It's a genuine question, because I do it all the times as well and then, when I realize it to late, I wonder why I didn't think about it in the first place. I would like to know if there is a pattern or something.
But I sympathize with your general lament over "why didn't I think of that?" Haven't we all experienced that SO many times?
And being able to double-down quickly in the first instance, and trash-can it in the second.
edit: Just adding the name in case anyone wants to buy it; Calc41C. The source is up on github.com/watmough
Anyone else with a crap-app story?
Since we manage the provisioning etc. for the client and walk them through the initial paperwork, no one ever knows who built the (admittedly sometimes faddy) app.
We do build our own apps but just for fun and personal use.
For financials, developers can be given only development level privileges.
We do sign NDAs from time to time. But really most of those NDAs are to protect the client from us revealing we did the work.
Truly unique ideas, you will need to build your own trusted network. And sell the developers on the idea (they will not commit just for money, you want to capture their heart).
Its so simply anyone with a little programming flair could do it.
It's never a real problem. People most of the times, don't see what you see. Worry less get more done.
"Theme" it and sell it on ThemeForest or a similar site. You'd make more from that than from your app! I would buy one.
There are people who don't seem to have followed any path to keep their applications and content legal (with the same app idea) and are selling theirs with the same content as mine, they seem to be on the app store with no repercussions. I guess I have that piece of mind that I won't get sued or asked to pull my app..
I've made about enough from my admob ads to pay off my developer subscription :)
Ah well, it was a learning experience. It now no longer works despite not having been changed at all; perhaps some new android version broke backwards compatibility, or the API I was using depended on some undocumented functionality.
Being my first effort, I did everything wrong. Too many features, delayed launching, awful code, unrealistic traffic expectations, fear of billing systems (probably warranted at the time) - pretty much everything.
But... not giving up too easily, I tried selling links on the site. (I had no traffic, so ads were a bust. I figured it might have some SEO value). Turns out that's not a bad niche for that sort of thing, and the site wound up making a few hundred dollars a month in link sales. That has since dried up (across every site on which I've sold links - I think Google is figuring this out), but it was nice that it wasn't a total waste of time, financially speaking.
Every stinker is a step forward.
Total profit -$98, Many lessons learned ;)
End of first week and I've made a full $0.40. Woop!
My awesome puzzler fetched me a whopping $55.
Was a bit of a letdown to figure out that Apple had sent me a check at one point and I didn't notice it until two months later.
Perhaps the revenue will trend upwards ... but if we put our team on an application like this and only saw $20k in revenue in 10 months, we'd be out of business.
It might not be the kind of project a team or company would take on because their main goal is profit but for an individual it is great.
Also, I doubt you would pay a guy just getting started learning objective-c $10k/month :)
Also my Objective-c skills are not worth anywhere close to $10k per month. Though someday I'll be a good programmer.
Hang in there. I took that as education time, improved my marketing and added a new app, and now its more like 350/m avg. Its no business but not bad for a few weekends building apps I wanted for myself.
With hundreds of thousands of apps in the App Store, it's not much different from building a random website and expecting people to somehow just show up.
Glad to see you've found success in the iOS realm, while helping improve people's lives in a real tangible way.
Great story and way to find a niche that was unserved. There are so many out there (niches that is) with archaic products/services that are begging for right person to come along and improve them.
Good luck with the dedicated venture!
The most important part is not that you made $19,000 while teaching yourself how to code, but that you are actually making the world a better place. I would angel fund this idea (if I had the money) the minute I would read gives a voice to anyone who cannot speak. I would venture fund your product that minute I would read replaces a $7,000+ medical device that is bulky and difficult to use.
Unfortunately that's not true for good programmers that suck at design.
Here is my simple design advice if you don't know how to design:
* Use the provided UI elements, they look great.
* Choose a primary color and an accent color, don't get carried away.
* Make sure everything lines up. Choose a number (10 pts) and align everything off of that. Aligning your UI elements will go a very long ways to make everything look good.
* If you have paragraphs of text set the line height to around 1.5 (depending on the font).
* The only thing provided by Apple that is Ugly is the UIButtons. Draw a simple, clean button or ask someone to make one for you.
If you follow these simple ideas you can make a pretty good looking application without knowing how to design.
Though my philosophy is to learn both.
How many of your friends are designers or artists?
A well-designed, but poorly coded site is going to do a lot better (generally), than a well coded, but poorly designed site.
This is why I'm trying so hard to level my design skills.
Ok, that's not the only reason why, but it's worked out really well.
Additionally, do you think the $199 price point might it out of reach for a lot of people who would benefit from the app but who have tights budgets?
There are definitely people who can't afford it, but this price allows me to spend more time on development. Also I do give away a fair number of copies.
I believe I have seen you do so on reddit quite a while back. :)
You're doing great work and I am extremely happy for you.
It is a long thread so just search for "nathanbarry" or "onevoice"
I totally appreciate your awesome effort and am glad you make a living. I just would suggest if you want to take it further, learn more of the landscape and think about it politically and where you want to make your profits from.
Thanks for the feedback.
What, do you want him to not make the app at all and work on enterprise software?
Your comment is so short-sighted it annoys me in multiple ways. All this whining about how things that make the lifes of people better should be cheaper cheaper cheaper or free - guess what, if he sold it for 5$ he wouldn't spend any time on developing it further. You don't ask doctors to work for free either, do you? Or otherwise, why don't you take a few months out of your own life to make something that others will find useful?
Concluding everything I think he has a low income, unprofitable, high risk business. Not the position I want to be in, when I quit my dayjob.
edit I just now see that you posted the link yourself, Nathan. Please read all "he"s as "you". ;-)
But here's what I do have: emails from customers every single week saying how what I built is changing the lives of their child. Does anything else matter beyond that?
I'm working on something I care deeply about and am able to still provide for my family while doing it. That's the position I want to be in.
How many other niche apps are out there? Anything where you carry a computer or clipboard around is eligible. Specific to a task, or a general fill-in-a-spreadsheet-and-email-it app would fit the bill.
I didn't take him up on it, but you never know what under-served niches are lurking at the fringes of the market.
I'm sure plenty of people have a moderate success story like mine.
1) Get a copy of it in the hands of special ed departments at schools (for free). And the people who oversee the IEP's, counselors etc. You will then get referrals to sell the full priced product after people see a demo.
2) Lower the price of your product so it's a no brainer for parents.
Having the price so high is going to invite competition that will sell the same app at a lower price. While that can still happen with a lower price it is more likely at the price point you are at because people will be more motivated to compete (and anyway you will sell more at the lower price..)
3) Come up with a different name or buy onevoice.com. If the product is recommended you need people to be able to easily find your website. Not only don't you own the domain name onevoice.com but you don't come up (now) in any search results.
Edit: "search results" - as in when someone hears about it and they google it not the app store.
Thanks for the advice.
PS. I love the UI I see in the screens... and would love to play with it. I wonder what type of animations you're using etc. Also, beautiful and simple website.
I recently saw a short segment on 60 minutes, "Apps for Autism", which demonstrated and explained applications in your applications field, autistic children. Here's the video URL: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7385686n&tag=cont...
Here's another example, an app that replaces whatever gadget piano tuners used to carry:
Any advice on how you got through that situation? Thanks.
My goal is to be both a designer and programmer, so that made it so I had to write code myself.
I like that it is not just another one of those app products that is targeted at the masses.
Instead, you found a niche, talk to customers and found a nice selling price, which from the user's perspective is a bargain.
I assume at this point the $7000+ device people think they have some better features that make it worthwhile and are reluctant to do their own iPad app. (Innovators Dilemma).
I'm sure the author could go that way, buying iPads or other Android tablets (if the software gets ported), package up they software, make it auto boot, etc and form it into a complete package. The price then wouldn't be just the app, but the tablet, installation costs, and future support as well.
It would be cheaper, but not by the same order of magnitude that the app is cheaper than the $7000+ device.
There are efforts to open source this kind of project, but they're few and far between.
Sometime soon I might share the story of how I made $100,000 on the (... what to call it?) browser while learning to code.
Although, I'm particularly interested in how you made the decision to quit your full-time job and create a startup based on one-time sales? Is there a service behind this startup?
No, I haven't used AdWords yet.
You learned to code for iOS, helped people in need, and made a buck off it. Awesome.