Tag Archives: paid vs free apps

Work a Little and Play a lot: Lifestyle Freedom through App Development

Many people are equating today’s popularity of mobile apps to the US gold rush of 1849. This hype suggests that you can create a mobile app, publish it to the various app stores and quickly become a millionaire.

Lifestyle Freedom

Is it true? Think about it, there are 1.2 million apps in the Apple App Store in mid 2014. Do you think all of the people publishing apps are millionaires? Nope.  According to Laura Tallardy (statistics provided by Owen Goss), here are the statistics:

  • The bottom 25 percent have made less than $200
  • The next 25 percent have made between $200 and $3,000
  • The 50-75 quarter are between $3,000 and $30,000
  • The top 10 percent have made $400,000
  • The top 4 percent are MILLIONAIRES!

So the real question is “Can I build an app company that does well enough that I can design my own lifestyle, work when I am inspired and play a lot?“.  To do that, you need to get yourself into the top 25%. Is that easy? I’m not sure but I do know that many app developers simply develop an app, put it in the app store, do no marketing and expect it to reach the top 10%. And as you might predict, they land in the bottom 25%.

2HourAppreneur Experiment

All of this brings us to an experiment called the “2HourAppreneur experiment. I am developing an app (and possibly multiple apps if it looks promising) to determine if a person can build an app business that allows them to live a cool and fulfilling lifestyle. A lifestyle that affords you the opportunity to work on your own timetable, play a lot and revel in your entrepreneurial spirit.

Why am I qualified to try it? I’m an entrepreneur that started a software business in 1998 and sold it in 2009. Selling the business made me financially independent and allowed me to retire at 50 years old. I have enjoyed the retired lifestyle freedom. I’ve traveled a lot, adopted new hobbies, and pushed myself with new challenges. With my free time, I can try this experiment without financial pressures because building an app business is fairly inexpensive. If you want to learn more about me, you can take a look at my personal website and travel blogs.

Will it work? I am not sure but it will be fun to try. I will document my journey and tell you exactly what works and what doesn’t. This posting will be a living document that includes a list of helpful blogs explaining exactly what I am doing and why.  And if it doesn’t work, at least we will all know!

Here are some blogs I’ve created to document the process thus far:

How Can You Track the 2HourAppreneur Experiment?

If you find this experiment interesting, you have a couple of ways of keeping updated on the progress:

If you don’t mind getting an email every few weeks subscribe to my 2HourAppreneur blog. You can do that by entering your email address below (you can unsubscribe at any time):

Subscribe to Blog via Email

If you prefer not to get an email this often but would like to check in, LIKE my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/2hourappreneur.

Or you can subscribe to my Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/2hourappreneur, my Twitter handle is @2HourAppreneur.

While you’re at it, take a look at the first app I am developing called aMemoryJog. It is an app for keeping track of all your passwords, loyalty reward numbers, and anything else that is easy to forget. Learn more at http://www.aMemoryJog.com.

Latest Updates

As mentioned above, I plan to continually update this blog posting as I publish new blogs related to app development, so you will see the list of blogs listed above grow over time. I will also let you know where I am in the process.

Update on 18-June-15
I am now working on my second app called Count Us Down. It lets you count down the days until a big life event (vacation, baby on the way, wedding, concert, sporting event, retirement, etc.).  It also allows you to share that event with your friends and family. Want to be part of the beta team? If you do, you will get early access to the app and you can provide feedback before it gets to the app store. Sign up here: http://www.CountUsDown.com

Update on 13-May-15
The aMemoryJog app has been in the app store for a few  months now and I’ve learned a great deal from this experiment. Click here to see what I’ve learned

Update on 17-Nov-14
I outsourced the development of the aMemoryJog app in early April 2014. It was expected to take about 4 months to complete but it has taken a lot longer than expected. The extra development time has been OK because it has given me more time to build my social media followers and prepare a marketing strategy. aMemoryJog should be in the Apple app store sometime in December 2014.

This Article Was Brought to You by 2HourAppreneur

This article was brought to you by 2HourAppreneur makers of the aMemoryJog Password Manager app. The app is free, why not try it now?

aMemoryJog: Best Password Manager

Sneak Peek at aMemoryJog Lite iPhone edition

After several months of development, the FREE edition of aMemoryJog (Lite) app is almost ready for production.  We are now making final bug fixes, preparing marketing materials, and getting ready for the Apple App Store submission.

To jog your memory (pun!), aMemoryJog is an app that tracks passwords, frequent flyer details, loyalty program information, and pretty much anything else that is easily forgotten. By having this information on your phone, it is a tap away.

The edition shown in this blog will be TOTALLY FREE for download in the Apple App Store very soon.

aMemoryJog Lite Movie

My @2HourAppreneur readers get the first sneak peek of the application.  I created a movie that shows the app in progress, click below to watch the movie:


Additionally, I thought I would include some screen shots so that you can see each screen in detail. If you have any feedback (good or bad), please provide it by commenting to this post. We still have a few more weeks to make tweaks, so your feedback is valuable.

Login Process

From here, you will be able to create a new account (if you don’t have one) or login if you do have one. If you have an account but cannot remember the password, you can have it emailed from here.


Please provide some feedback by entering comments into this blog:

  • What do you think of the logo?
  • What do you think of the colors of the application?

All Your Easily Forgotten Info in Your Pocket

Once you are logged in, it shows a list of items you have stored in aMemoryJog. To add a new item, tap the + sign in the top right of the page.


To view the details of an existing item, simply tap it and the details appear.


One of the cool features is the ability to tap the website address of a stored item and it will bring up that website and allow you to quickly log in without remembering your userid and password (you can tap those to automatically fill them in).  Here is an example of that for the Wells Fargo website:


Questions for you:

  • What do you think about how it organizes all your passwords?
  • Do you like the colors?
  • Are the navigation buttons at the bottom of the page easy to understand?
  • Do you like the website browser integration for tapping a website address to automatically fill in the userid and password?

Adjusting your Settings

The app is also configurable, you will have a number of different settings that allow it to work better for your specific needs.


Questions for you:

  • Are the settings labeled in way you can quickly understand  what they do?
  • Is the look visually appealing?

Getting Help

The Help screen allows you to watch a movie that shows how the product works, access frequently asked questions and request support.


Questions for you:

  • Is it clear how to use this screen?
  • Do you like the colors used on this screen?
  • Is it clear what the Tell A Friend section is for?


Thanks so much for supporting this effort. Your feedback is important, especially now just before getting it ready for production — so any feedback is welcome.

Also, if you like this blog, please share it with others to increase our following:

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How Will You Monetize your App?

In our last post, we discussed how to determine if the app you have been considering building would be financially viable. Once you have enough confidence that it is, it is now time to think out the options for monetizing your app.

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. – Andy Warhol

Different App Monetization Options

There are many ways to make money from your app:

  • You could offer a free app that contains banner ads and each time someone clicks on a banner ad, you will accumulate money from those clicks.
  • You could offer a paid app where each time someone pays for your app, you get 70% of the revenue generated (Apple or Google Play keeps 30%).
  • You could provide in-app purchases that provide value added services (like data backups to the cloud, web access to your application, etc.).
  • You could setup an affiliate program and present other apps as possible purchases within your app and receive a referral fee.


What’s the Right Approach to App Monetization?

So should create a free app with banner ads and in-app purchases, create a paid app, or just rely on affiliate program revenue? In my opinion, you should do all of the above to maximize your revenue. And you should figure out a way to capture recurring revenue.

Free Edition with Banner Ads and In-App Purchases

When creating my app, aMemoryJog, I am taking that approach. For those that don’t have the money to buy an app, I offer the free edition with banner ads.  I feel that once they use the free edition for a while, it will be so useful that they will be willing to pay a small fee to migrate to the paid edition.

Heck, at less than $10, it is probably less than the user spends at Starbucks in a couple of days of sipping lattes. But for those non-latte sipping types that never plan to buy, they will still have a cool app to use. And hopefully there will be occasions when they see a banner ad shown within my app that prompts them to tap on the ad to learn more.  When they do, I earn ad commissions.

Also within the free app, there will be reminders that  are shown that explain what they get by purchasing the paid edition. In my example, they will receive free backups of their data to the cloud to prevent accidental loss of data if their phone has to be restored. It will also provide them with a web edition of the software so that they can use the tool on their PC or Mac and the data entered will automatically sync with the mobile edition. Now that’s adding value with the paid edition!  And, the reminder of this is unobtrusive (also notice the advertising banner at the bottom of the screen that generates ad revenue):

Monetizing Apps

In-App purchase for cloud backups

Paid App Revenue

For someone to fork over their money for a paid edition, you really need some compelling reasons for them to part with their dinero. When developing  aMemoryJog, I decided to offer these compelling reasons to upgrade:

  • No Ads – No ads are shown in the paid edition, giving the user more room on the screen to see their data.
  • Data backups to the Cloud – Each time the user makes changes on their phone, those changes are automatically sent to the cloud for safe keeping.  If their phone ever crashes or they have to restore it, they can easily restore their aMemoryJog data from the cloud.
  • Free 1 Year Subscription to the Web Edition – When they purchase the app, it comes with a 1 year free subscription to the web edition of aMemoryJog. That means they can use it from their PC, Mac, tablet or any other device that has a web browser.
  • Synchronizations with other Devices – Once they love the convenience of using the web edition of aMemoryJog from their PC, tablet or Mac computer, they will want any changes made there or on their phone to sync with each other. The paid edition does that — it seamlessly syncs all their devices.
  • Remote Self Destruct – So what happens if someone steals your phone? Personally, I would like a way to remotely wipe out the aMemoryJog  data from the phone without the thief knowing it.  With the paid edition, you can do that. Just go into the web edition and tell it to self destruct the mobile device. It will wipe out the data when the thief tries to log into aMemoryJog on the mobile device but will keep it securely in the cloud in case you buy another phone and want to restore it so that you don’t lose all the data you kept in aMemoryJog.
  • Recycle Bin – Another feature of the paid edition is the ability to restore a deleted record. Just like your Mac or PC, you can empty your recycle bin or restore selected items.
  • Localized Languages – Finally, the paid edition allows a user in another country to use it in their native language. Whether that be Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese or Japanese — they are covered. I even added something special for English speakers — an option called English (Funny). When the language is set to that, it adds personality and attitude to each message that is displayed in the app.

As you can see, I took a lot of care to provide very compelling reasons to upgrade to the paid edition.

In-App Purchases and Recurring Revenue

Most apps pay you once — when they download the paid software. Another way to generate revenue and ensure the longevity of your app is to add a recurring revenue component. In aMemoryJog, I provide a free 1 year subscription to the web edition of aMemoryJog when they purchase the paid edition. But after a year, they will lose access to the web edition and the automatic backups unless they renew their yearly subscription for $9.99. This is just good business because it is a very low yearly cost (less than a buck a month) but gives the user access to aMemoryJog from the web and keeps their data backups safe and secure in the cloud. I implemented it in a way where it keeps track of when their subscription expires then allows them to renew it from directly within the app via an in-app purchase.

Affiliate Programs

The idea behind an affiliate program is that you can present other people’s apps for download somewhere within your application and if someone downloads the app, you get a small commission from them downloading.  Normally this is done by adding a MORE… section in your tab bar at the bottom of your app where people can click that and see other people’s app for download. It is important to partner with complimentary apps for this type of feature so that users of your app will want to download apps with a kindred spirit.

Even if you don’t decide to add a MORE… section to your app, you can still take advantage of an affiliate program. You can set your own paid product up as an affiliate and anytime someone clicks on the Upgrade button to download your paid edition, you get a small commission through the affiliate program — pretty cool, eh?

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


We now have discussed different ways to make money with your app. My next blog will be out in a couple of weeks — I will discuss  how to determine the demographic for your app (whether your users will be mostly male or female, college educated or not, etc).

Shameless Plug

The app I am creating is slated for production in the App Store around July or August 2014. However, the web edition is already available at http://www.aMemoryJog.com. Once the app is done, it will seamlessly sync with the web version.

Download a free trial and check it out!

aMemoryJog – Web and iPhone editions

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