Income from writing apps

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czeckers
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Income from writing apps

Post by czeckers » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:45 pm

My 14yo son is interested in trying to earn some income by writing apps. He's already written some for his own use as well as for our family so he definitely has the computer coding ability. This is certainly outside my realm of expertise.

I'm wondering if it's as simple as just uploading it to the app store and seeing what happens. Are there other steps that he should take first such as setting up an LLC? I assume he'll have to make quarterly tax payments as if he were an independent contractor.

Are there any other issues to consider?

Any tips with respect to marketing?

Any input would be appreciated.

-Thanks.
The Espresso portfolio: | | 16% LCV, 16% SCV, 16% EM, 8% Int'l Value, 8% Int'l Sm, 8% US REIT, 8% Int'l REIT, 20% Inter-term US Treas | | "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

KyleAAA
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Re: Income from writing apps

Post by KyleAAA » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:48 pm

It can be as simple as uploading to the app store but, of course, 99% of apps in the app store never get more than a few downloads. If he wants to make real money he'll probably want to market them in some way. Not being a marketing guru, I have no insight into how to market it other than to maybe engage in related forums and online communities that might find the app useful (i.e. if it's an investing app, participating in this forum).

renue74
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Re: Income from writing apps

Post by renue74 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:55 pm

There are hundreds of thousands of apps in the app store that get little to no downloads and each one required a dev to code it.

I own a web design firm and in 2011/12 I created a side business (LLC) that would license one particular app to a very small niche market of businesses. No other company was doing what we were doing and instead of charging each business for their own app, we licensed our app and set up their own apps. Licensing contracts were 2 year contracts. At it's height, we had over 200 clients with gross revenue of about $360,000/year.

We attracted so many clients that another software firm in the same market, but didn't have mobile functionality reached out to us and acquired the LLC in an Asset Acquisition in late 2012/early 2013. That acquisition was a seven figure deal that helped seal the deal for my future retirement.

My advise is to focus on making apps for companies who are willing to pay for the services.

Making apps for fun and just placing them in the app store will not be as lucrative because it's like finding a needle in a haystack, plus the app must have some "viral" magnetism to it to get it popular...which in part depends on a lot of luck. You could have the best app in the world and it still not catch on.

The reason companies acquire app companies is not because of the IP, but because of the user database....the data that can be mined from millions of users can be sold off to companies or advertising placed.

That being said...yeah, I can go to freelancer.com, uwork, etc. and find an off shore developer who will code an app for me for $2K. So, app development may need to be a part of a broader skillset later in life if he plans to continue.

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czeckers
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Re: Income from writing apps

Post by czeckers » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:48 pm

Thank you for the well thought out reply. Very useful.
The Espresso portfolio: | | 16% LCV, 16% SCV, 16% EM, 8% Int'l Value, 8% Int'l Sm, 8% US REIT, 8% Int'l REIT, 20% Inter-term US Treas | | "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

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