As I discussed in my last post, I have decided to move forward with developing an iPhone App (rather than a Android app). I have absolutely no programming experience – I'm just a business guy. So, is it really possible for someone with no programming experience to develop an iPhone app from the ground up? I definitely believe that it is, or I wouldn't be trying to pursue this business.
I plan to outsource the app programming and graphic design. My responsibilities will be to come up with the vision of the product, manage the process of design and implementation, pay for it, and market the app. So, in order to get a better feel for the whole process from someone who has actually outsourced the development of an iPhone app before, I purchased the ebook – How to Create iPhone Apps with No Programming Experience.
So, today I wanted to review some of the pros and cons of that book. Overall, I will say that I think it provides a great overview of how to outsource the creation of an iPhone App. Its 101 pages long without too much fluff in between. For someone who has never outsourced any kind of project to elance.com or other sites, this will provide the step by step instructions you need to feel confident getting started. However, since I have outsourced a number of projects to elance and other sites I felt like a lot of the material did not really help me at all.
Cons of the Book
So, here are the cons of the book from my perspective:
1. The book spent a good portion (about 20 pages) on walking you through elance.com. Since I have used elance and overall its a VERY simple site to use, I felt like this material was a little bit too basic. However, if you have never outsourced a project, you might like to see the details provided such as what to include in your title and description, what categories to select, etc.
2. The book also dedicates about 10 pages to setting up a business entity. For me, this is totally not necessary. I currently own 3 separate business entities, so I really don't want to wade through material of the pros and cons of an LLC, etc. Sure its something that everyone should consider, but I wanted material on how to create an iPhone app, not how to set up a business through Legal Zoom (I recommend you do it yourself rather than use Legal Zoom anyway – its very simple. But then again, I'm not a lawyer so maybe don't take my word for it).
3. I would have liked to have seen more discussion on what exactly makes an app successful. They do discuss several apps that were successful, but don't really discuss how or why they came up with those ideas. There is a good discussion of using professional graphics and better titles to make you app stand out, but I felt like there could have been more details on the brainstorming and creation process.
Pros of the Book
Despite some of the minor shortcomings, I felt like this eBook was worth the read for some of these reasons:
1. The book is inspirational! Quoc Bui and Michael Moon share some detailed monthly revenue figures from their apps. These guys are pulling in $800k a year mostly from free iPhone apps – so its pretty cool to see where this money is coming from. If nothing else, this book shows you step by step how these guys have built a killer business and they are sharing how you can do the same.
2. Instructions on how to get accepted to the Apple developer program are shared. I had no idea how to do this (or even that it was required) before I read the book. They give detailed instructions and screenshots – so this will be very helpful to me when I go ahead and apply.
3. How to Test your app is discussed. This is a critical process as well. I knew that I needed either an iPhone (mine is on its way right now!) or an iPod touch to test out my new creations – but its not very simple apparently. You need to know how to install an “Ad Hoc File” or a source code file and its not very simple all the time it looks like. I'm sure once I get the hang of it – it will be second nature; however, this book provides VERY detailed instructions on how to test out your new app.
4. There is a great discussion on how to get your new iPhone app approved by Apple and what to expect.
5. There is also a great discussion on how to market your iPhone app using social media, your website, and other means to get more downloads and exposure. It gave me a couple of ideas that I had not considered before.
Overall, the book is detailed and provides great instructions for how to take an idea that you have for an app and make it a reality. This includes how to find good developers and graphic designers and the nitty gritty of how to implement everything.
So, while this book isn't perfect and there are a couple of things that I would have liked to see different in the book – overall I found it very good. So, if you are interested in learning the step by step details of how to get your iPhone app idea turned into a reality – then I recommend that you grab a copy of How to Create iPhone Apps with No Programming Experience right here!
In addition, I have also ordered the book: App Savy: Turning Ideas into iPad and iPhone Apps that Customers Really Want from Amazon. It hasn't arrived yet, but I will share a brief review of it as well once I have a chance to digest it.
So, to briefly give you an update where I am in the process – I have purchased an iPhone and should have it today or tomorrow. I will be exploring lots of different apps available to check out my competition and what does well over the coming weeks. Also, I have written down about 10 different ideas that I have had so far. I have a couple that I am excited about, but first I want to see what is available. One would target Adsense publishers and the other utilizes the unique touch screen feature of the iPhone. I will share more details as I come up with more ideas and weigh the pros and cons of each.
I expect to continue my brainstorming process for at least a couple of more weeks, and then I will start to make more detailed wire frames or other blueprints for the app(s). Then at that point I will start looking for a graphic designer to get the graphics done. Then finally I will hire a programmer from elance most likely.
Anyway, just wanted to give a quick update on where I am in the process and what to expect in the coming weeks. Right now I am just in the educational phase of the process. Let me know if you have any questions or pointers for me in the comments below…thanks!