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Build a mobile app business working 2 hours a day?

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to take a journey with me, we will discover if it is possible to build a mobile app business by working as little as 2 hours a day.  I have read several books that suggest that it is possible, if done right.  So I am on a quest to see if that’s doable and I will share what I learn with the readers of this blog. I will discuss everything I do along the way so that if it is possible, you will have a guide to follow as you attempt the same.

The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work. – Robert Frost

About the Author

My name is Steve Miller and I am an entrepreneur. After graduating from the University of Alabama in 1984, I wanted to learn as much as I could in hopes of eventually starting my own business and retiring early — hopefully on or before I turned 50. Initially I worked at large software companies, soaking up as much knowledge as I could about software architecture, software engineering, corporate finances, management, and leadership. In 1999, I started my own software business and sold it in 2009 to a larger acquiring company. That allowed me to achieve my goal of retiring early, at 50 years old.

I have been retired now for 1.5 years and have been enjoying this time traveling the globe with my wife, spending time close to our kid’s college towns, golfing, biking, fishing, boating, and exploring new hobbies. You can learn more about me at http://www.WeBeTripping.com and follow our travel blog at http://webetripping.wordpress.com.

Why Start Another Business?

So if I am financially independent, travel a lot, and have lots of hobbies, why start another business? There are several reasons:

  1. I enjoy the challenge of building a business.
  2. Even though I have lots of hobbies, there are rainy or snowy days where boredom can creep in, so why not use that time efficiently?
  3. Being retired at 50 could leave 40 years to live off our retirement income, so any additional cushion can’t hurt.
  4. I am curious about the mobile app market and would like to discover how lucrative it might be.

What are the Parameters of the Business?

I chose to create mobile apps (iPhone, Android, etc.) because there is a low-cost entry, the market is fairly new and from what I read, it can be lucrative if done right. Sure, there are millions of apps on the market but the majority of apps only get a couple thousand downloads during their lifetime. A smaller portion of apps can generate between $50,000 to $500,000 per year, and an even smaller number of apps can generate millions per year (think Angry Birds, Words with Friends, etc).

When I started to build my business plan, I wrote down these goals of the business:

  • Should have low entry costs (less than $10,000).
  • Should not require hiring direct employees, work should be done by outsourcing the effort.
  • Should have low overhead– no office, low marketing costs and very few recurring costs.
  • Should be a virtual business that allows me to continue traveling and having fun.
  • Should allow me to work no more than 2 hours per day (10 hours per week) on average.
  • Should have an exit strategy that allows me to sell the business once specific targets are hit.
  • Should create apps that have the potential of generating $50,000+ per year per app.

What is an Appreneur and What is the Blog About?

An appreneur is simply an entrepreneur that specializes in building mobile apps. I will use this blog to document all the things I do as I build the business. That will include how I choose the type of mobile app to develop, how to research competitors, how to build a business plan, how to develop app specifications, how to choose a sub-contractor to build the app, how to market the app (pre-release and post-release), and how to analyze and tweak business results.

Will it work? Can I really build an app business working less 2 hours or less a day (on average)? Honestly, I am not sure. But I will document the process and we can determine if it will work. I will be transparent, talk about successes and failures so that you can learn from any mistakes (that I am sure to) make.

I plan to post a blog several times a month, probably less once the app is in production. If you want to get an email each time I post a blog, go to http://2hourappreneur.wordpress.com and scroll to the bottom right of the screen and enter your email address.  You can unsubscribe at any time.

Related article: How to Build a Product Website for your App