App Rejection Doesn’t Mean I’m a Failure

Your iOS app is rejected. Rejection doesn't mean you fail.

My first blog post on “Inspire My Awesome” wasn’t supposed to be this. It was supposed to start, “Yay! My app was approved!” As you can guess my upcoming app was not approved, there was nothing but rejection. Boo.

At first I was upset, “Why was my ‘perfect’ app rejected?” Then I read the explanations. One reason appeared to be technical, the other semantic.

Submitting a new iPhone app to Apple for review is strange mix of excitement and nervousness, at least for me.  It begins with hitting the “Submit” button, and then waiting.

You wait.

Sometimes the wait is short, sometimes the wait is long, but then “In Review” day arrives.

Then guess what?

Yup, you wait some more.

And you wait.

You have no choice.

Tormenting My Wife

If you are obsessive, as I can get, you are constantly checking the web site or the App Connect App. Maybe you missed the notification and, “Yay, my app was approved!” Mostly, though, you just keep seeing the little, yellow dot, “In review,” and torment your wife with “It’s still in review.”

As it was, my app was “In review” for a few days, it was a Friday night, and I figured nothing would really happen until Monday. I went to bed content for a weekend of not worrying about the status.

Then I woke up to use the restroom as sometimes happens in the night, and I glanced at my phone. There it was! The notification from Apple! “Holy crap, I went to bed and my app was approved!”

You Lose!

Nope. Sound the “You lose!” buzzer as loud as you can.

The app status has changed to Rejected. What does "rejection" really mean?

I did my business, and then checked why Apple decided my app wasn’t so “perfect.” It’s like studying your butt off for the final exam, taking said exam, turning in the exam thinking you aced it, and then finding out that you failed.

“Guess I won’t be sleeping any more tonight.”


“What the hell does “your server needs to be able to handle a production-signed app getting its receipts from Apple’s test environment” mean?



Those were some of the things going through my head.

What to do?

Time to Meditate

It was 1AM, I really should get back to sleep, and there really wasn’t anything I could do about it right then. So I decided to meditate.

Sure, it was disappointing, but really, it’s just a slight setback. I Googled the technical reason for the rejection and found many others had the same thing happen to them. The technical reason appeared to be something I missed in development, and can be fixed. The semantic reason just needs a better explanation from me to Apple, so that can be fixed.

While the meditation wasn’t the greatest of sessions, it did calm me down, and shifted my “feeling like a loser” state to “rejection doesn’t mean I’m a failure.”

Timely Reading

As coincidence would have it, my reading of “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living” for today, June 22nd, was “The Definition of Insanity,” where Ryan Holliday explains, “Failure is a part of life we have little choice over. Learning from failure, on the other hand, is optional. We have to choose to learn. We must consciously opt to do things differently—to tweak and change until we actually get the result we’re after. But that’s hard.”

It’s not back to the drawing board, it’s back to tweaking and changing, hitting “Submit,” and then waiting to get the result I’m after…

“Ready for sale.”

Thanks for reading! Keep being awesome and inspired!