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I am. I don't know if I'm technically a startup; right now it's just me doing freelance iOS development, but it's paying the bills.

It's awesome when anyone can make a living doing what they choose. But for practical purposes, I think most people think of "living off their start-up" as making money from things other than an individual doing contracts/hourly work; in other words, a product or service that can scale in some sense. If you were making money by paying others to do the work, that would be a different story!

I actually agree, and i'm taking steps to make that happen and move from a freelancer to a sustainable boutique iOS development shop. That's more startup-y, right? :)

Only if you're building your own products that you can sell in a scalable way - not just becoming a larger consulting shop. That's not to say it isn't a good idea -- just that building a business is a little different in most people's mind than a "startup".

Really, the goal is both. Consulting is a much more reliable way to generate income in the iOS market, but the app store is steadier if you can get a good performer out there. I'm trying to use consulting (and grow the business that way in the short term) until I can get a serious product in the app store that can support the business.

In our case we were able to convince some of our clients to let us keep ownership of the iOS code developed for them as long as we didn't sell it to their local competition. We basically gave them a license to do whatever they wanted with the code while we kept all ownership/IP/ability to create a product with it.

After 5 months developing a fairly complex iOS app for a local cable company (think i.TV + Netflix like vod recommendations) it sure feels that we have created some value as we can go out and create spinoffs or repackage the same solution to other (non local) cable providers.

we're hiring, shoot over details of your experience with iOS dev if you're interested. http://www.fiplab.com

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