1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

My Final Venture...The App Store or Bust

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by marco2379, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. marco2379

    marco2379 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    99
    Home Page:
    Thank you BHW for all the shares, insight, knowledge, methods and more. Those things have been a gift and a curse for me.

    So much information is shared that it sparks my own creative process and inspires me to try new things based on the success of others, thats the gift part. The curse has been that all these new methods and ideas are more of a distraction to get me off course from the current project that I may be working on at the time.

    I know I'm not the only one that goes through this. Its just a lot of information and if not properly prioritized you can get lost reading about the next big thing in methods and not focusing on your work at hand.

    I have decided that 2011 is my last year to reach my financial goals via online ventures or computing in general. If it doesn't work this year, I'm going back to flipping cars on craigslist. Which in itself can be profitable because I do all my own mechanical work but living in upstate New York makes it a pain to turn those wrenches during our 6 months of winter weather.

    I'm going join the mobile device gold rush and I really think it will be gold rush now that Verizon has the iphone and that opens up millions of new app buyers to Apples app store. I know that its a massive undertaking but I think its a worthwhile venture.

    I was planning on using dragonfire sdk or appcelerator to create apps in a windows environment without having to learn any objective-c. This is possible to do, but I figured that I'm putting my business at the mercy of a third party that may change their terms in the future or may even get blocked by Apple.

    So I decided to follow the proprietary path that Apple recommends and made the investment in a MacBook (my first mac...ever) solely for the purpose of using xcode and objective-c. Did you know that Apple computers are about 2 to 3 times the price of a similarly powered windows based PC? :eek: Luckily I found a used oned in mint condition on craigslist, and if I find that I simply can't learn objective-c I can always resell the macbook for what I paid for it.

    I took C in college years ago and back then I was more concerned with being a ladies man than a programmer. I'm hoping my past programming experience will allow me to make the leap to objective-c. Its kind of like me as a car mechanic deciding to build a space shuttle. Hopefully I can learn this language in less than 3 months.

    To learn objective-c, I decided to get a background in object oriented programming by reading Apples ebook: Object Oriented Programming with Objective-C. This has explained some of the basic concepts around objects, classes, interface/implementation, methods, messages, etc. and allows me to learn some of the nomenclature used in objective-c, so I'll know what mean when they are referring to a selector or instance variable in the next book.

    The book I'm currently reading is also by Apple called: The Objective-C Programming Language. This book digs deeper into Objective-C. I'll let you know how this one goes later.

    If anyone has pointers about learning objective-c, feel free to share them. I just want to learn the language and become proficient in iOS development. Feel free to watch my progress as I go from zero iOS and Objective-C programming experience to the promise land of the App Store. I'll try to update this thread with my progress several times per week.
     
  2. mudbutt

    mudbutt Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    4,286
    Location:
    ghosted
    The easy money and "gold rush" is over for the apple app store. The only way to make money in the app store is to break into the top 100 in any of the categories and maintain that position. Other than that, you will not get ANY exposure and your app will surely fail. To give you an idea of the competition you're facing, back in 09 when I released my app, there were thousands of new apps being submitted to review DAILY. There are about 400,000 apps competing for about 1000 slots that could make you any money. If you take a look, the overwhelming majority of the spots are taken by the BIG CORPORATIONS and software development companies that have million dollar budgets and teams of experienced developers. Can you compete with that?

    I'm not trying to be a downer, but the reality is, its going to be extremely improbable that a new developer with hardly any skills will beat the big boys. If you really think you can compete and beat the other 390,000 developers, I wish you all the luck in the world. You're going to need it.
     
  3. marco2379

    marco2379 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    99
    Home Page:
    Thank you for the reality check. I am studying to change my lack of experience status. I fear app store competition no more than I fear seo competition from the big boys with massive marketing budgets. I still get on the first page of google without a team of website developers and writers. Just like content, if your app is unique and useful, it will rank high.

    We are BHW, since when are we supposed to be afraid of giants?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  4. naina

    naina Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    I agree with mudbutt.

    The App Store is not worth any effort. You are a few years too late.

    Here are some facts for you:

    - 80% of all apps in the store are free
    - 30% of all apps are only used once
    - avg. selling price is below $1.50
    - apple takes a 30% cut of every purchase
    - 100$/yr apple developer program required

    Do you want me to continue?
     
  5. mudbutt

    mudbutt Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    1,820
    Likes Received:
    4,286
    Location:
    ghosted
    If you want to compare the app store to SEO competition, then you must realize you're not competing for the long tail keywords which you're assuming. You're essentially competing for the term "PORN" or "LOANS". No one with hardly any experience (or massive marketing budget) will EVER be able to rank for those terms, even if your content is unique.

    The app store is not like a search engine. It doesn't automatically rank high if its unique and useful. If you aren't in the top 100 for any categories (and it takes thousands of purchases per day to reach it) then you wont have any exposure which in turn, equals no sales = dead on arrival just like the 390,000 apps that didnt make it to top 100 for a category.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  6. whatisthis

    whatisthis Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    24
    A lot of people are going to waste a lot of hours on IM. Same for app development.

    Some people are going to make a mint.

    I search for iphone apps online all the time, Marco. Maybe you can use IM to promote your app.

    Go for it.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. Tbo53

    Tbo53 BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    31
    That's quite interesting.
     
  8. 6hundy

    6hundy Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    58
    u dont need to sell downloads to make $$ in apps. sell them to offline businesses as a marketing tool. build them a custom app that adds value to their business.....like an app to order food from your local restaurant. the local business can promote the app to their customers. u can still have it on the itunes store but get the restaurant to pay you to build it so u dont need to rely on downloads to make $$.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  9. marco2379

    marco2379 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    99
    Home Page:
    I do acknowledge that the app store is competitive but life is competitive, the job market is competitive, SEO is competitive, IM is competitive, and most importantly I am competitive. If you're not competing then you're not living...
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  10. Whisker

    Whisker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    994
    Likes Received:
    1,322
    You can get installs through mobile traffic like mobile banner ads and mobile search ads. There are also companies who specifically deal in mobile app cost per install. Granted this is all going to cost you money but if you don't have any budget for marketing after you've developed an app then you're a hobbyist and not a businessman in the app market who will probably not make much waves. As other people who replied in this thread mentioned, it is no longer a "gold rush" and you are also disillusioned that "if your app is unique and useful, it will rank high." With that being said there is still room for independent developers to prosper with the right app.

    Here's some motivation for that dream-
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/17/robert-nay-bubble-ball_n_810023.html

    Why an iphone app and not android? I see android being the dominant future marketplace, as the exponential growth in android os overtaking iphone is a good indicator. More tablet and smartphone models will use android in the upcoming years with major manufacturers like htc, samsung, and motorola supporting it. It also shows more opportunities for smaller developers to compete and possibly disrupt.

    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  11. marco2379

    marco2379 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    99
    Home Page:
    I plan on android in the future, but I want to tackle iOS first. Just picked up a good book on Objective-C by Stephen Kochan and I like his teaching style.

    I appreciate those that say it can't happen for me. Really, it motivates me even more. I'm here to document my journey to the app store, and not really to defend my aspirations.

    Seriously guys, you'll lose every fight if you go into in believing that you can't win.
     
  12. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    4,317
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    Some of you are missing the point.

    Yes, SEO is sometimes competitive, but that can all be changed with backlinks. Where the hell are you going to do that in the app store? Only thing that will change that is 10k or more towards advertising to give your app a bump of downloads then Apple might or might not feature it. Huge risks.
     
  13. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    5,566
    Likes Received:
    4,317
    Location:
    Toronto
    Home Page:
    Your giving me the same quotes as the last JV guy I talked to.
    He wanted me to invest in the next classified ads / ebay site. I declined obviously, he planned to have millions of visitors on a host gator shared hosting account, back to the point. He said "just wait until I am huge, then you will regret it." Last I herd he was looking for article writing on DP and working the late shifts at McDonalds. Don't get me wrong, mobile gaming is expand huge, but to compete in this market is a serious problem, since you don't have any hot apps in the app store to cross promote.

    Dream big, but not too big.
     
  14. marco2379

    marco2379 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    99
    Home Page:
    No worries about failing, I have a good day job that I wouldn't quit even if I became an overnight millionaire and it affords me the ability to take certain risks. My day job will be a big part of my niche, because people in my field typically aren't programmers and programmers are not drawn to my career. This niche will be mine for the taking, since I will be able to make applications specific to my field. I don't need to be on the front page of the app store, professionals in my field will be drawn to an app that is relevant to them and made by one of them.

    Hope that makes sense.

    Just finished my 3rd obj-c program, and I'm understanding everything so far. I was worried that some of the lesson plan may be over my head, but it seems pretty straightforward so far. Thank God, I took all those programming classes in high school and college to have a foundation for this.
     
  15. MonoPuff

    MonoPuff Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    116
    Effort to risk is way to high.. Be smarter in how you invest your time... There are a million Indian, Chinese, Russian, etc kids that speak perfect English that live and breath programming


    Even if you were steadfast on learning and writing a "killer app" from the ground up , your dismissing the android platform is your first mistake. I mean, just look at the growth of android over the past year and how it's projected.
     
  16. thesilent

    thesilent Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,305
    Likes Received:
    213
    Give the man a break. He has already invested in a macbook and some time. He has a day job and if he loses something it will be time and the time will be spent well learning things. Even if he is not going to gain anything from the programming, the sheer experience of having done something will help him.

    A line in the resume that he learned app programming from scratch without any outside guidance will land him a better job since it shows he is a go-getter.

    Usually free apps make more money than paid ads.
    70% of apps are used more than once:)
    $1.5 can be huge with better numbers.
    You get 70% and apple is making the entire thing possible, 30% is nothing. Don't see the empty half of the cup.
    $100 a year, is that huge?


    Though there are a million Indian, Chinese and Russian kids they don't have much of an advantage as long as they are not in US . When You have lived in a country You understand the needs of people better and You can create products that connect with people.

    He can always trade his programming talent for money.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  17. adm0001

    adm0001 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    14
    Marco, as a part of my day job, I've seen multiple failed app launches. Also successful ones. My takeaway from what I've seen is that to make any noticeable kind of money, you must:
    - make many apps, not just one
    - base them on existing user base or brand. Ideally, Mickey Mouse, but niche brands are ok, too. For instance, a mobile version of a somewhat popular web application.
    - develop them dirt cheap. I mean under $1K if you don't have a brand or a user base. Better spent money on a brand license than on development.
    - keep churning out new ones at light speed, as each single one will make it or die in two weeks. You must release a new one every two weeks (brandless), can be slower with brand, but not by much.

    Without this, it won't be a sustainable business. Going to Vegas and placing it all on red has a much better risk/return profile.
     
  18. marco2379

    marco2379 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    99
    Home Page:
    Just finished the 6th chapter of the book and it finally showed some syntax that I'm familiar with since it dealt with if-elseif-else, switch, and conditions. This part was very similar to PHP and it felt good like finding your best friend at a party full of cold-hearted strangers. I'm calling it a night on a positive note.

    So far the book I'm using as a teaching tool has barely discussed iOS, it's just teaching about objective-c 2.0 and the underlying features of C/C++.

    Hey Android is cool, I plan on dumping my WinMo phone for one on my next upgrade. But I'm going to take on just one SDK at a time.

    Don't oppose learning and self improvement. Even if somehow I don't make the app store, I'll still have a new set of skills under my belt that will allow me to develop software for Mac OS X. I have everything to gain and I find programming enjoyable on top of it.

    $100/year? No problem. I'll set aside $2 a week and see where that takes me. :D
     
  19. marco2379

    marco2379 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    99
    Home Page:
    duplicate post damn safari browser on this macbook...
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  20. marco2379

    marco2379 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    99
    Home Page:
    duplicate post damn safari browser on this macbook...
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011