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Quit day job to become freelance iphone programmer?

03-22-2009, 11:46 AM
#1
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1
Quit day job to become freelance iphone programmer?

Hi,
This is a question of two parts that I would like peoples opinion on.
1. If you didnt like your day job, your girlfriend lived 200 miles away so you only saw her some weekends but you want to see each other more and your company wanted you to sign a new restrictive contract which you didnt want to, would you quit without having another job to go to in this current economic climate?
2. If you were of average intelligence (say IQ 100), worked in the creative side of apple mac IT (with photographers/design agencies) but never programmed but thought that making apps for the Iphone would be a good way to make a decent living (decent for me being about $50,000 a year before tax, etc) is that possible?
I have read the success stories and the disaster stories so its difficult to judge. I have bought and so far browsed "Learn C on the Mac", "Learn objective C o the mac" and "beginning iphone development". I would be able to take a maximum of 8 months off any work to learn C,Obj C, Iphone programming, any design programs (Im very familiar with photoshop already), and create whatever apps I come up with before I run out of money and HAVE to get a job.
Basically it seems the apps would have to be downloaded 100 a day every day at $1.99 each to make a go of this, so realistically i would need multiple (5-6?) apps at the same time I believe?
Is this all a realistic possibility or am I just being a dreamer?
Please comment. Thanks.
03-22-2009, 12:00 PM
#2
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,691
To be perfectly blunt, the iPhone millionaires yacht club's membership has been closed for months now. An amazing number of people caught wind of success stories like Rolando, iShoot, and many others and think that they can get on board the gravy train after reading a couple books and buying a $99 SDK license. Needless to say, it doesn't work like this.

To compete in the App Store economy, which is becoming more and more saturated with every passing hour, you need something seriously innovative. If you don't have a hat full of ideas that you can honestly say don't exist on the App Store, you're really going to be in trouble once you start relying on app sales to pay your bills.

On top of all this, you're looking of at least a couple months of reading, studying, and practicing until you're proficient enough in objective c and cocoa touch to be able to produce more than "hello world.app" and simple games.

The thing is, learning objective-c, cocoa touch, and experimenting building different games can all be done in your spare time. In today's economy, passing up on an existing paycheck to live off your savings and learn how to program for the iPhone is really not the best idea. Keep your job, work on becoming an iPhone tycoon in your spare time, and if you ever get to the point where your app sales are making you enough money to live off of, then quit your job.

Anything is possible, and I don't mean to shatter your dreams, but being able to make $50k a year as a freelance iPhone developer within 8 months of buying your first objective-c book is a tall order. I'd bet we have developers posting here who came to the iPhone as obj-c veterans with decent games/apps on the store who would love to be making more than beer money off a few random app sales here and there.

03-22-2009, 12:05 PM
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by worthatry View Post
Hi,
This is a question of two parts that I would like peoples opinion on.
1. If you didnt like your day job, your girlfriend lived 200 miles away so you only saw her some weekends but you want to see each other more and your company wanted you to sign a new restrictive contract which you didnt want to, would you quit without having another job to go to in this current economic climate?
2. If you were of average intelligence (say IQ 100), worked in the creative side of apple mac IT (with photographers/design agencies) but never programmed but thought that making apps for the Iphone would be a good way to make a decent living (decent for me being about $50,000 a year before tax, etc) is that possible?
I have read the success stories and the disaster stories so its difficult to judge. I have bought and so far browsed "Learn C on the Mac", "Learn objective C o the mac" and "beginning iphone development". I would be able to take a maximum of 8 months off any work to learn C,Obj C, Iphone programming, any design programs (Im very familiar with photoshop already), and create whatever apps I come up with before I run out of money and HAVE to get a job.
Basically it seems the apps would have to be downloaded 100 a day every day at $1.99 each to make a go of this, so realistically i would need multiple (5-6?) apps at the same time I believe?
Is this all a realistic possibility or am I just being a dreamer?
Please comment. Thanks.
Be careful and try to do both things at the same time and see how it goes.
The App Store is full of apps and if you want to make some money with this, you must create something innovative, never seen before.
Your IQ is just a number, the main thing is to be creative, innovative, talented and smart.

As you said, you need more than one app to make money.
It means you'll have to keep developing innovative apps with potential, in order to make a living out of this.

One more thing:
there are more than 27.000 apps out there.
Before to start developing, try to find out if what you want to create has been developed already or not.

Good luck with this,
it might be hard, but someone will succeed with this and it could be you.
03-22-2009, 12:29 PM
#4
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
As has been said, it's still possible to make good money on the App Store, but you have to either have something really innovative and creative, or you have to have something that fills a popular niche that hasn't been properly addressed. Were it me -- and it will be, actually -- I'd keep my day job and do iPhone development in my spare time. I may not have the time to devote to iPhone programming that I'd like and it would hinder my ability to put out apps in volume, but it will give me a good idea at the outset how well my apps are receieved and whether or not the consuming public think my stuff is good enough to eventually make me consider taking it on full-time.

As has also been said, this isn't like 6 months ago or before. Just any old app won't cut it anymore. People aren't hungry for anything they can get their hands on anymore -- they're glutted and choosy now. The App Store has enjoyed unprecedented success; it's well on its way to having 30,000 apps and the SDK has only been available for about a year now. To my knowledge no other platform has ever seen growth like that. Competition is therefore commensurately fierce. If you think you've got the ideas, the talent, and the chutzpah to bring something new, different, interesting, and well presented to the table, test it out first. Design it, develop it, release it, and see how it goes before you go telling your boss to take this proverbial job and shove it.

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
03-22-2009, 12:34 PM
#5
You are just a dreamer, give up.
03-22-2009, 01:14 PM
#6
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 583
Quote:
Originally Posted by whateverg View Post
You are just a dreamer, give up.
You don't how good he is. If everyone thought like you, we would live in a very retrograde world.

Developping apps is a like being a classical composer. everything has already being done. Only those who master their art and have great creativity can make it.

Study a lot. Show your work to a master coder. Do something outstanding. Wait. Then, quit your job.

Or, you just go for your dream, but you have to know that it is not going to be easy and that it might not work.
03-22-2009, 01:29 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by organerito View Post
You don't how good he is. If everyone thought like you, we would live in a very retrograde world.

Developping apps is a like being a classical composer. everything has already being done. Only those who master their art and have great creativity can make it.

Study a lot. Show your work to a master coder. Do something outstanding. Wait. Then, quit your job.

Or, you just go for your dream, but you have to know that it is not going to be easy and that it might not work.
It's not true that everything has already being done, even for music.
I have many ideas both for music and iPhone games, but it would be pretty hard to compose/develop them for me.

What about a game like Rolando, but with weapons and both 2D-3D style like Paper Mario?
What about a well done Reactable for the iPhone?

Ah, this is OT, but I'm tired of people who come out and say "I have an idea for a new game...".
We have thousand ideas for new games, but that's not what we need.

The point is that you have to be very talented to succeed now.
Very talented means that you have to keep developing cool apps and probably you won't be able to do this by yourself.

It sounds like it's going to be hard for individual developers.
03-22-2009, 01:41 PM
#8
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 583
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spotlight View Post
It's not true that everything has already being done, even for music.
I have many ideas both for music and iPhone games, but it would be pretty hard to compose/develop them for me.

What about a game like Rolando, but with weapons and both 2D-3D style like Paper Mario?
What about a well done Reactable for the iPhone?

Ah, this is OT, but I'm tired of people who come out and say "I have an idea for a new game...".
We have thousand ideas for new games, but that's not what we need.

The point is that you have to be very talented to succeed now.
Very talented means that you have to keep developing cool apps and probably you won't be able to do this by yourself.

It sounds like it's going to be hard for individual developers.
When I said everything has been done, I meant the progress of tonal music. Tonal music was so saturated that the had to find a new way to do music. Anyway,what I mean is that you have to be very creative and really know your thing because there many chances that someone else has already done.
03-22-2009, 02:49 PM
#9
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,509
You need:

1) An innovative idea

2) Good execution that make the app fun/useful

3) Luck


A firm knowledge of coding is needed, an extreme amount of creativity, and hoping the enough people will pick it up to give it momentum.
03-22-2009, 04:56 PM
#10
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,553
For me i'm giving the iPhone a shot before finding work since I been in education all these years, might as well give it a try before finding a 9 'till 5.

3D modelling, design and sequential artist / GameCenter ID: Diab