App Dev 1: Mobile App Development – My Journey Starts Here

April 29, 2013 in App Development

iPhone App DevelopmentI love mobile apps! Every time I look in the app store, I’m discovering new cool apps I want to put on my phone. In fact, I’m also having to delete apps off my phone on a regular basis to accommodate the new ones I’m installing. So if I have this much fun exploring new apps, other people are too! Which is one of the reasons why I am getting into the mobile app development business. I’ve heard it a thousand times that mobile is where everything is going in the future… I truly believe that!

If you read My 2013 Goals article, you’ll see a number of things I want to accomplish… among those goals is to develop one iPhone app this year. Why an iPhone app? It’s been in the back of my mind for the last couple of years and I’m finally at the point where I’m ready to make this happen. I believe that it goes in-line with the natural progression of my goals, interests and skills. Plus it might be a good source of income in the future! There are 3 things I’ve been able to identify in myself that make me feel confident to go down this path at this time:

  1. I believe I have gained skills and experience in other areas that can be directly translated to iPhone app development.
  2. I’m starting to generate some more passive income through other endeavors to help fund development costs.
  3. I’m more dedicated than ever to build my business into something bigger.

My App Development Experience

The truth is, I don’t have any app development experience! I don’t even know how to program. Well, I used to program way back in high school. I was pretty good at BASIC and knew enough to make simple games in the Atari 2600 style. Those were the days when I had endless free hours to spend typing code. However, BASIC isn’t going to help me today plus I have no desire to learn how to program in order to start an app development business.

What Makes Me Think I Can Develop Apps?

Going back to the 3 points up above. Those are the things that give me the mindset and confidence to develop my first iPhone app. Let me explain them one-by-one.

Skills and Experience – Over the past 3 years, I’ve been working on a number of internet based projects that mainly involve building websites with WordPress. This doesn’t directly help me with app development but it has helped me hone my skills researching topics that people are interested in. I’m still not that good at niche research but I do OK at it. As I progressed through that business model, I eventually started developing my own products.  I discovered that I enjoyed product creation even more than building websites. It’s very time-consuming but it’s something I like to do.

Next I went into self-publishing for the Kindle and have some moderate success with that. This is something I’m still trying to build. It’s actually one of the more successful things I’m doing right now. The skills I used to publish Kindle books do directly translate into methods I can incorporate into app development. This is because there is research involved, creating the book or hiring a writer, getting approval, putting it on an external site for sale and marketing. The self-publishing process also led me to hire my first writer on Elance. This is significant because I’m probably going to use Elance to find a programmer for my app.

Also, because I’m a professional video producer, I work with a lot of clients and manage a large volume of projects. This project management experience will help me stay organized because I can directly apply what I do everyday to the app development world. I have 20 years of broadcast video production and graphic design experience that will come in handy with this project. This hands-on experience will also help me keep costs down because I can do a lot of the design work myself for the first few apps.

More Passive Income – My online income is starting to grow and this is going to help pay for the programmer I find on Elance. Since I don’t know how code, this is the only choice for me. I really don’t want to learn how to do this myself. It just takes too much time. I really wanted to have more monthly passive income before I start but it’s already the end of April and I want my app done by the end of the year, ideally before Thanksgiving. So while I’m working on ideas for my app, I will continue to build my passive income and hopefully create a self-funded business through all my projects.

More Dedication - For some reason, I’m a lot more dedicated this year to really grow my business. I think a lot of my motivation is coming from my monthly passive income slowly rising and realizing that my efforts are starting to pay off! The first couple of years was extremely frustrating because I was making very little money online. I’m still making very little but it’s a little better than before. I just have to watch my expenses and not get caught up in buying too many tools or software that just collect dust. This is also the first year where I actually wrote down the goals I want to accomplish. This will help me check off each project and see what still needs to be done!

My First Step

The first thing I need to do is research and come up with an iPhone app idea. To be honest, I already have about 3 ideas in my mind right now. I just need to do some investigation into whether there will be public interest in those apps.

I’ve also taken the App Development Course by Spencer Costanzo on Udemy. Spencer is 19 years old and has built a six-figure iPhone app and publishing business in a very short time. What’s impressive is that he started when he was 18 and is so successful that he’s decided not to go to college. His company is called Malibu Apps and his story has provided a lot of inspiration for me personally! More about this in a future post.

Looking For Other App Developers

By writing this post, I feel like I have officially started on my app development journey. I figure I have 6 months to get my first app in the iTunes store if I want to make my deadline of November. It’s not going to be easy because I like to procrastinate and I always get hung up on costs. But I know that planning and spending money in the right place can help alleviate that fear for me!

If you’re an app developer (experienced or just getting started), I’d love to connect with you! Please leave a comment below and introduce yourself. I will be sure to respond!

You can follow all the posts related to the development of my first app by clicking here.