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Profitable Yes or NO ?

02-25-2012, 09:10 PM
#1
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: a place with electricity on Thursdays
Posts: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to iLifeTouch
Profitable Yes or NO ?

I would love to talk about what happens to a developer that all of a sudden is making enough Apple dollars to pay all their bills.

What happens to your team or you that single entity? What changes consciously and subconsciously? Reaching this plateau of self-sufficiency has to change something deep inside of everyone trying to make a living at this addictive game of creating vapour ware.

Some real life stories of failure and success would be amazing! Please share !
02-25-2012, 09:25 PM
#2
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,143
Yes.

Making the first game was pure fun because there was no pressure for me, although I had some expectation of success.

Now that I've had some success, the pressure is on to do it again, except much better. Now it's a job.

That's all I have time to say right now

Last edited by schplurg; 02-25-2012 at 09:48 PM.

02-25-2012, 11:48 PM
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLifeTouch View Post
I would love to talk about what happens to a developer that all of a sudden is making enough Apple dollars to pay all their bills.

Some real life stories of failure and success would be amazing! Please share !
There are two different questions here. One, making back enough money for the time you spent on it. Two, making enough money to pay the bills. Those two are very different.

I would guess that most individual developers don't make enough for the time they spent on it if measured in typical programmer rates with an average job. The pricing on the apps are such that unless you have a huge hit (in which case you make a lot more than the time spent on it). So it is a dumb-bell investment in financial investment terms like a startup. Either you make it huge unrelated to the time you spent or lose the opportunity costs that doesn't compensate for the time spent.

But people keep pulling that slot machine for that hit. I don't expect to make anywhere near compensating for the time spent but the app is a labor of love, not a throwaway throw of the slot machine. If I knew what I know now, I wouldn't have started or confined myself to quick throwaway apps.

For people who do this in their spare time, the opportunity costs may be close to zero (if you don't consider the quality of life that one could have had without sitting there programming) and so this question doesn't apply.

For the second question, it depends a lot on how much you need to pay your bills. Varies depending on which part of the world you come from. Where I live, it certainly doesn't pay the bills but is more of a discretionary play-money with which I can buy things I wouldn't normally buy.

It hasn't changed my life by any means, there are a lot of things to do in life than writing apps.

So it is neither a success nor a failure but is a pastime/hobby that satisfies my hacking urges. It may have been different if the App Store dynamics were different from what it is - a hit/fail lotto.
02-26-2012, 12:45 AM
#4
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: a place with electricity on Thursdays
Posts: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to iLifeTouch
I guess we are looking at four groups from your posts not two. Interesting!

1. Developers that can afford to build apps in their spare time. (hobby fun factor)
2. Developers that went all in and desperately needing to be profitable.(no back up)
3. Developers that are scrapping by making just enough to keep the dream alive.
4. Developers that are profitable.

Separate entities.....

5. Developers that build apps for third parties paying for their own apps.
6. Teaching IOS development and using tuition fees and the actual students to build apps.
02-26-2012, 02:47 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,143
I wrote more earlier but deleted it. I don't like to get too detailed in public forums. But...

I don't think the app store is a hit/fail deal. There is plenty of room in between. I built Daredevil Dave in my spare time after work. I was barely getting by, but I thought I had a great idea so I gave it a shot.

It certainly changed my life. My money problems disappeared. I'm not rich by any means but I'm doing pretty well. Surviving in Silicon Valley...no cheap feat! I now design games for a living. I work at home. I love it. I've done a few other side projects for other devs in between my own projects too.

It's also become stressful, since I'm now relying on this (primarily) for a living. Game designing is still fun for me, but now it's also a job. Now I expect to succeed. I have a foot in the door - now I'm trying to squeeze through it!

It also helped my confidence immensely. My big plans seem a lot more attainable now. We'll see. A lot of things changed for me, too much to mention. Practically everything - except I'm still bald
02-26-2012, 12:34 PM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by schplurg View Post
I built Daredevil Dave in my spare time after work. I was barely getting by, but I thought I had a great idea so I gave it a shot.
Just curious, did you run into any licensing/trademark/revenue share issues because of Bob Einstein's character Super Dave Osborne for the app?

The reason I ask is that I have had some concept ideas that try to leverage certain cultural icons for familiarity but have always been warned away for copyright reasons even though I thought them to be in public domain as celebrities or popular culture icons.
02-26-2012, 03:00 PM
#7
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: a place with electricity on Thursdays
Posts: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to iLifeTouch
Einstein is probably the best case study for copyright issues of iconic figures. Always remember you probably will have to be very profitable before someone will rack up legal fees to battle you.