Building a business in the mobile industry is like being a baseball player – the complexity and diversity of the skills needed in both is often overlooked or dismissed. A baseball player? Yes, a tobacco chewing man that plays a game for a living and, when his skills are in demand, makes an insane income. Sound familiar? Everyday baseball players require an incredible amount of skill because they need to be able to play offence (hit the ball) and defence (catch the ball) – two completely different but very important skills. We judge our ball players on batting average (or OPS for the Sabermetrics guys in the house) and fielding percentage – the only sport that really requires players to specialize in both aspects of the game.
Building an app is exactly like that – especially if you are a solo entrepreneur or a small team. You must identify the idea, white board it, wireframe it, code it (on multiple platforms), design the user interface, create an immersive user experience, market it and eventually figure out how to make money from it. Each of those are tough to do, put them all together and you feel as though you are staring at a 98MPH fastball bearing down at you with the game on the line.
That is, of course, if you chose to get your swings in the major leagues which is, as you know by your broken baseball dreams, not easy to do. So what does it take to make a living in the app world?
David Book, the co-founder of Buzztouch – an open-source mobile development environment that comes with a community focused on helping you be successful in your app desires – dishes frank and exceptional advice when it comes to making apps in this brave new world. The majors might not be for everyone – no amount of steroids will help you unseat Angry Birds – but there is tremendous opportunity in the minors and this is the big message that comes from our amazing conversation.
In this episode David helps us understand what it takes to build a successful app (and who we should be targeting), what the age of context and the wearable industry will do to the app development community and offers some insight into app development trends that he is seeing emerge.
Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip
1. Why call yourself the Chief cook and bottle washer 2:45
2. What is Buzztouch? 5:45
3. Where did the idea come from – what was the catalyst? 8:45
4. How did you move from a free resource to a business? 14:35
5. Important insight about choosing a mobile app development platform 16:45
6. What are the best practices for building a mobile app in Buzztouch 19:30
7. Why start charging a membership fee for Buzztouch? 21:50
8. What are the keys to building a successful mobile application 28:00
9. The age of context, wearables and the future of automated data 40:20
10. Why the touch screen is not the future of UI 45:20
11. Why getting out of the way is a huge part of successful app development 47:00
12. Why are you still an iPhone user? 50:10
13. Favourite app? 50:45
14. What big trends are you seeing in mobile app development? 53:50
15. What are you waiting for most 59:40
About David Book
David Book is a veteran software developer and entrepreneur living in Monterey California with his wife of 20 years and two teenagers. He has been focussed on iOS, Android, and mobile for the last 5 years. He founded buzztouch.com in 2009 and has since helped more than 150,000 aspiring mobile developers, professional programmers, and app enthusiasts embrace the open source software he created. The buzztouch approach is supported by a thriving community and promises to help take the pain out of the iOS and Android development process.
David’s proud of the solid relationships he’s formed with his clients and colleagues. His clients are primarily medium sized to large sized companies and organizations. These include several Fortune 500 companies such as Philips Lighting, Symantec, and the Dollar Thrifty Auto Group.
David’s deep understanding of multiple technologies and 15 years experience as a professional programmer make him uniquely qualified to help solve some of the most challenging development problems. His areas of expertise include: iOS, Android, JAVA, PHP, CSS, AJAX, HTML, and SQL.