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App Success Stories and Lessons Learned

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The definition of a ‘Hero’ in the Merriam Webster dictionary is as follows:

“A person, typically a man, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities”

SheRa My thoughts:

1. She-Ra would not be pleased.
2. Courage and guts are a necessity.
3. I bet you’ve never heard of a quick, simple and painless outstanding achievement? :) An outstanding achievement to me is accomplished by firstly choosing to do something new/big/challenging, which may come with a potentially high failure rate. Most people never get past this step. It’s doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable and is well outside your comfort zone. And then not only choosing this, but learning as much as you can to make this a success. Then you must execute and work with an unwavering determined focus on exactly what you want to achieve. 100% guts and passion.

None of this is easy. But everyone who decides to shoot for the stars, who aims bullet-direct at great accomplishments and adventures, everyone who decides there is more to life than a 9-5, is a hero to me.

I am lucky to be able to chat with some of these people, and I wanted to share their app stories with you. Being a hero isn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight. But what you will see from these stories is the guts, passion and determination these heros have to create the life for themselves that they really want. You inspire me everyday.

gem App name:Grand Gems
Publisher: Love Fun Apps
Country: USA
Platform: iOS
Blog: Love Fun Apps
Support Judy:
Download and rate

“It’s been a super fun journey and I’ve met hundreds and hundreds of really amazing and terrific people around the globe that have joined in on the fast past, fast growth eco-system of the mobile app industry. I am very appreciative of the super indie mobile developers that I’ve met and we are are supportive of each other’s success. In December, 2012 we launched “Grand Gems Calculator App” and we are happy with the downloads and we are currently working on a pro/paid version and localizing into 9 top Apple iTunes countries. The biggest lesson learned is that I spent more than maybe I should have for my very first app. Hindsight is 20/20 and for your first app you don’t need to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars. The goal is to eventually have your “network” of apps to help cross-sell-cross-promote.” JUDY

Basketball App name: Pro Basketball Quiz
Publisher: Golden Dogg Enterprises
Country: Australia
Platform: iOS
Support Stacey: Download and rate

“This app was the first app that my son and I did together, and the first accepted to the app store. It will forever be a beacon of accomplishment for something that we did together. Also many lessons learned on this one that we are incorporating into our other apps as well.

First lesson, have a clear monetization system ready, we had 1600 downloads the first 3 days and didn’t capitalise in it with a good strategy. Don’t assume that your developer knows everything that you want to do. Spell things out exactly the way you want them. They assume you will do things such as provisioning profile etc. And if you don’t communicate exactly what you want it will take heaps more time to get the app to be published.” STACEY

dj App name: Know your DJ
Publisher: Development Kosmos
Country: USA
Platform: iOS
Support Harry: Download and rate

“I have put my heart into this and am determined to make it a success. It is called ‘Know Your DJ’. For 20+ years of my life I have been passionate about DJ’ing and about DJ culture in general. I’ve been going to nightclubs and festivals for all my adult life, and continue to do so. It is the thing the breathes fire into my heart and soul, and thankfully, my wife shares that passion.

It’s that love for electronic music that drove me to create something that I believe in and am passionate about. A project that I’m willing to see through to it’s eventual success. Even if, as we speak, I’m only at 280 downloads. :( But that doesn’t matter. This is going global, because electronic music is a global phenomena, and all good things take time. Little by little, I’ll get the word out, I have all my social media account firing on all cylinders and am in this for the long haul.” HARRY

monster App name: Anti Monster Bedtime Spray
Publisher: Caleb Grove
Country: USA
Platform: iOS
Support Caleb: Download and rate

“Anti-Monster Bedtime Spray is the first app that I have ever worked on. After my grandfather passed away earlier this year, I had a day off and was browsing around a bookstore looking for inspiration and came across Tim Ferriss’ book The 4 Hour Work Week.

That book inspired me to take initiative with life instead of just doing the status quo. Then I discovered App Empire by Chad Mureta and decided to go for it with this app. I have two small children who are always afraid of monsters in their bedroom at night, so my wife suggested this idea for the app. It is fun, easy to use, and the kids love it! Anti-Monster Bedtime Spray is free with IAPs, I may make a paid version later. I added RevMob for ads a week after it was published. So far I have a little over 300 downloads but not much revenue. I am trying to figure out marketing for it and plan to take Elaine’s course about publishing apps as soon as I can afford a Mac laptop. Anyway, I have learned a lot over the past 3 months and hope to be a success in this business.” CALEB

Waka waka App name: Waka Walks
Publisher: Wakalaps
Country: Ireland
Platform: iOS
Support Paul: Download and rate

“I’m a film maker and animator and I’ve always been interested in new technology that can help me tell stories, most recently Apps. My animation work has been mainly for the preschool market so i wanted to try and make an animated digital toy for the same market.

“The concept for our first App “Waka Walks” came from books I had as a child, where you can turn the top, middle and bottom of a page to swap body parts of different characters. The character design and animation was the fun part for me. The hard work was finding a programmer to work with. After a long search I found a company based in Dublin (I really wanted to be part of the process so I could learn a little code myself), we struck a deal, then Alan Grace, Micheal Piercy of “Pixel Wolf” & myself go to work. On the 9th of May (its only a month old) our App went live. Waka Walks is doing well on IOS and Android but none of us are giving up our day jobs just yet, lets see how Wakalaps gets on with a a few more apps out there.” PAUL.

blessings App name: Blessings365
Publisher: Lynnette Poon
Country: Singapore
Platform: iOS
Support Lynn: Download and rate

“While I had always wanted to create and develop an app, I never got around to doing it.
I had the usual concerns as most people, that I did not have the skills to do the necessary coding and development work. Till I realized I could actually outsource the development work. I have always lived with a grateful heart, counting my blessings daily.

Hence the idea of a gratitude journal photo app came to mind. Of course, there have been some stressful times, but this newbie gamely accepts and overcomes ALL the challenges. Onw example: Due to usage of escrow for first time, I even experienced for example the loss of SGD $50, due to unexpected milestones and funding issues, I take it as beginner learning curve. A painful yet invaluable lesson! Being an positive and optimistic person, I even thought I could create a BIG gratitude movement, with many people liking the idea of counting and keeping track of their blessings each day and download my app to do so. I was even hoping I could get at least 10,000 downloads. Well, I have still not hit that figure since May 7th when my app was released. It was a very happy, indescribable feeling when I saw my app status was Ready For Sale when I woke up. Only trickle of sales … so far, I only have 29 downloads. Oh dear! I even lowered my price from USD $1.99 to USD $0.99 on Jun 1st, as I was made to understand most people prefer free apps, or maybe at most the $0.99 threshold for most apps, unless the app is something extraordinary.

I admit it was my fault. I did not create a landing page, did not publish my Facebook page, did not create teasers, etc. I was concerned with the idea of being tied down, of not having much useful content to share on FB page, of Apple review, I had read about some apps being rejected. I am the sort who will only share about something when it is confirmed. Plus I am also new to Twitter, learning the ropes slowly, but surely. I would say I should have done more pre-marketing and pre-promotion, be more aggressive in marketing, etc. Well, a good lesson learnt. Live and learn. Wisdom gained.” LYNN

mommy App name: iMommy
Publisher: Kathy, K&N Ventures
Country: USA
Platform: iOS
Support Kathy: Download and rate

“Three years ago I was about to be laid off. I had an idea for an app while sitting with my middle child and was shocked that it hadn’t been done yet. So I took what little money I had saved and decided to try and get it made even though I knew nothing about programming and the app world. There were no books, nobody wanted to help me or even talk to me from the ‘big leagues’ so I was on my own. I found a programmer via Elance..they sucked…I found another programmer via Elance and they were good enough to get the basic app done…over time as my ideas grew and each company couldn’t do what I envisioned I got a new team…there were MANY ups and downs, twists and disappointments but now three years later I am over seven hundred thousand downloads and making a sequel to the app. I also wrote an e book about it so as to help others and I freely give advice to those who ask as I remember what it was like to go it alone. KATHY S, USA”

PS: Big announcement coming soon to all Chocaholics on the Express – Sign up today and make sure you don’t miss out on the BIG NEWS!!

P.S. Tons of work going on here at Choc App HQ – I’m getting ready to release a new premium training course that I’m really excited about. More details soon…!

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Elaine Heney is an online entrepreneur, triple #1 best selling author and international keynote speaker. Elaine is an Amazon FBA ecommerce advisor, investor, Hollywood movie producer, online business consultant and CEO of Chocolate Lab Cashflow. Elaine has also published over 300 mobile apps across Amazon, Apple & Google, and enjoyed over 20 million app downloads and over 50 #1 apps worldwide.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Jane van Honk June 15, 2013, 1:33 pm

    100% Guts and Passion. Thanks Chocolate Lab Apps for highlighting these great Apps and courageous stories. Totally inspiring. Except for the Wiki definition of hero, a person typically a man! What the heck!!! Signed: A Woman Appreneur!

  • Dmitri Zaitsev June 15, 2013, 2:03 pm

    Hi Helen,
    I love your blog but one thing that drives me mad is the popup window requesting me to subscribe, and I am already subscribing! Especially with slow internet connection the popup takes long time to load before it shows the disable button. Maybe there is a chance for a more gentle approach.
    Keep ut good work!

  • Caleb June 16, 2013, 3:13 am

    Hi. I just wanted to publicly say Thanks to Elaine for including my app on this site. I think your content is helpful and inspiring and I appreciate people in the app business like you who are helping others get started. I would like to say to all the other app makers on this list, I will download and give your app a review if you will PLEASE do the same for me!
    Also, to those of you reading this post, please download my app Anti-Monster Bedtime Spray, and give me a good review! I have been busting my butt with marketing but with little to show for my efforts. Your support via the app community would be greatly appreciated!

    Keep Kicking Butt,

  • Lynn Poon June 19, 2013, 3:39 am

    Hi, having sent a Thank you mail to Elaine, I also like to publicly thank her for including my app on this site. I have also just shared this article link on App Entrepreneurs and Marketers Group on Facebook, hoping to cross-link and grow the sharing community of developers. When we share and learn from one another, it allows for leverage on the strengths of one another, making a stronger link.
    Elaine, Good luck and all the best to you and all fellow developers.
    Life IS Great! EnJOYing The Exhilarating Ride! Fastening my seat belt!!

  • jignesh July 3, 2013, 10:46 am

    Great Great Great Inspiration!!!!!!!!!!

    I am really blessed that i m reading your blog

  • Elaine Heney August 14, 2013, 9:00 pm

    Awesome stories from everyone, thanks for sharing.

  • Matt April 18, 2014, 7:02 pm

    Hello, I am currently 8 months into starting an app, only in the research stage. I think I have found a unique niche in the market. My app will provide a service. I am a little stuck for direction about what to do next and what direction I should be headed. As there is no ‘manual’ about creating apps, it’s quite a hard process. Any suggestions would be welcomed. [email protected] Thanks, Matt

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