Thursday, June 7, 2012

Where Do I Go From Here - 1 Year Anniversary

My business just turned 1 on June first. I made over 50k last year on the app store starting from almost nothing. April was my highest revenue month yet thanks to a new app launch, and June is likely to be higher. Last week was several hundred dollars better than my previous best. So why do I feel like this isn't working and I need to do something else?

Just to be clear before I get into this, I'm not complaining about how things have gone over the last year. The last year has been amazing, and I don't regret quitting in the least. This is just me sharing my thoughts over the last few weeks to maybe help someone else going through the same thing, or maybe find someone to share what they've learned with me.

As I've shared before, my plans going into this year was to focus on niche apps that might not sell a ton, but each one sells consistently and added together they become a decent salary. At this point I have a decent lifestyle business going. That's great, and that's the problem. I've recently realized that my focus for the last year isn't quite in line with my long term goals. 

I want hire people and have high 6 figure if not 7 figure revenue. I want to work on big problems, and make the world a better place, even if it's only for a few people. None of those things are going to happen with my app business. I can keep growing it as long as smartphones and apps continue to be popular, but it is a long ways from growing into 7 figure revenues. Hiring someone is also quite a ways down the road.

I'd also like to have a more stable revenue source. The lifetime value of most of my customers is 70 cents. Seriously, think about that for a minute. That is scary. Some form of recurring revenue that is just a bit higher looks really good to me right now.

Now I've focused on the cons, there are some pros to what I've done over the last year. The first is that while we aren't swimming around in dollar bills, we don't have to worry about going hungry any time soon. Having this revenue coming in from apps gives me the freedom to pursue something more ambitious. My goal would be to have that big payoff so that I can do something even more ambitious after that. This was a good first stepping stone though.

The only question is what now? I've spent my last year thinking entirely about mobile. I have a long list of ideas for things to implement that is entirely composed of apps. My next two months are mostly booked with an app that is already in progress and a couple of freelance projects. 

The (seemingly) obvious choice is to start taking more consulting projects. There is certainly plenty of demand in that area. The projects I'm working on now I haven't searched out at all. They just came from friends of friends that heard I do app development. 

That being said, I hate freelancing. With a passion. The only thing about it that I like is the paycheck at the end. That is not a good way to live. With the app business at least enjoy every day. That being said, if I decided to grow a consulting business that would allow me to do the hiring I want, and growing into low to mid 6 figures revenues wouldn't be too hard. It could be another stepping stone.

Is there another way though? I'd like to think there is. I have enough revenue and savings now to give me a pretty long runway if I can find a something interesting to work on that I can get to MVP by myself. I just don't have any idea as to what that project is right now.

Well, that's my rant for the day. I'm not sure it will be helpful to anybody else, but at least I got it out there. If you've been in this position before let me know what you did.


  1. Best of luck. I've been in your position and I hated it. Very few people can relate since they want to pro-create, not create.

    Feel free to ignore the following suggestions. (That is what I do when people give me suggestions.)

    Why not do the best darn hosted indexing service out there? (IndexTank successor)
    * handles misspellings phonetically
    * adapts to local culture and language (using IP address location of user)
    * adapts to latest news trends (again, with IP address)
    * etc.

    Then use the money to fund research to re-grow limbs:

  2. Very interesting read! I love the concept of SaaS replacing your salaried income. Good luck! I'll be following your articles.