iPhone Development: Developing Apps for Fun and Profit – Part 2

Hi again. This is Jesse Waites here, Founder and CEO of Beacon Hill Apps. Last week we discussed choosing the right app idea to pull the trigger on [Developing Apps for Fun and Profit – Part 1]. This week, we’re going to discuss the process of finding the right app developer for your project.

First off, right out of the gate, let me tell you something important: You had better have some money to pay this developer! “What do you mean?” you might ask. “My idea is amazing and great and going to make me a bazillion dollars!” To that I say, “Is that right? Why should I believe in your idea when you don’t believe in it enough to pay for it?” A little known secret is, developers are people too. We have rent to pay and pretty girls to take out to the movies. That kind of stuff costs money. If you have to get a second job to earn enough money to pay for the app, then do that. Take out a loan from a bank if you must- if you believe in your idea enough then there isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t do it. If you’re not willing to risk that, then maybe you don’t have the right idea!

The next step is finding a developer. Do a few search engine queries for “[Your town] iPhone Developer”, post an ad on your local Craigslist board, or ask your personal network of friends. Post a status update on Twitter and Facebook asking if anyone knows any developers for hire. You will be surprised how helpful your personal network can be. They want you to succeed - remember, they are your friends after all! There are also specialty websites like Elance and oDesk that acts as a marketplace where you can submit your project and wait for prospective developers to bid on it.

There is always the possibility that you can hire a developer from overseas, but based on what I’ve seen and heard, let me tell you the honest fact about that: Hiring foreign developers is almost always a bad idea. Sure, you’d save quite a bit of money in certain cases, but this results in buggy software, blatant typos, and delivery on their timeframe and not yours. I knew a guy that was having a Christmas/Santa themed app being built and didn’t get it until January 15th. Santa Fail.

You should choose between a local developer that you can meet with and get to know, or a reputable firm (like Beacon Hill Apps) that is known for dependable work. You’ll also want to see their portfolio for any apps and other projects they may have worked on before. This should give you a good idea on the quality you can expect should you decide to hire them. Of course, you’ll need to consider their asking price and see if it fits into your budget.

App graphics are something else you may want to hire someone for – graphics need to be made (icon, splashscreen, etc) and delivered to the programmer to be inserted into the app. Like I said last week, there is a certain order that this stuff has to be done in or it won’t work, so again, you might want to hire an establish firm for your first app so you can learn the lay of the land first. Once you get it, it becomes quite intuitive and easy to reproduce the next time.

Developing a proper app can cost anywhere from a thousand to thousands of dollars, if not more for highly complex projects. And then there are marketing and other costs involved when the app is ready to launch (advertising, hiring a PR firm, creating a website for your app are just several examples). Try not to be dissuaded by this though. The App Store is connected directly to peoples’ wallets, and if a consumer knows an app exists, and it is good, they’ll buy it. Just think – If your app costs $1.99, at the press of a button, a customer can buy your app and you’ll earn $1.33 completely passively. There are definitely harder ways to make a living….

Coming soon:  What to do after your app goes on sale.

Interested in more iPhone development articles? Take a look at these TMA posts:

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