I take the screen picture, then when I activate the app, the screen only shows a partial shot of the picture I took. Any suggestions until the iPad version comes out? And will I need to pay for that again or will it just update the version I already have?
Message: Posted by: MAOmagic (Jul 8, 2010 04:15PM)
You won't really be able to use the screen shots with the iPad. Because it is running at 2x, it doesn't quite fill the screen. So your screen shot would still be too small, and possibly blurry as well. It also may be too big which is why you are only seeing a partial pic. Until the iForce Pro comes out, you will have to stick with the motion controls. And I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure iForce still won't work for the iPad so you will have to buy iForce pro which will include a full ipad version and all the new features.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Jul 11, 2010 02:28PM)
Try uploading the springboard (and secondary) screenshot onto your computer and changing the size in Photoshop then downloading both of them again.

Perhaps Greg can give you the dimensions for the artwork. I don't have a iPad so can't help on that part.
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Jul 11, 2010 11:32PM)
Hopefully the iPad version comes out and it works better. I'm not going to do all that to get this to work (not to mention that I don't even own photoshop).
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jul 12, 2010 10:00PM)
IForce v1.4 was just approved by Apple.

All of you who own iForce should be seeing an update message on your iPhone/iPod Touch.

As stated above the update includes:

* iOS 4 compatibility
* Hi-resolution graphics designed for the new Retina display
* Springboard image compatibility
* Chinese and Spanish localization

Let me know what you think . . .

once again thank you for your patience,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: MAOmagic (Jul 12, 2010 10:21PM)
I was all over this one. Works great. Exactly as you described. Looks terrific on the iPhone 4. Now it works with my iPhone and iPod touch... now just need the pro version for the iPad...
Message: Posted by: Mercury52 (Jul 13, 2010 12:44AM)
Just downloaded the update and am back in action on the iPhone 4. Looks great, and is working as well as ever!

Kevin
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (Jul 14, 2010 04:21AM)
So I have an iPhone 4, never had an iPhone before, because I was waiting for this one. You know, the version of the iPhone that had everything we have had in Europe on our phones for five years, HD display, two cameras, video calling, HSDP, etc., etc..

Anyway, I love it.

So I read here about the new ios4 version of the raving iForce. So I went to go about using it.

Except, I had 5 people, all knowing who I am and what I do, when they heard I got an iPhone 4 they all emailed, or texted or FB'd me to say; [b]Get iForce!!![/b]

None of them are magi or mentals.

[b]So[/b]... I would be interested in what you gentlemen have been doing to try and disguise the use, of what is appearing to me to be the [b]most[/b] well known effect or utility among laymen. I have never had more than one person [b]know[/b] what I was doing in terms of being correct, thumb tip etc. These people knew what it was before I did, indeed suggested I get it!

Interesting?

Well done though Greg, it must be superb if everyone wants it.

JH


I do btw have an idea,

Perhaps Greg you could make a second one?

Make it secret, only available here or something, and make it look entirely different (same or similar workings?)

Because it is only the appearance of the app that would tell people who bought it what we are doing.

I don't know, I'm sure you have already thought of it.

JH
Message: Posted by: MAOmagic (Jul 14, 2010 12:15PM)
I really haven't had that problem. I've used iForce for some time, even in restaurant work and I haven't had anyone know what it is. The best thing I can tell you, is point out the name of it. "Doodle" I believe it is, and let them get on iwork and see for themselves it is a separate app designed by a different developer.

Hopefully the people who heard about it, heard about it because they know you and the fact you are a magician. People always tell/ask me about new tricks they've seen and heard of.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jul 14, 2010 02:31PM)
[quote]Except, I had 5 people, all knowing who I am and what I do, when they heard I got an iPhone 4 they all emailed, or texted or FB'd me to say; [b]Get iForce!!![/b]

None of them are magi or mentals.[/quote][b]Wow[/b],

I've never seen that before either . . .

If iForce is [b]that[/b] popular, then I should be a multi millionaire!! (I'm [b]far[/b] from that).

I would love to know WHERE your none magician friends heard about iForce.

In the last 8 months that I've been performing iForce I've only had one person that knew about it.

He was 12, in an Apple store, he had an iPhone, and he took my picture . . .

Greg Rostami

P.S. I [b]really[/b] would love to know how your friends know about iForce . . . I'm seriously intrigued.
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Jul 15, 2010 12:55AM)
Sorry to sound impatient, but when can we expect a version that works (well) with the iPad?
Message: Posted by: Jon Hackett (Jul 15, 2010 03:00AM)
I will ask Greg!

JH
Message: Posted by: MAOmagic (Jul 15, 2010 10:53AM)
The Pro version is the iPad compatible one. And it probably got slightly delayed while he was working on the iPhone 4 version. I'm sure the iPad version will be awesome though. I can't wait to see the new features he's added.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jul 16, 2010 12:04AM)
Hi J.Robert,

We are working on the iPad version of iForce as well as another Rostami Magic release.

We hope to release a fully iPad compatible version of iForce within the next 2 months.

I really wish we could dedicate even more time to the iPad, but it's slowly coming together.

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Jul 16, 2010 12:25PM)
Thanks, Greg. And for anyone who has "Cataclysm", iForce goes well with it.
Message: Posted by: Doctor D (Jul 29, 2010 05:56AM)
Any news on an Android version of iForce? You've been mentioning it for months, but it seems the iPad has become your biggest priority... :-(
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jul 30, 2010 06:56PM)
As a matter of fact . . .

The Android version is getting closer and closer.

Randy and I just got back from Siggraph. Over the next few weeks Randy is going to finish porting iForce to the Android OS.

I'm sorry about delays . . . there's just a [b]lot[/b] on my plate . . . including a [b]totally[/b] new magic app.

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: studentoflife (Aug 11, 2010 01:20PM)
Any release date for the pro version£¿:)
Message: Posted by: Double O Magic (Aug 11, 2010 03:10PM)
Amazing app. Greg you have definitely taken the iTouch and taken the best from it to create a truly genius app. Thank you!
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Aug 19, 2010 01:44AM)
Hello friends,

I just got back from San Francisco to discover a VERY strange phenomenon . . .

In the UK Doodle (the non-magic version of iForce) sales have gone up considerably . . .

Randy and I both have NO idea why this has happened.

We suspect that someone has performed iForce on TV . . . hence the ONLY app that people have seen has been Doodle . . , and the reason for the increase in Doodle sales.

Perhaps some of my magic friends from the UK can shed some light on this matter.

thank you very much,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: MAOmagic (Aug 19, 2010 10:56PM)
That's odd. But awesome. That was a fantastic idea to have 2 versions under different names.

Any updates on the iPad version we're all waiting for?
Message: Posted by: J.Robert (Aug 23, 2010 06:37PM)
Also still waiting for the iPad version.
Message: Posted by: Doctor D (Aug 25, 2010 03:25AM)
And Android.
Message: Posted by: Phil J. (Aug 25, 2010 01:14PM)
[quote]
On 2010-08-19 02:44, Greg Rostami wrote:

Perhaps some of my magic friends from the UK can shed some light on this matter.

[/quote]
The latest iphone went on sale in the UK on June 24, perhaps that's got something to do with it.
Message: Posted by: erichall (Oct 24, 2010 10:52PM)
I just discovered this app and it is fantastic. I will give it the high rating and star rating that it deserves. I'm not worried at all that it will become so popular that everyone will know how it works. Magic shops still make money selling Svengali decks. I'm more excited to have such a versatile and well thought out method(s) to perform some "mind reading"!!!
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Oct 26, 2010 11:59AM)
Hi Eric,

I hope you have lots of fun with iForce.

Here's a list of a few ideas you can perform with iForce:
http://www.rostamimagic.com/iforce/ideas.html

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: Grubmeyer (Jan 22, 2011 12:10AM)
I finally started using my iPhone/iPad with my magic act. I do like the portability of my iPhone for use day to day but it would be awesome to be able to use an iPad for a much larger audience. It seems that this board has died down in the recent months, and I hate to bump something that has not seen any movement in months, but I'm very interested in the iPad version of iForce. It's a great tool for this connected age we live in now. Any chance we'll see an iPad version soon?
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jan 22, 2011 12:57AM)
Hi Grubmeyer,

Yes, an iPad version is in the works.

stay tuned,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: Grubmeyer (Jan 22, 2011 01:53AM)
Thanks Greg!

Very excited to see what you've got in store for us! Will it be an addition to the already existing iForce making it a universal app? Or will be a different app all together?

Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jan 22, 2011 10:45AM)
We haven't decided if it's going to be a Universal app or a different app.

But I will let you know,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: EvanMagic (Jan 24, 2011 10:59AM)
Not sure if you already know this but if you send an update of an app through apple, it resets your current star rating of the app.
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Jan 25, 2011 09:59AM)
Yes Evan, I know that.

thank you,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: moverbob (Nov 14, 2011 04:27PM)
Well I am truly saddened that people will resort to such "cheap tricks" (LOL) as giving a bad rating to an effect they want to keep to themselves. I will be h-app-y to give iForce 5 stars but truly it deserves even more. What a treat for us magicians to have such a fun app to carry around with us at all times...talk about packing small!
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Nov 19, 2011 03:48PM)
Thank you moverbob,

Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: DaddyDoodle (Dec 25, 2011 11:13PM)
5 stars and a +1 here!
Message: Posted by: ReetDeeDee (Dec 30, 2011 11:15PM)
Just downloaded this this App from the Android market and gave it 5 stars... I'm new to the whole magic arena (definitely an amateur). Hopefully I can live up to the efforts made by yourself and with a bit of practice, provide the entertainment value "iForce" deserves.

All the best, ReetDeeDee ô¿ô
Message: Posted by: Greg Rostami (Dec 31, 2011 05:53PM)
Hi ReetDeeDee,

I hope you enjoy performing iForce.

If you have any questions, you can always email me at:
grostami@gmail.com

Happy New Year,
Greg Rostami
Message: Posted by: GDGrey (Mar 7, 2012 04:29AM)
Greg, I'll drop by the Android market and give it the 5 star rating it so richly deserves.

Oops... forgot to add my phone model to the review; I'll just say here that it works a treat on the Samsung Galaxy Ace.
Message: Posted by: chrom (Mar 15, 2012 07:46PM)
Well I have purchased the app and have tried to write a review. Unfortunately, it must take some time for itunes to update that I actually own the app. As soon as it does 5 stars in bound this so far is a simply fantastic app and I can see the amount of time you put into it. Now I just wish you made a full screen ipad version.

Shane
Message: Posted by: magicmind (Mar 29, 2012 12:38PM)
I would hope that current version would also work on iPad with an update. Purchasing again...maybe not. However, if it was iPhone/iPad version, I would not be opposed to some in app purchasing ability.
Message: Posted by: neomaster (Apr 23, 2012 08:07PM)
For some reason. I have a jailbroken iphone.
But even I can download it for free
I bought iForce and I also give you 5 star rating.
Good job Greg.