Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time != Money

I've heard the saying time is money so many times I can't count them. I believed it until I decided to start my own business. While it is still true in a vague sense, I'm finding that it is far more loosely coupled than before. I'm also starting to realize that it wasn't coupled as tightly before as I thought it was.

My sales this month are going to be roughly 65% of my old salary. I started just above 0 five months ago, so I'm actually pretty pleased with the growth so far. I've already passed my goal for this year, and I am well on my way to next years goal of matching my old salary. Considering I get to work from home when I want on projects I really enjoy I'm currently very happy with how things are going.

Back to my point though, of the money I'm going to make in October, 0 of it is from work that I've done in October. Roughly 10% of it is from work I did in September. Most of it is from the stuff I did in June and July. Clearly the time / money relationship has been skewed quite a bit. I won't have any idea of an hourly rate for my time until Apple stops selling iOS devices, and hopefully that isn't any time soon.

I've spent much of my time over the last few months working on my Mac budgeting app. Unfortunately, version 1.0 still hasn't been approved by Apple even though I submitted it at the end of August. Version 1.1 is just about ready, but I can't do anything with it until Apple approves the first version. Even when they finally approve it, I won't see a dime of the sales for about 60 days because of the way payments work. I get paid for the sales that are made in October at the end of November or beginning of December. So if my app gets approved at the beginning of next month, I'll start to see money from it at the beginning of the year. That's a long time to wait to get paid for work I did in August.

Another disconnect between time and money when you are selling a product is that you don't always know what is going to work and what isn't. There are some features I've spent a ton of time on that people don't seem to really like. I've added other features in about 10 minutes that have been great. Time is really not equal to money for me anymore. Quality ideas executed well are what makes money. The amount of time I spend working on them is only very loosely related to making money.

If you've read this far and are interested in the mobile app market you may want to check out my book on how I make money on the mobile app stores called Building an App Business.