Welcome to Noteboom Productions – Home of our easy-to-follow tutorials to help you learn more about your Mac, iPad, and iPhone that are available in the App Stores.
My name is Dan Wassink and I’m President, trainer, and developer for Noteboom Productions. I am assisted by my wife, Beth, who helps in customer service and marketing. Here is our story.
I have always had an interest in computers. I started with the SOL 20 back in high school and then moved on to the Radio Shack TRS-80, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, and Atari 800 XL. I found my passion – computers and technology.
I also learned during these years that I had a knack for helping others – I was asked to be an assistant for a new computer class and for mechanical drawing. Helping others to learn started in the beginning.
The Publishing Era
I started woking in the publishing industry a few years out of high school. This was my first experience with the Apple Macintosh. I can say I never went back. Over the next 20 years while in the publishing industry I continued expanding my knowledge and helping others. I helped the company I worked for move from paste-up to Aldus Pagemaker to QuarkXPress. I introduced them to Photoshop and built their website. This is also where I started working with Filemaker Pro. I love technology! I then started teaching classes for employees to helping them learn how to use the computer, thereby making them more productive. I also attended tradeshows and taught attendees about technology for various publishing companies. That was always my favorite part – helping people understand computers. This is also when I met my wife – Beth Noteboom. Now you know the origin of the company name.
The Apple Era
After leaving the publishing industry I thought I’d give online tutorials a whirl. I created a simple site that had iPhoto tutorials called learntomac.com. I also was playing around with different content management systems including Drupal. I found there were a lot of advanced tutorials but not many on basic Drupal, which is what I needed. I learned Drupal and figured there were other people like me who just needed the basics. I created DrupalDude.com, a site to help people learn the basics of Drupal.
I also thought it would be fun to work for Apple and we had a retail store about 45 minutes away that had recently opened. I was hired as a Genius and my love for Apple continued. I loved fixing the computers that came in and helping people with their issues (well most of the time). What I found while helping people was that they didn’t want advanced lessons on the computer, they wanted to know the basics – instead of how to add layers to a Photoshop file, they wanted to know how organize their photos in iPhoto. This was a consistent pattern. Apple realized this as well and they introduced Apple 1 to 1. With Apple 1 to 1, you can receive training for your Mac when you buy a new computer. What about the people who had a Mac already and wanted some basic training? When Apple came out with the iPad I saw an opportunity – offering basic tutorials through the App Store. I had to leave the Apple Store if I wanted to do this.
The Education Era
I left Apple and started helping out at a local school part time. This helped me develop my tutorials while still making a living. While at the school, I saw this same pattern of people just wanting to learn how to use their computers – students and teachers didn’t want to know how to green screen, they wanted to know how to fill a row of cells in a spreadsheet.
The App Store
The App Store started taking off and I decided I needed to make this my day job. I quit the school and started working on my tutorials full time. I started by putting my tutorials in the iOS App Store, and when Apple added the Mac App store, I was ready! I had a few of my tutorials in the Mac App Store the day it opened. Life was good.
The App Store has been good, but it is changing. There are a lot more apps in the App Store to compete with. When I first started with the App Store I was in this nice boutique store, now I am in a department store competing for shelf space. Discoverability is hard. The App Store business model is changing, so I knew I had to change too.
Back to Online Training
I started working on a membership site, NoteboomTutorials.com, for all my tutorials back in 2014. This way I could offer all my tutorials for one low price and I can add any new tutorials I create to this membership. This membership site would be another way to access the tutorials. Now someone could purchase and download a tutorial from the App Store, or they access all the tutorials, including exclusive ones, for one low price through NoteboomTutorials.com. The site has been successful from the start and has incredible analytics statistics – average time on site over 5 minutes, low bounce rate of 10%, and a low cancellation rate for paid members of 5%. People not only like it, but they are using it.
Where we are Today
My wife Beth quit her day job and is now assisting me in customer service and marketing. She is also taking over some of the website maintenance freeing up my time to create more tutorials… for both the App Store and NoteboomTutorials.com.
It seems to be paying off, we receive comments regularly about how one or more of our tutorials has helped someone learn more about their Mac, iPad, or iPhone. Mission accomplished. We only hope we can help you too!
Dan and Beth Wassink